The Bully Battleground


It Hurts

Understanding Cyber Stalking

Cyber Stalking occurs when an abuser, or group of abusers, uses the internet to harass an individual they most often do not directly know. This may include false accusations, monitoring, privacy invasion, making threats, identity or data theft, or gathering information in order to harass. It is a virtual version of emotional and mental assault wherein the abuser harms a victim by repeating unwanted and damaging disruptions into the life of an individual online. Cyber-stalkers can be characterized in their behaviors toward their victims by malice, intimidation, obsession, vendetta, or no real purpose in continuing the behaviors. They will also ignore or ridicule formal warnings to cease and desist in their harassment tactics.

Many cyber-stalkers will try to damage the reputation of their victim and turn other people against them by making false accusations and claims. They may post false information about them on websites or may set up their own websites, social sites, and blogs or user pages for this purpose. They may also post allegations about the victim to newsgroups, chat rooms or other sites that allow anonymous public contributions. Cyber-stalkers will also recruit, or by default of their actions, create a diversionary or supportive mob of third party abusers. The instigators are often seen washing their hands and allowing these manipulated mobs to do their dirty work so they can claim lack of responsibility. Victims are dehumanized by cyber-stalkers, and their blind followers that have been duped into acting for the cause, to justify their actions, and excuse them from any sense of personal accountability for what is their inhuman behavior. Whether an individual or a mob, these are mutually common traits and tactics.

Cyber-stalkers crave power over a victim and will use anything they can to support their motivations. They may attempt to surreptitiously gather private and personal information to exploit about the victim by contacting their victim's friends, family and work colleagues, or running background checks and hiring private detectives. They will then often misinterpret or manipulate what they find to present a false light, or invent what they claim to have found in the absence of anything scandalous. This behavior is also related to invasion of privacy laws. Cyber-stalking is a criminal offense subject to conviction and penalty. It falls under individual state, anti-stalking, slander, defamation and harassment legislation.