Wednesday, April 18, 2012
The Anti-Social Network: The BBC Looks at Cyberbullying
Behind the mask of anonymity, some people will say or do incredibly hateful things. The BBC looks at why, and how to fight back: I had a group of internet trolls calling my house in the middle of night. One in particular began pretending to be me, and posting things under my name, even harassing my former colleagues as "me". Using his alias, I found him on other sites, and began "keeping book" - recording all the details I could find out about him. He bragged about random breakings and enterings in his neighborhood, and about having beat up a mentally handicapped kid to steal a Gameboy. It took four months, but I got a name, address, birthdate, work address, cellphone and home phone number. His weakness was vanity, so I posed as an adoring girl, and got him to start messaging me for a meeting - he was supposed to be engaged, but that didn't seem to matter. Six months of truly crazy bullying instantly ended when I made a single phone call to his house, asked for him by name, and then just sat there, silent, on the phone. He never hassled me again. Of course, I also passed along his postings about beating up the little kid and breaking into houses. Revenge is a dish best served, and all that.