A month ago, I was targeted by a troll lynch mob even though I was not actually their usual target.
Their usual target, S, has been accused of being a catfish to a reality show star. S claims he is NOT a catfish, and that he is a man who had an affair with the star, but she’s trying to cover it up.
All I wanted was his side of the story. In trying to find out, I inadvertently brought down the troll mob on myself. It was frightening because I did not know what they were capable of, but I did know they harass people just for talking to S, and that their harassment of S has been relentless for years now.
This group of trolls keeps getting blocked by S, and their accounts shut down by Twitter, but they keep making new accounts and harassing further. I saw myself that when I blocked them from my blog, they’d use proxies to come in.
Well, Twitter is finally stepping up to stop this kind of thing.
From today’s blog post:
Stopping the creation of new abusive accounts:
We’re taking steps to identify people who have been permanently suspended and stop them from creating new accounts. This focuses more effectively on some of the most prevalent and damaging forms of behavior, particularly accounts that are created only to abuse and harass others.
Hopefully this will finally stop their harassment of S. I also hope this will keep the trolls from my Twitter; I’ve blocked a bunch of them, but who knows if they’re keeping an eye on me anyway with new accounts. Because yes, I still see them come to my blog now and then. One visitor even came from a link in a Twitter status by one of the trolls. That was just last week, I believe.
This is also good because, even though I reported two of them to Twitter, it went nowhere. But now I see one of the accounts is gone: Maybe my report helped S get the account shut down. You can tell by their Twitter handles that they made the accounts on purpose to harass S.
Is S for real? I am inclined to think his evidence is much better than the star’s. Her story keeps changing. But even if she’s telling the truth, the behavior of the trolls is wrong. I hope Twitter will do what it claims it will do, and stop it, not just to keep the trolls from S, but to get them to lose interest in me as well.
UPDATE 2020: I have proof that Sam is who he says he is, so the trolls can pound rocks. He’s opened up more online publicly and to me. I will NOT post private proofs here because it’s his business only to post these things and I will not violate his trust. But publicly he now has a podcast with his girlfriend (who I’ve verified is a real person–and that she has visited him).