General Question

Kairi's avatar

Can anything be done?

Asked by Kairi (530 points ) 2 months ago

A friend of mine recently broke up with his girlfriend and she has been posting things on her tumblr accounts full of false claims that he is threatening her and her friends (he cut off all contact with her) and accusing him of rape. She has also threatened to send people after him to beat him up/kill him if he shows up at any events that she or her friends go to and is saying he is going to one when he is avoiding it BECAUSE of her threats against him. She even began naming me and a few other people and claiming that we “let” her be abused and did nothing about it. Is there anything we can do? I know there are legal rights, but the fact that its online and free speech and all that kind of protects her from being stopped.

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51 Answers

Kairi's avatar

*note. We only know of the posts because one of the other people she named is a mutual friend who follows her on tumblr and was concerned

canidmajor's avatar

Document all of the statements. Can the friend who knows about it, the one following her on Twitter either print out or take pictures of the screens with the offending posts? This is libel, it is against the law. It can be the basis for a civil case as well.
Notify Twitter, they don’t want to be named in any civil suits, either, they will probably take this seriously.

jca's avatar

If I were him, I would probably avoid the events she is going to be at for the time being, to avoid drama. If she does have him physically assaulted, she and the perpetrators can be arrested.

janbb's avatar

Contact the managers of Tumblr and ask them to take down the offending posts as libel.

Kairi's avatar

@canidmajor I have a tumblr too so I could do it myself if I wanted. If she is public. If not then my friend that follows her can do it.

Kairi's avatar

@jca he isnt going anyway. It works out that he cant get that weekend off of work regardless but yes he is planning on avoiding things she may go to for now

Kairi's avatar

@canidmajor
@janbb

If they take them down, she may just post new stuff and accuse him of doing it to cause more drama. But contacting them seems to be the best bet. I just dont want it to turn around and bite him

jca's avatar

Is it possible the guy did the things that the girl is accusing him of?

Kairi's avatar

@jca to the best of my awareness, no it isn’t. This isnt the first guy she has claimed this kind of thing about

jca's avatar

How old is the girl? An adult?

CWMcCall's avatar

Ignore her and her drama. She is seeking validation for statements true or false and the more you or anyone responds to her BS the more it will encourage her to say more.

GloPro's avatar

If she is known for the drama and he doesn’t actually think he is in danger of physical assault I’d let it go. Her actions are a show of her personality and not his. People recognize this.

Another option is to spend a small amount and have a lawyer draw up a cease and dissist letter and send it to her. She is defaming his character and committing libel, as well as making threats. All are punishable by law and have big lawsuit potential. Even if he has no intention of following thru, the letter may be a wake up call to her.

I get the impression she is young and dumb and making empty threats.

Kairi's avatar

@jca she’s 24 or 25, im not certain. We werent close

Kairi's avatar

@cwmccall but what do we do if these ppl that blindly believe her claims do end up going after him or someone close to him?

Kairi's avatar

@glopro she’s kind of young yes but old enough to know better. He’s pretty certain he is in danger because these people have said that if he goes to his hometown, they will find him and “get him”. Im more concerned about the threats then the other stuff.

jca's avatar

Threats should be reported to the police. The police will go talk to the person who made the threats.

GloPro's avatar

If he is certain she’s in danger I would send the notarized cease and desist letter from a lawyer. Document any and every person making a threat for your own personal use. Hopefully it will never be needed.

It will subside in time and she’ll lose interest. Assuming your friend is innocent.

GloPro's avatar

Edit *he’s in danger

Darth_Algar's avatar

Free speech does not entitle one to make libelous claims against another person and does not entitle one to make threats of bodily harm/death against another person. These things are not protected under freedom of speech, and threatening the body/life of someone is criminal. Document the posts – screenshots, printouts, etc, and go to the police with them.

GloPro's avatar

From personal experience the police can’t do shit until someone physically attempts to harm him. SO frustrating!!!

Kairi's avatar

@glopro they wouldnt help when someone called and threatened to slice my throat open if I didnt dump my boyfriend either. Its irritating that they CAN help but wont

Kairi's avatar

@darth_algar we got all the screenshots today

Kairi's avatar

@jca issue is that she is in another state, where he is originally from, so the police here cant do anything

GloPro's avatar

@Kairi I don’t know, they do the best they can for me. It’s the way the law is written that has their hands tied.

Why would you report anything to the local police? If you had to go to police, go to her jurisdiction. I wouldn’t bother at this time.

Kairi's avatar

@glopro the ones I dealt with said it was all in my head and to ignore it. But different circumstances

snowberry's avatar

I tried calling the police once because someone threatened to kill me. They scolded me for calling for such a non-existent reason. They said to call them when someone said they would kill me and gave a time and more specifics. Such as, “One day after work I’m going to bash your head in!” Then and only then was I to call them. They made me to understand that they get so many real threats to life and property, they can’t afford to deal with “silly” calls such as I had just made. I understood, but I also lost a lot of respect for the police that day.

Kairi's avatar

@snowberry I hear you on that one. I even recognized the voice and could tell them who it was and they did nothing. I understand resources are limited, but still

janbb's avatar

I truly think you will do better approaching Tumblr or wherever the treats are posted than going to the police.

CWMcCall's avatar

@Kairi if that unfolds, then be ready to dial 911, otherwise enjoy your weekend and don’t sweat the OMG drama.

Kairi's avatar

@janbb if they actually do anything either lol

Kairi's avatar

@cwmccall will do

GloPro's avatar

@snowberry @Kairi The police cannot deny you the right to file a police report. Although it sounds like you were ridiculed, my guess is you did not clearly state you want an officer to come and file a report with you in person. Just because a report is filed does not mean that the officer is able to do anything at that time to help you. There are a lot of laws and hoops they have to jump through. They do get a lot of one time phone calls. @Kairi, it doesn’t appear that anyone came and sliced your throat open. Can you imagine if they chased down every single phone call they got? That said, if you call and state you need an officer to come to you for the purposes of filing a police report you will not be denied.

I don’t believe that to be the best solution in this situation, but I thought I’d stick up for our boys in blue.

@Kairi If these threats are coming from strangers in another state how serious do you think your friend is really taking them. If someone that far away told me they would “get me” if they saw me, I don’t think I would give it a lot of thought. Is he the one worried, or are you?

jca's avatar

I think if you file a report, you go to the police department, they might not necessarily come to you. So go to that town’s police department and have a conversation with them.

@GloPro: She said it’s the guy’s home town and he has events he might want to attend there, which is the issue.

Kairi's avatar

@glopro im not even sure they filed a report on it, honestly. But yeah they did tell me it was all in my head and to just ignore it. Sorry but I take a threat like that at least a little seriously, you know? I went TO the trooper’s station myself since its near my house. They also refused to do anything about my one friend’s brother who was at their house going off that he was going to kill them all and said it was my friend’s family problem.
I have respect for the police, myself, but the ones I delt with had an attitude of “you’re annoying me, go away”. Which isnt how the police should behave at all.
he had to move back home because he lost his job here, so we are both concerned; since that’s where the threats came from.

Kairi's avatar

@jca I did go right to them. I wasn’t going to waste time calling them and waiting when their station is ten minutes away and I could drive over.
He has family there and had to move back cuz he lost his job here, so he could be in danger. “Could” being the keyword here. He can defend himself to an extent but still

jca's avatar

Go back to the police with a parent or other authority figure. They will hopefully take it more seriously and be more respectful and not brush you off if they know someone else is there observing.

Kairi's avatar

@jca i’m 23. If I bring a parent with me, they wont take me seriously

longgone's avatar

^ You may be surprised. Many older people see 23-year-olds as kids. An older relative is often a big help there. It’s idiotic, but that’s reality.

GloPro's avatar

@jca The Sheriff deputy came to me when I filed a report and also helped me begin the process of a restraining order on the spot. I had to go to the courthouse to complete the order, but the police report was started at my house. I emailed screenshots of every technological contact to the deputy for the report and restraining order.

The details are a bit muddled. She has stated above he couldn’t go to the events anyway because he couldn’t get off of work, and that he planned on avoiding them. I avoid events my recent exes will be at even if there is no drama. Why put myself through that? She also said that he couldn’t go to the local police because she lives in another state than him. Now she states he had to move home because he has no job. It’s gotten too confusing.

Either way, I would have a lawyer write a stern letter to this 25 year old woman that he will take further action if she does not cease and dissist, acnowledging that she has made threats of physical violence (with documentation), and send a notarized copy of that letter to any social media corporation involved via email. Trust me, the social media sites understand that they could lose a lot of $$$ if they let it go on. That is what gets the attention of the social media managers. Hopefully the letter will get her to stop posting in public, too.

He shouldn’t hesitate to take further action, more so if finding a job includes many managers checking social media for personal references and he’s job seeking.

Again, I am assuming that the guy is innocent. She can post whatever she wants about being abused if she was abused. I’m not suggesting he did it, I’m simply stating how it is.

Kairi's avatar

@longgone which explains why my doctor only listens if my mother is there

GloPro's avatar

@Kairi What? Change doctors. That’s insane. Find one that doesn’t know your mother. Who the subscriber on the insurance is is irrelevant and your medical interactions are confidential.

You live in one strange place. The doctors and cops are so odd.

Kairi's avatar

@glopro I should have said that when she wrote it they were in different states, my bad.

If he did do any of it, then she has a right to talk about it. But if he didnt, then she is starting drama and raising problems that should never have occurred

Idk how he’d get it to her though without knowing her address

Kairi's avatar

@glopro its govt insurance anyway

GloPro's avatar

The insurance is still irrelevant. All patient medical communication over the age of 18 is confidential.

Finding an address is easy. Send it to the address on her taxes. If he hires a lawyer just have him do it. The lawyer assistance will cost about $250, by estimate. He would have to decide if that’s worth it.

I wasn’t suggesting he was guilty, but I mentioned it because the lawyer would tailor his letter differently if there were any proof he had ever abused her, or she had called the cops about domestic abuse. Scorned women can be crafty.

snowberry's avatar

@GloPro In my situation later I printed off a number of questionable e-mails from this person and took them to the police station and asked them to open a file for me, which they did. But my person in question straightened up and there was never a need to pursue anything.

longgone's avatar

See? And yup, find a new doctor.

jca's avatar

@Kairi and @GloPro: @Kairi didn’t put the “other state” detail in the question but it is in one of the posts: “issue is that she is from another state, where he is originally from, so the police here cant do anything.”

GloPro's avatar

Right. There are some muddled details. I’m not sure why the other state detail even came up, or why police in an irrelevant town would be expected to help. Apparently he lives back in the same town as she.

jca's avatar

@GloPro: I think they maybe contacted police in the town he lives in, which would be the wrong thing to do. The police should be contacted in the town the perpetrator lives in.

As a caseworker in CPS, I had an issue once with a woman whose children I removed to foster care. I went to the police in the town I worked in, which incidentally was the town she lived in. A patrol car went to her house and two officers had a stern conversation with her, and they told her that the next time they heard of her harassing me she would be arrested. The harassment stopped (if you’re curious what she did to get me to go to the police, she contacted my job and told them she saw me smoking pot, which, if you know me you know I smoke neither pot nor cigarettes).

GloPro's avatar

No. She said he moved back home because he lost his job. I’m not sure why the “she lives in another state” came up. Unless I am mistaken, they now live in the same town. That’s why it has now become an issue.

The other detail is whether he is not going to events to avoid her, or because he had to work. If he is unemployed the libelous comments could impact his job search and have consequences. If he is employed I would ignore it unless I felt valid concern for my safety. Then I would go the lawyer route before contacting police with heresay that someone was going to “get me.”

Darth_Algar's avatar

Police agencies can work with each other. Whether any two departments will is another matter, but they can. Even if the police in one location have no jurisdiction over the person making the threats they can contact the police agency that does have the relevant jurisdiction.

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