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sfj's avatar

How To Stop Cyber Harassment & Cyber Bullying?

Asked by sfj (51points) December 27th, 2009

Anyone who owns a computer is well aware of the nasty people out there who love to harass and stalk others online. Many people know about the terms and conditions of websites but some ignore them. Cyber harassment, stalking, bullying, defaming, flaming, trolling, etc. is all part of using the Internet and even though it is immature and inappropriate, it continues to thrive seemingly more and more.
Many times it gets very, very personal especially when one person is targeted by another and when they know each other.
This is happening to me and has been going on for several years with a relative. We have had a “flame war” going on between just the two of us even though we haven’t physically seen each other in twenty to twenty-five years or so.
At first I ignored it and then I engaged in it. That was my mistake. When I tired of it and asked this person to stop, it only made things worse to the point where it became a safety issue. This person doesn’t live in my state and when the cyber harassment and stalking wasn’t enough for her, she sent her husband from their residence all the way to my house to stalk me. She apparently didn’t have the nerve to do it herself and apparently she thought that her husband would intimidate me by standing in front of my house. The authorities were called and instead of arresting this guy, they told him to go back to where he came from. This didn’t ease my mind at all.
I know what my relative is capable of even though she didn’t show herself that day. Her online abuse and stalking got so bad that I blocked all the sites that she uses from my computer so I wouldn’t be tempted to read the garbage she posts about me.
I have contacted every agency I can think of in attempts to stop this person from harassing me but no one seems interested in helping me. I did manage to have her horrible blogs removed from most of the websites but copied them to my computer for evidence prior to them being removed.
Because I now fear for my safety and the safety of my family, I contacted my local authorities and the authorities in the county where this woman and her husband lives.
It is amazing to me that in this day and age that there is no one who is willing to enforce cyber bullying and cyber harassment unless the person is a child. I may have a case since this woman ‘crossed’ the line and made this “flame war” physical.
Has anyone else had any issues like this and if so, what did you do about it?

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17 Answers

Seek's avatar

I recently committed internet suicide.

Had to – my screen name (that I used literally for ten years) was so original that anything that popped up on Google when you searched my name, was me. Because of that, I was followed by family members I’ve been trying to escape for the longest time. This person threatened my life, the life of my husband, and even that of my child, on numerous occasions.

I changed everything. First – I found a new screenname, one that I feels fits me, but would pull up a gazillion things related to Star Trek before ever finding me. Then I went about destroying my old accounts, on everything I could ever remember joining. Fortunately I was smart enough to put a fake address on 99% of my accounts, since I long ago lost the password to many of them. Then, I deleted my email addresses, made a new Facebook and Myspace account, and stalker-proofed them (it’s a lengthy process, but possible) and changed my phone number. Yes, those people still know where I live, but that’s where my dogs come in.

daemonelson's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I had to do this too, kill my internet identity. Not because of a threat so great. But due to a great deal of (strangely organised) harassment.

Haroot's avatar

I pour fuel on fires. So please don’t follow what I did. I’m a horrible person, I know. But it’s so damn fun.

See when someone messes with me, I do whatever in my power fuck with them. My ex decided to try to wreck my current relationship by contacting my current girlfriend with negative info about myself. At the same time she along with all her friends began to harass me constantly since she knew my contact info. Every day I would find my facebook, email and other inboxes filled with hate mail from her and her friends. Some threatening, all vulgar.

Now the simple way is to post all their info on 4chan or something and hope for the worst. Since you’re just distant relatives I think that’s probably the worst you can do. But at the very most their going to get a few obscene emails or something. Rather pointless.

What I ended up doing was hacking their passwords and collecting their login info. I didn’t change any passwords or anything, I would just mess with them. Delete their unread emails, remove facebook friends one by one, place condoms in their Amazon wishlists (Which I know at least my ex’s parents would look at,) etc… I canceled services, pretended to be them on various social sites and games, and generally was playing with them.

I began emailing flame mail to each others accounts. hopefully causing some trouble inbetween them. As well as some other emails confessing love, cheating, and inappropriate topics to their loved ones. I also started messing with their school sites. You have to register online for classes at my college. I’d watch their activity, drop classes they would take, replace it with zoology (nothing wrong with zoology, just what I picked.)

Once registration was over I complete shut them out of every site I could. I have no idea what has happened to them but they haven’t touched their accounts so I assume they started from scratch again.

A mutual friend was actually smart enough to question me about it, but I denied the whole thing. None of the actual victims, as far as I know, suspect me at all.

So hey, no more harassment emails in my inbox.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I realize this isn’t a solution for everyone, but anytime some nitwit becomes threatening toward me, I simply invite them to “bring it.” Almost everyone knows I have a Texas Concealed Carry permit. I have a lot of experience with weapons, and since my bad leg prevents me from running away, I have no choice but to stand and fight. “Mess with the best, die like the rest!” Mwahahahaha! : D

daemonelson's avatar

@CaptainHarley Perhaps solving cyber-bullying with gun violence isn’t the best of ideas?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Like @CaptainHarley words don’t affect me. I keep no vital information online. Physical harassment will be met by well-aimed 230 grain FMJs. @daemonelson the violence is for situations that go beyond bullying.I’ve shot “expert” every year since 1978

Jay170590's avatar

Don’t you have any other family members who are related to this person who can talk to her? If not do what othe people have said and change your login names. If she actually physically stalks you after this then keep a log of when you see her or her husband and take pictures if you can. The authorities won’t do anything until you can prove it’s been happening for a long time.

sfj's avatar

Jay, I have a lot of family members and they all hate her guts. No one can talk to this woman. She believes she is right, she is ‘bullet proof’ and she is the queen of the universe. The truth is, she is nothing but a bully.
The local sheriff’s office has on record of course, the incident when my sister’s husband stalked my house. Two deputies showed up. My sister didn’t have the nerve to face me I guess because she was nowhere around. Her husband is one of those guys who does whatever he is told and he is bullied by my sister so of course when she told him to drive all night long from up North to my house, he did. He told the deputies that he was at my house to “get” my mother to take her to my sister’s house. My mother is ill and elderly and my sister failed to communicate to me this alleged ‘visit’ our mom was supposed to be taking.
I had never seen my sister’s husband in my life and when I saw this tall, fat, bald man with a beard staring at my house, it scared me. When I learned that he was there to “get” my mother, I was just amazed. I figured that this man has no brain cells or no balls (excuse my language) and obviously didn’t think that I could have perhaps charged him and my sister for conspiracy for kidnapping had the deputies not been there.
This by far has been one of the boldest moves my sister has ever done and this is why I feel that her next move may be bolder.

JesusWasAJewbot's avatar

Get off the internet, only way.

Arisztid's avatar

@JesusWasAJewbot Sad to say but this is the truth.

Seek's avatar


You know better than any of us. I’ll be honest – my brother is evil and annoying, but he’s not very determined.

JesusWasAJewbot's avatar

@Arisztid Yup, join any kind of internet forum, chat room, scial site that bullying stuff is all over. Its sad that people need the safety of being behind a pc screen to stroke theyre egos.

phillis's avatar

I got hacked with a key stroke counter about 5–6 years ago. THe only thing I could do that didn’t cost me anything was to change my IP provider and get off the internet for about 9 months. I did, and he gave up. He was the type who continually needed to be fed excitement (watching me protest and complain), so he starved to death.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@daemonelson… That’s ok. I never initiate, just finish. : )

sfj's avatar

I just received a phone call from a detective in my county about what my sister is doing to me. He gave me some sound advice, some I already knew and some I am now doing. He basically told me to stop responding to my sister’s posts and blogs because she will never stop doing this and because if I respond, she wins. I already knew that and several days ago I blocked all the sites that she goes to so I am not tempted to see what she posts. I also blocked her name and aliases so I can’t find her on Google. The detective told me that unfortunately, unless my sister and/or her husband physically attempt to harm me or my mom, there isn’t anything the authorities can do. He did tell me that if I have copies of the libelous and malicious blogs my sister posted (which I do) to call an officer to come to my house and let him or her make a report of these.
I don’t know what this will accomplish but I guess it is to show that my sister has truly engaged in defamatory and malicious conduct against me.
The detective assured me that if the department of children and families feels that my sister has complained too much for too long, the agents will contact the sheriff’s department. I guess it’s just a matter of time and only time will tell.
It’s pretty darned bad that someone like my crazy sister is ‘getting away’ with this behavior or so it seems.
Like my son told me, never put your real name out there on the Internet in forums or blog sites. Always use an alias and only let people you trust know what name you are using.
He said make all accounts private and invite only your most trusted friends.
I say it’s great advise.

phillis's avatar

What it does is establish a history of her absusive behavior, @sfi. Like the detective said, it won’t stop her from continuing, or even causing property or personal damage, but it will go a LONG way in establishing her frame of mind and abusive history toward you, should it ever come up in court. You really should file a police report and let them make thier own copies so they can start a file against her. It will help you in the long run.

brendas's avatar

There is an ex-landlord, if you can call her that, who years later is obsessed with spreading rumors and lies about me and my husband. She posts things on craigslist and youTube. I really don’t know why she hasn’t moved on, except that her life is pitiful and she finds pleasure in hurting others…there are many more out there…we are just her current target. I think people like her, who have no concept of accepting others opinions and lacks compassion or the ability compromise, also have a god complex. They feel they are above the law and act accordingly. It is sad that people cannot move on, who have hatred and cannot deal with their own issues, and enjoy taking it out on others. This “landlord” also claimes to be a school teacher and a Reverend. go figure Angel Goulet! People- you must realize that those who harrass and bully suffer from mental illnesses…look up borderline personality disorder and it will describe them to a “T”! I know it best exemplifies my harrasser and stalker!

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