Wow! I got my first threat by a stalker/troll named "Wild Bill". He has a anonymous account that he hides behind. He stated that he won't quit harassing me until I "quit HubPages". Since I can't even figure out who this person is, I can only report his anon account and what he said. Are there any suggestions out there in HP land for handling stalkers and trolls and people that just goes around trying to start trouble?
Flag, delete, and ignore. They will get tired of trying to get a reaction out of you and go away on their own eventually.
The author of a hub or question has the power to delete any comment or answer. if you choose not to avail yourself of these basic and extremely effective tools, and instead choose to engage and invite more stalking, you won't get much sympathy from staff or other hubbers.
Wow! that's what you got out of this post?
I have written a hub on why hub authors delete comments. I regularly monitor my content for abusers and I delete them right away.
This person is stalking my comments on another hub, one not controlled by me. Otherwise, yes, I would delete it.
As Calculus said, ignore it and it will probably go away. If it doesn't ask the hub author to either delete it or report it as abuse.
as the above posters said, ignore and it will go away. You seem to be inviting it back by making a post to call him out. Also you rudely replied to the above hubber "wow! thats what you got out of this post?". Yeah, that was their opinion.
roob, you are blaming the victim here. The stalker/troll admitted to stalking and trying to get me to quit with a threat that he/she wasn't going to stop. He provoked the defensive remarks that I made as these people are excited to do.
I have since decided never to respond to him again. But the thing is, if you think he is not the one at fault here, YOU have a very skewed vision of quality hubbers. You are part of the problem, not the solution to improving this site.
Why are you getting all defensive trying to make a point? I never said you were at fault, I said I recommend ignoring til they go away just like a lot of others recommended. We post online to the whole world, of course there are bad people. You are just giving them attention. They didn't threaten to physically harm you did they? That would warrant investigation. But if not just like the cops would say in this situation, ignore him. Since you decided already to ignore him, I am glad & see no reason to debate anymore!(: Peace.
I got a single visit by this wimp who is hiding behind this "mighty name". I deleted his pathetic comment, after first considering to exorcise the idiocy out of him by mocking his insecurities and having a good laugh over it. Well, Lela, if he comes back, I might do that, and when he thinks that he's got an upper hand - THEN I keep clicking on that magic "delete" button for as long as it takes without a response. Boy, I should have called myself something like "Attila the Val", or how about "Val the Horrible"?
I don't know why I think it's someone of regular hubbers who took this side role to "punish " you for your stepping on his/her toes.
Thanks Vlad the Impaler! At least I know that i am not the only one this troll is harrassing. I am pretty sure your assesment of this guy being another disgruntled hubber in disguise is correct. I think I even know who it may be, but I need some definitive proof before I unleash the hounds of hell, LOL
NOW, you are talking, Lela the Invincible! Believe it or not, but it could be fun. Nasty people need to be taught a lesson, and those overcompensating for their insecurities should learn a healthier way to deal with it than venting it out on those who have done nothing to them.
Thanks Val! It really makes me feel better hearing someone on my side. I shall let loose my acerbic tongue and lash the crap out of the troll.
Your troll will get off on that as much as (probably more than) you will. If it entertains you and you like that sort of thing, have at it. But it won't make him or her go away, and more likely than not he or she will keep following you around trying to get another rise out of you.
Don't complain two weeks from now when your troll is still active (possibly with different aliases if HP bans some of their accounts). HP can only ban accounts, they can't stop the humans behind the accounts from creating more sockpuppets. Only you can prevent that -- by not feeding them.
You have a point there too. I had just about made up my mind to quit feeding the trolls and start being nicer to people, but now, I don't know. I will ignore it as long as I can.
Just remember that it takes two people to have a fight. If one walks away, the other one winds up swinging his fists at the air.
Another good point. But then there is also the increase in views when flame wars go on for years. LoL. People love to watch a good fight. I'm leaning towrd ignoring, but not at the expense of letting someone get off scott free for picking the fight. Texans are known for shooting trasspassers, like, to death and stuff. So, maybe i will compromise and ignore this stalker on anyone else's content except my on, then it's probably going to be a fight, after which I will delete it all.
Wow what fun I'd love to have a stalker! It would make me feel really wanted.
Stalkers are scary in real life. But less so online.
Anyway, this thread is a major victory for whoever it concerns.
^^ Yup! What Will said. Major victory for said stalker. Just ignore and move on. It happens to a lot of us at one point or another.
Ignoring is a good general rule of thumb, but enforcing it universally is basically telling victims to shut up even when all they are seeking is advice.
While most stalkers will stay online, others have hunted people down offline and assaulted them. So giving good advice beyond "do nothing" is important. Like seek advice without naming the particular person you are concerned about as they no doubt google themselves and will find this thread.
Also, to always report to hubpages and if the attention is becoming intense to keep records, and if any direct and specific threats are received makes a specific report to the highest level and consider informing law enforcement just in case.
Excellent advice! Yes, most people around here tend to "blame the victim" of these types of assaults. There is no reason to keep quiet about stalkers and trolls harassing us on HP.
Yes, they "get off" on attention, but others will recognize that these people need to be dealt with, and their presence need not be tolerated.
The best thing to do is to delete them off of our threads and content whenever and wherever possible. But fighting back is also acceptable and shouldn't be "punished" with the attitude that the victim is asking for it. They are not. They are trying to fight fire with fire, or simply call attention to the person's attitude and extremely poor social skills.
Also, we are using the stalker's own words as actionable evidence in what may result in a criminal prosecution and/or restraining order.
Threats should be taken seriously. I, for one, will not "play the meek and submissive victim". Thank you.
Refusing to play the troll's game is NOT being submissive. In fact it shows strength, because you're not yielding to the temptation to reply.
Fighting back means reporting the troll - even an anonymous account can be banned using the IP address so reporting does work - and deleting their comments.
Yeah, good points, psycheskinner. Hadn't thought about how advising someone to ignore these stalkers encourages victims to keep quiet! You are right though- this is not what we should endorse. Anyway- spent some time mulling this over and I think my inital reaction was wrong.
I don't think I spent enough time with my last response. In a perfect world, ignoring these idiots would be enough. But- they don't always go away. And it's true- it can escalate.
Austinstar- sorry you are contending with this. I think this is more serious than I originally thought.
My apologies! Hope you see an end to this soon.
Document everything. Keep the emails you've received and contact the FBI if they contain too much of your personal information such as what you were wearing when you went to the store the other day or your physical address. Also contact the FBI if they contain threats to harm you or someone else. They have to be actual threats, though, not just statements saying they wish you'd die.
Become more vigilant if the stalking activity spans multiple websites, especially if you use different pseudonyms on the sites involved.
People advising you to do nothing are wrong. Online stalkers sometimes cross over to the real world. It just takes once for it to be horrible.
People advising you to stop posting about it are partially right. A better way to leave clues for law enforcement to follow should anything happen to you is to keep a folder containing all of your documentation of the threats on your desktop and to email the details to a trusted friend or family member. I keep two such folders on my desktop, one for credible threats labeled "credible threats received online" and another labeled "threats received online." I've kept them ever since the first time one of my cyberstalkers became a real world stalker.
Forward any emails from stalkers to several people you trust with an explanation that contains the rest of your documentation of the threats. Let them know ahead of time that you are sending them and that they don't need to read or even open them; they just need to store them because they're just a sort of precaution. If you have no one you trust that well, a post online explaining that you have a stalker and that people should tell law enforcement should something happen to you is not out of order.
Just keep in mind that for every cyberstalker who makes the crossover to real world stalking, there are thousands who don't. I've had so many cyberstalkers since I started writing about sex and sexuality and on controversial topics online that I have folders marked by year and month inside my online threat folders, but I've only had three real world stalkers out of thousands of people who made threats creepy enough or specific enough to get into those folders.
Another thing to consider is that law enforcement generally doesn't see a single incident as cyberstalking unless it contains certain elements suggesting the person has been watching you over time or has a real intention to harm you.
Good luck. I hope your cyberstalker is just a bored jerk stroking his hate to get a thrill out of scaring you. Most of them are.
[edited to add]
Ask yourself if the cyberstalker reminds you of anyone you know. Two out of three of my crossovers had known me irl in the past. The third was a very messed up woman who used the Internet to find local people to harass.
He appeared to be "threatening" to keep commenting. Cyberstalking requires an element of credible threat and/or an element of stalking to be considered stalking. Stalking is like hunting or tracking prey. The argument hasn't moved from HubPages to other locations and the commenter hasn't dug up and posted personal information about you. A "threat" to keep commenting involves no actual element of threat to you, your family, your job, your reputation, or even your account status on HubPages. It's annoying, but it isn't stalking.
I'd recommend against using name-calling or profanity in response to people who post rude comments on anything you write online. Using profanity and calling people names is counter-productive and makes it really, really difficult to be taken seriously if things ever do escalate.
Having some cyberstalkers is almost inevitable if you are a woman and any of your work goes viral, even if you write about utterly mundane and non-controversial topics, and it's even more likely if you write on controversial topics whether you are male or female. I'm sorry this person has upset you, but it's important to keep things in perspective so you can deal with serious threats to your livelihood and safety should you encounter them.
If you make public accusations of stalking when no stalking is occurring it damages your future credibility with law enforcement.
I do tend to fight fire with fire. I'm a Texan and we are not known for being demure. I still say this is a threat. He states he won't stop until I quit HubPages. While HP is not much of an income (and growing less and less every day), I do still feel that I earn the few bucks I get by working here. I'm retired and disabled. The few dollars I make here makes for a nice meal at a restaurant, which I can't afford otherwise.
So, I consider it a financial threat to my welfare. Stalkers and trolls should write their own opinions and threats on their OWN hubs and Q&A. If they just want to stalk and harass people, they should not be allowed to do so here.
They have the option to ignore me if they don't like what I am saying, or how I say it. I do not have the option to force them to stop harassing me. And my opinion of these people is that they are the lowest scum in the universe. They have no morals, no intelligence, and no rights to bother people other than their skewed views of "superiority".
I refuse to be intimidated.
Everything out there is neutral. Its how you react that matters.
I'm also disabled and survive solely on my writing income. My HubPages income isn't much but it's dependable and arrives like clockwork every month. I, too, get financial benefit from HubPages.
Having a person comment on everything you write won't harm your income in any way. If you could get a million more like that dude (if he really means to carry through on his "threat" to comment on your writing), you could pay all your bills with your HubPages income alone.
Most people are going to react badly when you call them names, swear at them, and accuse them of crimes they haven't committed. Some of them might even say things out of character or say things they don't mean.
Don't you realize that, as a woman, if any of your writing ever goes viral or even sub-viral, you're likely to have real stalkers, people who really are a hazard to your income and possibly even your safety no matter what you write?
I've lost clients because of a cyberstalker. He found an old post where I'd been stupidly excited about getting a cluster of new clients all at once and I'd stupidly named the businesses involved. Luckily, only three of them were still clients by that time. Only one was still my client after the cyberstalker got done harassing them all. If I'd called all of the several thousand people who'd previously left rude comments on my work cyberstalkers in public places, I'm pretty sure it would have been a heck of a lot more difficult to report those crimes. I doubt I'd have kept even the one client if the cyberstalker had been able to link to online conversations where I'd libeled him.
So we are damned if we fight back, and damned if we don't. Quite the conundrum.
I just prefer to fight back. And that's the way it is.
You upset someone by accusing him of a crime while swearing and calling him names and he replied in kind. It's very, very difficult to see that as the same as someone terrorizing you or threatening your livelihood or safety.
Report him to HubPages. Document what happened. And stop libeling him. He could decide to press charges and use your online smear campaign as proof. You don't need to put yourself into a legally questionable position to fight back.
Libeling people and then creating an online smear campaign about them isn't the appropriate way to fight back. Creating online pages and conversations about a person is more like cyberstalking than making one assertion in response to an abusive comment is.
Think about what the guy really said. All he really said was that you aren't going to shut him up. That's not stalking. It's not even trolling. It's fighting back.
I don't agree with his position and I think he's behaved inappropriately in your interaction, but the proper response to that is not to libel him and become abusive to shut him up then to freak out when he doesn't respond well to libel and profanity.
I too have had people comment negatively and anon- too , They generally have no hubs , no profile or no activity , don't worry they generally go away ! If they don't let me know .....I'll get some guys together and pay a visit ....LOL
Be careful that he does not ask you to put the lotion on it's skin. If you don't do it, he will promise that it will get the hose again.
Maybe the best thing to do is just to ignore that troller, because the more you give him attention, the more he will not stop chasing you. He would eventually go away once he feel like his being ignored.
We cannot ignore the problem of stalkers and trolls! These people need to be stopped.
There are thousands or millions or billions of people using the internet everyday and probably using this website finding victims for their stupid plans, the only thing we could do is to send report to the HB team and patiently wait for their action to avoid this kind of problem again.
Yes, and the only way to stop them is to refuse to play their game. If you had reported this troll's email instead of replying to it, he would've been banned. By replying, you revealed your personal email address and so he can continue to harass you. You could try reporting him to his email provider.
The best way to stop them is to ignore them.
Have you ever heard of the term "chimping out?" This is what some trolls call it when their targets respond angrily, or really, with any kind of emotion or any response at all. Trolls are only after the laugh they get watching their target "chimp out." If you deprive trolls of their reward, they will move on to someone who gives them a response. Be patient, it might take awhile. But once they know you will not respond, their reason for trolling no longer exists.
Thanks. I will try my best to ignore this and i have already reported it to the HP team.
Just ignore them. If they don't get attention they will go away.
I read some of the comments that were on that page. I didn't see any comments by Wild Bill. I did read some of your comments. Perhaps, a simple, thank you for your comment would cure the problem.
I have yet to figure out why HP hasn't installed an ignore/block button. Quite a few years ago I had someone on here emailing me, commenting under any hub I commented on, following me to the forum. It was like they watched for my activity and followed me to where I went.
Thankfully they eventually got banned and stopped. That was under one of my older accounts, but now that I have made that active I am already seeing similar behavior by another hubber in Q and A.
I don't understand why someone who dislikes me or my views so much needs to halfway answer my questions then comment under every comment I make. Kind of ridiculous, but unless they violate TOS we are stuck with them.
When you report there might be quite a delay before staff respond, but they will get to it most of the time--although I do feel they tolerate repeat offenders far too long.
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2 … ying-panel
One of the things I couldn't help noticing:
..........“Measures of sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism positively correlate with trolling,”
Even enjoying writing comments anywhere online means you’re more likely to be a troll. “Some people are very much taken with commenting online, And there’s a strong relationship between online commenting frequency and trolling enjoyment.”
So, there you are. We are all evil.
There you go, blaming the victim again. NO, normal people do not comment to be trolls. They are trying to be social and helpful. They don't say things that are aggressively antagonistic, unless it's responding in kind to someone who has done it to them first.
One bad apple should not spoil the social media landscape. We need to block out the bad apples and make life better!
Saying there is a correlation is simply a statement. I imagine it relates to serious trolls doing very little but obsessively commenting. But no correlation is 100%, so volume alone is not what determines motivation.
"Susan Benesch, director of the Dangerous Speech Project, said much of this harassment comes down to a new sense of “disinhibition”. “Some people will say things online without really thinking about the consequences,” Benesch said. “When they are held to account, they come to their senses.”
Before commenting in threads like this it is always worth doing a little research.
There is a whole subculture on this site which is all about Atheists telling Christians they are stupid, Christians telling Atheists they are Evil, Christians and Atheists telling Muslims they are Terrorists, Muslims and Christians telling Atheists they will burn in Hell (and every other permutation).
It is dispiriting stuff.
As to 'Wild Bill' being a stalker...
Below is a little extract. Make up your own mind.
Wild Bill 2 days ago
Austinstar said: "This is one reason why I prefer the Q&A section - because we can control it. It really pisses some people off when their comments are deleted too. hahahahaha"
How do you like it when your questions get deleted? You can thank me for that! Hope you have a nice vacation. lmao
Austinstar 2 days ago from Austin,
Wild Bill - Whoever you are (too scared to create an account and be recognized?) - My question was deleted by the moderators of HP, and I asked them why, AND they Reinstated it! Then I deleted it myself because I'm tired of dealing with you ignorant a$$holes! So, YES, THANK YOU! you have made my life a lot more peaceful because I won't be arguing with your lot in the future any time soon (unless I feel like doing so).
You can stop stalking me now and go spend your time supporting Donald Drumph for president. It suits your 3rd grade mentality.
Wild Bill 2 days ago
Lol, I'm sure you deleted them. Likely story! Lmao.
Anyway, I am a Bernie man, so I guess we have the same mentality.
Wild Bill 2 days ago
Btw, I'm not stopping until you quit HP. Have a good day
Austinstar 2 days ago
Who are you? And why have you made it your personal troll mission to get me to quit HP? And why should I give a flying f*ck?
Edit: the whole thing about deleting threads seems to relate to this: http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy … -moderated
I see you are a visitor of the RG hub, drop by and say hi sometime.
Not really a visitor, just followed the leads. I'm not much of a fan of the 'HP is corrupt, brigade', lol.
I am more interested in behavior that seems inexplicable at first sight. It nags at me.
In this case, why do so many people devote so much energy to arguing about religion in such ill-tempered ways when the only result is misery? What purpose does that endless cycle of endlessly rehashed arguments serve?
I sort of understand the aggressive atheists. If you dig a little you usually find they were brought up by religious people and those people let them down badly. A faith was inculcated then destroyed. Trust in human beings was damaged or destroyed at the same time. Double whammy.
Hard to work through and easier to blame the religion than the people.
But the true believers, what do they get out of it?
Over 90% of the posts there have nothing to do with HP, though I admit RG is outspoken at times.
Arguing and debating can indeed be fun, simple as that.
It do get out of hand at times.
Debates are fine, Daggers drawn, unvarying rituals, where the same insults are hurled every time and nothing is achieved makes the rationalist in me uneasy.
Late here better sleep before I lose my own faith (humans are not so bad, given half a chance).
I should have investigated, too. I wouldn't call it cyberstalking based on that information. It's in the cyber world, but cyberstalking involves stalking or pursuit of some kind. This hasn't left HubPages and hasn't involved any actions but arguing and making irritating comments.
Arguing and having that argument descend into name-calling and rudeness really isn't stalking. Stalking involves being followed or hunted. That's not to say that an argument might not lead to stalking, but that an argument alone does not constitute stalking. Multiple arguments or rude comments don't even constitute stalking. The elements of credible threat and pursuit are missing. The only "threat" made was to keep commenting on someone's writing.
If I documented every rude thing anyone ever said to me online or in an email or private message in relation to things I've posted online, I'd have at least fifty folders instead of just the two.
The person who was investigating peoples' online presences and then bringing up non-HubPages information about them in unrelated conversations in the forum last year was coming closer to being a stalker than this person is and I don't think that guy ever actually crossed the line.
Perhaps, Will, the ones you think 'true believers' are more trying to convince themselves than they are trying to convince the others?
Our long resident troll ('God is in the Kitchen' was his best name) seemed to find it intolerable that science refused to validate his spiritual beliefs. The problem seemed to be that he was not spiritual enough and maybe he took the bible literally (that can't help). So maybe you are right.
A lot of maybes in there....lol.
Forums are addictive, they can get under your skin and sometimes the issues assume more importance than they really have. I know this from personal experience.
A break now and again is no bad thing.
When I say 'addictive', I mean genuinely addictive. In a worrying way.
I doubt he's a real stalker or troll. He or she, but most likely a He and in our midst... chatting with us, unawares [and smiling to himself on his cleverness], almost like the guy who commits a crime, then calls the ambulance and mills around helping the victims, etc.
Back in the day I used to get some emails that bothered me. I had someone telling me that they wanted to break my glasses, and I felt scared. I realized later they were just giving me a hard time. I also had another user who pretended to be several different people in the comments on one hub. I had someone send me a not so nice message, but after all these years I just pen it down to people who have nothing better to do than bother someone on the Internet. At the time it did bother me, and I reported it to HubPages. I think they are the best ones to handle this. Now that I have my own blog and post on YouTube I sometimes still get odd comments from time to time. One day someone asked if I were real, so I just deleted that comment. What is the point, I am real, and there is not need to respond. Another guy was mad I did not scoop out the contents of a spaghetti squash, even though I explained I had done this before the video. I kept that comment because it was pretty funny the way he phrased it, but obviously he had not watched the video. So my policy is if someone leaves a really bonkers off the wall comment sometimes I just delete these. I do not think every comment posted on a hub, blog, or youtube has to be there, or needs to be responded to. Of course I know everyone has a different take on this.
I am currently at lower left and will be there for the next several days.
There are some great tips here for dealing with nastiness on HP. Thanks to everyone who added good tips!
If the harassing continues- you would think HP Network guys can pull the IP address from the Wild Bill postings from the system logs of this web application. Then they can block it in their firewall..... unless Wild Bill uses a proxy to hide behind.
I think you should ignore the comment initially, and if he continues, - pay attention to the attitude/wording to help determine if he is actually a stalker..... then also report him to local police.... you never know.
Well, mostly the issue is that these types of hubbers give HP a bad reputation. And for some reason, they just seem to keep popping up trying to get sympathy from this tolerant environment. At least this particular one has identified himself as a disrupter. But even if HP decides to ban him, he will probably just come right back under another name.
We don't need to tolerate this behavior, and doing so only brings down all of us.
Hey, sympathy/congratulations on your first stalker, I have yet to receive my first comment. The thing about stalkers and trolls is that it is hard to understand that energy, that amount of calorie burning. Ignoring things rarely works if they are persistent. But I just find it hard to understand why anyone would go through all that trouble just to have the last word, or to be that ubiquitous presence in your online life.
The problem is, in an online chat room situation ignoring the person yourself will not necessarily get rid of the troll, as they will often draw others into their vortex. You will see them respond to something the troll said and you will still see the seismic reactions to their presence. So ignoring only works if everyone is in on it, or you can successfully muzzle the troll yourself.
I wish there was a way to "trollvote" someone, but to have such power, would of course, lead to exploitation in some regard. It is my hope that this person does eventually give up and find somewhere else to expend their energy, or in a utopia, be able to convert the energy into something constructive, or finally, that his computer gives up the ghost in the machine.
Just got yourself a follower, sir. I promise not to stalk you. Kind of.
You couldn't be more correct in that assessment , They generally go back from which they came .
hey...as the story goes.. of the goat tramping across the bridge.. that old troll didn't get your goat, did he?.... [this is where we laugh together...] Gad, I must have gotten up too early today... My mind is just going like ninety...
I actually found ignoring them is best. This troll probably gets a kick out of attention, and if he stumbles on this thread, it probably delights him. I would just ignore the person and report them to HP. Sometimes being a pacifist palm tree is best. I have learned that over time .
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