This is What Cyber Harassment Looks Like
This page contains just a small sample of the online bullying I've been subjected to over the last 2 years.
In case you're coming in late and don't know the story, I'll give you the short version. A woman who had been romantically involved with my boyfriend began harassing me on social media, starting with a comment on Facebook. She subsequently began contacting me by email. And then both my boyfriend and I began to receive anonymous messages. She has, at various times, called me:
- Crazy (or cra-cra)
- An old lady
- A "Starfucker"
- Vagina (which is not preferable to friendship)
- Jealous of her professional accomplishments
- An enabler
- A "Fame fucker"
- A liar
- The most disgusting version of female she has ever encountered
- Guilty of not knowing who she is, which is my loss
- Someone who hashtags for fame (I'm not sure what that is, but my surmise is that it's bad.)
The first contact I received was from someone named Sarah Dunne, calling me a bitch. I am a bitch, but this Sarah Dunne didn't know that...so I was surprised and a little perturbed. My boyfriend suspected that his ex, who had had a hard time letting go when their relationship ended and who had repeatedly tried to get his attention by "acting out" online, might have something to do with the comment, so he called her. She SWORE she had no idea who this Sarah Dunne was and that she had NOTHING to do with the comments!
Turns out that: a: Sarah Dunne was Facebook friends with the ex-girldfriend and b: the entire Sarah Dunne profile was fake. Facebook eventually took it down.
Sooo...I unwisely wrote to the ex-girlfriend, confronting her. She didn't like that one little bit and so began the saga of endless emails, text messages, anonymous posts, messages, pictures. But first...She accused me of harassing her. Let me repeat that: after I wrote to her saying "don't bug me on social media, I don't even know you" she accused me of harassing her.
I'm not sure where the idea that the one email I wrote her constituted harassment came from. Her head, I guess. Ditto for the idea that she is a public figure and the strained prose.
She was so angry that I confronted her about the Facebook post that she started seeking me out on other social media platforms, like Instagram, with warnings that she would sick her fans on me and references to karma. Needless to say, comments like that made me very uneasy. They sounded a lot like threats.
Then she sent me lots of pictures of herself with helpful subject lines, just in case I was confused.
Apparently, she is sexy. Also, before me, there was them. I would have found these kind of sad...if she hadn't continued sending me stuff. And posting stuff. And making my life hell.
The ex-girlfriend later admitted that she was connected to the comments on my Facebook page, though she attributed them to her "friends" who were "pissed" at both me and my boyfriend. I don't know her friends but that seems unlikely at best. She and my boyfriend had been apart for over a year. The Facebook photo on which the comment was posted was a photo of my boyfriend, alone. Why would that piss anyone but an obsessed ex-girlfriend off?
And, oh boy, was she pissed off. At me confronting her about her comments on my social media and also, I guess, at the mere fact that I exist. Shortly after sending photos of herself, she also sent me videos of herself. Dressed like a cat. Titled "Don't Front". I have no idea what any of this means.
Honestly, I could fill several websites with the communications I've received. Many are from anonymous sources or from made up emails, and many just "appear" on the internet. From whence is anyone's guess. I have a guess but I'll leave that up to your imagination. Below is a small sample. What they lack in coherence they make up for in volume.
Wasn't it Oscar Wilde who said "No crime is vulgar but all vulgarity is a crime?" He'd never met this poetess.
Sometimes I get videos! Yay! I love videos! But sometimes the person who sends them forgets to remove the EXIF data. Ooops!
For the record, the photo of me bloody and bruised does not exist in real life. Whoever sent it got creative with the Photoshop.
There was a time when this "Plus Beauty" accused Biz Carlton of being in charge of an army of social media trolls...but let's not get into that. Suffice it to say that I've made all of my social media profiles private. And yet I still get odd friend requests from people I don't know. Hmm...#WhosTrollingWho
(I especially like the part where she invokes God's love after calling me every possible name, referencing my private parts, and making threats about consequences.)
Emails...I Get Emails!
3 of my faves. These were in response to emails I sent to the ex-girlfriend, asking her to leave me alone.
#1: She threatens me with a "social media blast"; #2. she denies that she is the one behind the social media blast, despite the fact that I have evidence; and #3. she accuses me of giving out her email addresses so that someone else can go on a social media blast against her. Are you following all this? Yeah, I know, it makes very little sense.
Apparently, she didn't like being accused of cyber harassment. But the phrase...at the end of her email..."game on"? That gave me chills. This isn't a game to me. I guess it is to her.
A year after threatening to send her enormous following after me, she now SWEARS she has nothing to do with the harassment I've been receiving. In fact, she alleges that I am actually harassing myself. Obviously.
This was one of several emails in which the ex-girlfriend alleges that I am behind a social media campaign to harass her. Sometimes she alleged that my boyfriend was behind it, and at other times she alleged that fans of a television show were harassing her. Could be elves, too. Or fairies.
And, of course, there are the endless stream of photos and stories about me that appear online. I report them, they get taken down, new ones appear.