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Harassment on the Internet - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by cie, Apr 3, 2012.

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  1. cie

    cie Banned Member


    This isn't really about mental illness but I hope the subject will be welcome here. Actually on second thought it's quite pathetic, it's just the internet but I've really had enough of it.

    I'm a member of a country-based forum primarily born from a gaming community and it's one of the places that I have participated in over the years for a lot of things. There are a lot of discussions there that I enjoy taking part in and/or reading. I can't work, online gaming is a way that I pass time and I do enjoy it, have since I was a kid. So it's nice to talk to people and discuss things concerning that, etc.

    Well, the point I'm making is that I want to keep being there and I enjoy being there, so I'm trying to avoid just leaving.

    It started 2-3 years ago when I was asking for advice in the general / off-topic forum about installing a TV aerial on my roof for digital TV reception and someone contacted me on MSN and told me that I should install it myself. I did not have the tools or the experience and I found his advice inadequate and potentially dangerous and even a bit scary to think about doing, I'm scared of heights.

    I refused to take his advice and I explained it while trying to be nice about it but there was no way to say "that's a stupid idea and I wont do it" and he's held a grudge for 2-3 years. Every time I post something to make a point, to help someone with advice, god forbid I vent about something, share an opinion... anything... he will do everything in his power to discredit what I say and insult and degrade me while maintaining his own integrity, so every time I look like I'm a bad person when I respond, and I'm hot headed enough that I just can't help responding every darn time. I always look like I'm the bad person and I've simply had enough! I wont let it happen any more.

    It's not just him. Another person has been at it a couple of months longer and I don't even know his reason. He's just a bad person.

    I've never said anything rude, insulting, provocative until one of these people upset me and I react badly. I have mental illness and I can not deal with people or cope with them - that and as I said I'm quite hot headed.

    I don't know how to deal with the situation. Just today I made a post on a forum related to the game I'm playing at the moment about a health issue in the game and people did nothing but post stupid comments trying to contradict me - And it's all based on fact based on my education in a field that I'm experienced in and I know what I'm talking about. And I didn't care, a few people responded saying I'm right through all the little children who must play the game also. So that was fine, didn't bother me, and then on the gaming forum I'm being harassed on someone posted my thread on an anonymous account trying to make a joke out of me for no good reason when my points are all entirely valid.

    The last straw for me was a thread I made as a suggestion to improve the game servers run by the same people who own the forum and this person started posting rubbish in it and his friends all decided to join in with nothing but insults and rude remarks. And this person is now a forum moderator saying he should ban me if I continue... continue what, defending myself from his harassment???

    And well... I PM'd an administrator but I don't trust him, but what else can I do? In fact I don't even trust him not to just make my message public and laugh at it.

    I have thoughts of going to court over this because I'm completely finished with letting people affect me like this. I don't want to leave, I don't want to be forced out and I wont let bad people win, EVER. Internet harassment is against the law in my country (and most, I believe, if not in the UDHR)... And I want them to pay for being bad people. Anonymity isn't a license to treat people like shit and make them feel like shit. It's not even just about them any more, it's about all the people who bullied me throughout my life and I just let them, and they continued knowing I'd let them, it's about time to say "no more".

    Well thanks for listening to my rambling, I'm really upset about this - it's gone on for years and I'm at a loss.
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    YOU are right hun it is against the law and if you print off what they have been saying in their post the on going harassements and get a lawyer they can charge them with bullying
    You should not have to put up with it and the administration there should put a stop to it If not then they too should be help accountable My self hun i tend to go quiet and just not give the idiots anything for awhile they will go away when they see you not posting they will go after someone else. Hugs to you
  3. cie

    cie Banned Member

    I thought about that and started going through the posts. It made me feel really horrible reading stuff from all that time ago, so much said from complete frustration and unable to cope with people, after just three threads I started feeling borderline suicidal again so I came back here. Even if it's completely peaceful it triggers memories from my past and all the horrible things I felt and dealt with. I really can't do that.

    I think the admin will just ban me... I look guilty... they wont care it doesn't affect them... Why should they put time and effort into working out what happened?

    I've never really been vindictive but today I just want them to pay... I don't even know if this is a vindictive feeling, I don't think it is? I want to make sure no one will ever have to suffer their disgusting selves again... I want to humiliate them and ruin their lives so they can't have children who have to LIVE with people like that every single day...

    I've never hurt anyone intentionally and never hurt anyone physically (nor do I want to) but I want them to suffer the consequences.

    I have had enough of feeling horrible because people want to make me feel worthless...
  4. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    Don't become like them hun they are not worth all the effort okay stay here hun I have learned from those forums that it is best just to step away and find a new safe haven. This place here hun no one will judge you okay or make fun of you The administration here are very diligent in protecting their members Don't waste anymore time or cause you more pain by going back there. You stay here hun okay just go back to use the arcade then come back here I do that hun i stay clear of the ones that hurt me with words Hugs to you
  5. Baldr

    Baldr Staff Alumni

    Cie, I know a person who had the same problem with someone, and for that person it helped to talk about the problem with an admin, they tend to be neutral and helpful and I hope it will work for you too.
  6. cie

    cie Banned Member

    They weren't helpful or neutral. They banned me for 26 hours as some sort of warning [?] because I react to unfair harassment and provocation. I can't help reacting I am not able to cope with people but do not know how to explain that. Regardless, I have decided to take legal action against both the people involved and the administrators for negligence.
  7. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    hun don't go back there okay don't let them get to you You stay here hun okay i think i know what forum you are talking about and they too hurt me so deep inside it is not worth the headache or pain over ok stay here where you are safe now.
  8. cie

    cie Banned Member

    I doubt you were part of a new zealand gaming forum?

    Anyway, I contacted some people recommended by the police and I'll see what they say.
  9. 1112222

    1112222 Well-Known Member

    Your wasting your time by trying to get the police involved because I seriously doubt that they are going to care about a bunch of dicks on a gaming fourm.
  10. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Eccentric writer, general weirdo, heedless heathen

    I've been harassed by people on a few sites, and I would just end up leaving the site or ignoring what was being said. I know it's easier said than done, but if you keep reading what they say, then it will just upset you more. People like that get a kick out of upsetting you and they'll keep doing it if they see it's working. That sounds like a poorly run site if the admin would ban you when you've done nothing wrong. I'm not sure what the police will do, but hopefully you will be able to find a solution to your problem.
  11. cie

    cie Banned Member

    Oh no, the police don't get involved unless he threatens my life or some rubbish. The police recommended me to a place that does help with it.

    I cleared my cookies and looked at it and they're insulting me and laughing about it - mods included.

    I believe people who do bad by others deserve retribution - and karma doesn't exist in my belief so I will make sure they get their own personally. This isn't some mistake or mishap that negatively affected someone, it is pure and malicious intent to make someone feel bad and I wont let them get away without paying.

    The people recommended by the police said it would be very difficult or even impossible because it can be hard to track the person - even if an IP address is obtained. He says I need a defamation lawyer which is "extremely expensive". This person is breaking the law, I shouldn't have to pay a cent for justice and the law is corrupt for charging money.

    I'm really pissed off that justice is only for rich people.
  12. chjones21

    chjones21 Well-Known Member

    Have you looked at the site's community guidelines? There is generally a set of rules along these sorts of lines:

    The main things we want to avoid are (but are not limited to) vicious or persistent name-calling or accusatory comments; comments which attack the individual rather than the argument or the position; abusive or defamatory phrases (epithets, especially those attached to religious, sexual, racial, gender or ethnic contexts); extreme or contextually-inappropriate profanity directed at an individual; and ad hominem arguments (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem).

    In other words, please comment on the content, not on the contributor!

    If you do believe that someone has been consistently breaking those guidelines, then highlight exactly where and when with supporting evidence of the posts and ask the administration to warn the offender. If you, yourself, have been guilty of doing the same then desist - otherwise you may find that you also get banned from the site.
  13. cie

    cie Banned Member


    They have rules. They just don't uphold them. I talked to an admin when he finally came on IM and he lifted my ban, i made a post blatantly telling him to piss off (except, with less feeling..) and why he does it.

    All that happened is that a bunch of people joined in with him. Including a moderator; that moderator posted something that was a blatant lie against me and told me to stop starting fights with him - I NEVER HAVE! He also told me to stop reporting posts, which I do not do.

    This is just as bad as the harassment, that mod has been around longer than the problem and failed to see it even when i shove it in his freaking face.

    This forum is owned by my ISP and I will be contacting them as well to try and change the moderators.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2012
  14. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    I don't know about New Zealand but here (Canada) the deal is usually that you have to pay to retain a lawyer and all to bring something to court to help prevent people bringing up frivolous lawsuits and, if you're deemed to be in the right entirely or largely the judge will often make the party in the wrong pay your fees for you as part of their punishment. (Basically making the person in the wrong cover the legal costs they forced to be raised as part of the retribution.)

    That said I think it'd be quite likely if not a certainty that any judge reviewing your case would find you to be bringing up a frivolous lawsuit. The damage to your character on the forum is not causing you any meaningful loss of income or reputation in the public eye (Those are the main two reasons that can justify a claim of defamation.) and the people that are being mean to you are only doing so on the private property of their own forum. It's not usually considered legal harassment for someone to be mean to you so long, and only so long, as you are 'on their property' as it were. Harassment usually requires they be following you, calling you, mailing you or otherwise forcing you to live through their insults rather than you continuing to return to the forum to find the insults there.

    If your ISP hosts and/or provides DNS services for their forum you can contact your ISP about this, but it's up to them to determine if they want to cease hosting the forums about it or not. You can't really legally dispute the ISP deciding the forum stays since the ISP owns all the servers involved.

    The police definitely wont care to get involved though. There's no reason to believe that anybody involved is going to be harmed in any way the police could prevent if the situation continues, so they'll just tell you if you really care to take it into the courts as a private matter.

    Even if you decided to take it to court you face a big problem of trying to get the other guys to show up in the court to defend themselves - as you said it's not easy to determine which person did something on the internet even if you can find the IP address of the poster. Many ISPs dynamically give out IP addresses to customers meaning that one specific customer might have 5 different IP addresses throughout a single day and finding out who had which IP address at what time is basically impossible without either a compliant ISP or subpoena.

    Even if you find out which customer had that IP address at the time a specific message was posted the customer can readily claim that it wasn't them personally, it was their roomate. Maybe they could say they have an open wifi network so perhaps some walker-by posted it. They could claim they run a TOR exit node and that some anonymous guy actually posted it.

    The court would probably agree with them that there are too many potential users of a given IP address to justify taking someone up on charges because they own the account that was linked to that IP address at a given time.

    If you really want to pursue them about it I think that calling your ISP is the best thing you can do and the only thing you should.
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