Category: trolls

Twitter stopping trolls like the ones who targeted me last month

A month ago, I was targeted by a troll lynch mob even though I was not actually their usual target.

(You can read about it starting here; there are several posts on the subject in January’s archives.)

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: Sam is most definitely NOT a catfish, so the trolls can pound rocks.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

My stalker troll brigade has disappeared

My posts for the past week describe what this is all about, starting here.

I guess the trolls lost interest and went back to their usual target, the alleged “catfish,” once they finally realized I have no connection to him.  But this is something they do: harass people simply for talking to their target, and try to bully them into the trolls’ way of thinking.

Which is one big reason why the whole “catfish” story doesn’t pass the smell test with me.  If it’s true, then just put your story out there, and don’t try to force and harass people into agreeing with you.  This kind of behavior is familiar to those of us who have dealt with abusers and malignant narcissists.

I pointed out their behavior was bullying, and that their websites look like not-credible hate sites, so I became their target.  I don’t like people being bullied, and have been known to yell back at people who pick on my friends.  The “catfish” is not my friend, just some guy whose blog I follow, but it bugged me anyway.

But I stood up to the onslaught, and I’m still standing while they’re gone.  Maybe a straggler comes in here or there, but that’s all.  And the post that ticked them off so much, is still up.

Even my Twitter hits have gone way down, showing a lack of interest from them.  I also went to the Twitters of their usual targets, and started blocking all the trolls I found there.

On Tuesday, I woke up to find a very disturbing friend request in Facebook.  Someone had spoofed my friend Todd’s account, but not in the normal way used by hackers and identity thieves: Both first and last names were spelled wrong.  There was absolutely no attempt made to look like Todd’s real account.  The picture was not the usual studly man or hot woman.  No, this was a scary-looking dude with a sneer and brandishing an “Evil Eye” tattoo on his upper arm muscles.

Yeah.  That doesn’t look like a hacker.  That looks like I picked up a stalker.

Considering what the trolls had just been doing, I was convinced they had tracked my real name down on the Net and were about to make sh** get real.  I had one hand on the phone for the police.

I reported the account to Facebook, and also told Todd about it.  But he was almost certain it was from a Nazi, not one of my trolls.  See, Todd keeps his timeline public, and is always ranting about Neo-Nazis, which makes this plausible.

So I calmed down.  I also spent part of Tuesday reporting two trolls who contacted me on Twitter.  All the troll IP addresses I collected (EIGHTY!!!) are in the comment ban bin.  I use a plugin which sends all spam and blacklisted comments into oblivion, so I never see them even to delete them.

For about 48 hours now, activity both here and on my Twitter has been quiet.  I have no idea why it suddenly dropped off, but I’m finally breathing again and going back to normal.

Crisis over.  Back to reality.  Which is good, because we have to get ready for a remodeling project soon.  That’s plenty to deal with.  😛

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

FAQ on stalker threat and is it past?

Okay, a few days have passed and the threat has lessened.  Some sleep, some getting back to the normal routine, and being with friends, has made me feel better.  So now it’s time to re-evaluate the stalker troll threat.

1. How did I know they were a cyber lynch mob?  Because they’ve been watching the Twitter and blog of a certain person they believe needs justice done to him, “S.”  Whether he does or not, I don’t really know.  I’ve heard his side of the story, but I’ve also heard the other one, from “M.”  But the speed of their responses, tells me they have been watching him like a hawk–stalking him.

There’s a lot of S-said, M-said, without real smoking guns for the most part, on either side.  I’ve seen no proper journalistic investigation done into this to prove anything, just what was said on a TV show in a genre which is known for being deceptive.

But I do know that the group of trolls was pursuing “justice” with cyber mob bullying instead of using appropriate means.

I do wonder if someone has been impersonating S on the Net.  This is only a suspicion, but it would explain some things.  Such things do happen now and then.

2. What kinds of things have the trolls been doing?  Not only had they been harassing S for months with non-stop disparaging posts on Twitter and his blog, but they had been doing the same to anyone they considered his friends–or even people who just asked questions of him on Twitter.

I had reviewed the history of their behavior, not just his own story of it, but by following a link he posted on his blog to his Twitter.  He invited readers to see what they had been doing.  I reviewed it for some time, not just how they treated him, but how they treated another person who claims to have actually met him.  I’d google S’s name and find hate sites and Youtube videos against him.

I also saw these people get blocked or their accounts shut down on Twitter, only to make new accounts.  I read how they were using proxies to get into S’s blog after he blocked them from it.  Again, these are all things which S wrote about on his blog and invited his readers to see for themselves.  Another reader went into detail in a comment about how disgusting the trolls’ behavior was.  She said there were thousands of harassing tweets from the trolls in S’s archives.

3. How did I know they were a threat to me–malicious, not just curious?  Because I had just posted on my blog a description of what they had been doing, that their behavior was at least as bad as anything they accused S of doing.  In my Statcounter, I saw them follow me from my Twitter to my blog.  My Twitter was brand-new, I only had one follower, and I could recognize her in my stats, so I knew it wasn’t her.  I also saw them poke into my posts about abuse, showing particular interest in certain ones.

4. How did I know the troll mob was following me to my blog, and not just people like me who simply wanted to know if S was telling the truth?  Because they made themselves known to me.  One posted a comment to me on Twitter which was not malicious at all, but did show she believed M and not S.  Why are you watching S’s Twitter (where I had just posted something, and drew their attention) if you don’t believe or like him?

Another posted a comment here on my blog which took a sweet memory I had of a friend, and twisted it into something dirty and shameful–and made it clear this person thought I was referring to the guy the trolls are after.  The comment made clear that they saw me as a new target.  Then this person subscribed to my blog, making it clear they were also going to keep an eye on me and make more harassing comments.

The following morning, I found a new “follower” of my Twitter: It was a brand-new account, looking just like the fake ones used by the trolls to harass S.  The profile description was vulgar.  Friendly people don’t have such a thing in their profiles.  This one was meant to harass me.

I found another profile today in my Twitter block list, another troll.  In the haze of the last few days, I don’t recall if this person followed me or made some disparaging comment to me, but it was enough to get blocked.

Another way I knew: I began blocking anyone who came to my blog from Twitter, because I knew what brought them here.  Yet even after I blocked them, they began using proxies, instead of quietly going away.  (This is similar to the behavior of my narc ex-friends, as well.)  This is the same thing the trolls had already been doing for months to S’s blog.

When I installed proxy blocks, the same people began going into the Google cache and Wayback Machine.  Those hits were not actually on my site, so I couldn’t block them, but the recorded pages still included code which transmitted data to my statcounters.  I could see the trolls were sharing pages with each other.

5. But can they really do anything malicious to me?  At first, I thought they could.  But I do not use my real name or picture on my blog.

After a few days of collecting IP addresses–DOZENS of them–I have turned off the blockers.  They were effective, but all those IP addresses in my .htaccess file seemed to turn the site a bit googly.  Instead, I put the IPs into my comment blacklist.

Not just the Wordpress blacklist, either: No, they don’t go into the spam folder or the trash bin.  I use a spam blocker plugin which sends all spam and blacklisted comments straight into oblivion.  This is even better than Akismet, because I never have to see any of them.  😀

I could mention a couple other things, but that might give them ideas.  But I have a couple of means to keep such things from becoming threats.

THAT INCLUDES CALLING THE POLICE.  I HAVE THEIR IP ADDRESSES AND COMPUTER INFO.  One even graciously provided her name and e-mail address.

Yeah, they’re still watching.

UPDATE: I have proof that he is who he says he is, so the trolls can pound rocks.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
%d bloggers like this: