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Online harassment: An open letter to my online stalker

online harassment, a letter to my online stalker

I went to a pretty mediocre school. I was a good student. Had been bullied pretty badly as a kid and I grew up being a friend to anyone and everyone. I didn’t have any enemies. We didn’t talk much at all, but you seemed like an alright guy. I left school with good grades, went to college, art school and university, then into a job in London. I didn’t consider online harassment ever being part of my story.

Over the next a few years every now and then I would get friends requests from “people” I vaguely remembered from high school. You’d add me, and ask me strange questions about my parents, then i’d stop talking or block you.

Months later scrolling down my newsfeed I saw a discussion from some girls I still have as Facebook friends from school. They were livid, a stream of angry comments under one girl’s status about a man impersonating her online. They’d all share their experiences of the same harassment and link to an article detailing a case where you had harassed a woman online until she was confronted at her work. All the screenshots of conversations had the same writing pattern, sign offs, and same questions. So it must have been you.

The next time I got a friend request I knew it was you. And then, after I left my job in London and went back home, you pounced. I got a phone call from a close friend. “Go on then. What is it you want to tell me!? Someone from school messaged me saying you had done something. What is it?” After I assured him it wasn’t me he replied with “This guy knows we lived together in uni, he’s gone years back through your Facebook.”

Then the messages to my mother saying you’d seen my father cheating on her (my father had been out of the country for the entire time you were accusing him), then came the fake profiles you set up of me, full of my own pictures. For two days straight my phone was blowing up with messages from friends full of questions, followed by screenshots of you pretending to me and asking if they want “nice pictures of me”, or other fake accounts asking “do you know Gina?… She’s gorgeous isn’t she.”

This was followed by messages to my boyfriends friends (in Australian that he hadn’t seen for years) as me, saying he was being horrible to me, or that he’d come out as gay and we’d split up. Then at 2am one night, I received emails saying someone was trying to reset my passwords, that there was unusual activity on my accounts. At one point I deleted my Facebook account because I couldn’t control the amount of activity.

The little time I had was used, trying to stop you from fucking with me, collecting almost 200 screenshots in 2 days. On the flip side, you could devote all  your time to fucking with me. To this day you’re still carrying on. And I know you do it to other girls too.

But here’s the thing. If every notification I get, every friend request and every message my friends receive was a visit, an approach or even a call… do you think I would have had to deal with it for this long? If you weren’t sitting behind a screen all day every day, but instead were standing outside mine, or the other girls’ windows, you wouldn’t have gotten away with it like you did last time. If you were doing this to me in real life you’d be done for, straight away. And even if not, I could just get up and move to a different country. But you’re fully aware of how annoying you can be seeing as my phone goes with me everywhere. I can’t escape your idiotic habit.

So, seeing as you don’t seem to want to stop any time soon, here’s what i’d like to say to you. You’ve picked the wrong person to try and fuck with. Simply because I don’t have a broken family. I don’t have fractious friendships that vicious rumours will help break down. I don’t have a difficult relationship with my parents, they know me so well that nothing you could say would make them wonder. The relationships in my life are so secure that you’re fighting a losing battle. If anything the silver lining is that you picked me. You could have picked someone who’s life you actually could ruin. I can deal with it. You’re not going to get the satisfaction you want by destroying anything in my life, you’re just going to dig yourself into a huge hole. But remember that the more people’s lives you mess with the quicker you build a whole army of people who are against you.

I’m not sure why you picked me to harass and I don’t know what you’re endgame is or what you’re trying to achieve, but find another hobby because it’s not going to work. I could have understood this if we were still in school together; kids with nothing else to do. But we’re grown adults and you’re ruining every good memory anyone in school had of you. Step away from your phone and go out and do something meaningful or interesting with your life. Then i’ll be able to do the same.

 

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