A Troll Story, When Trolling turns into Cyber Stalking
Let’s start defining what a troll is.
I think a basic definition of a “troll” is someone who engages in behaviors to try to cause psychological harm to another and/or seek attention for themselves that they don’t get elsewhere. In almost every case trolling is entirely through digital means: email, forum posts, chat rooms, etc.
Trolling gone too far.
Trolling is common amongst online sites because people feel safe behind a wall of anonymity. Most of the times trolls come and go like flies to dung but occasionally you get a troll that goes to far and enters the realm of harassment and stalking.
If you find yourself getting spammed by threatening and harassing emails, someone contacting you through the mail, at work, or on your cell phone then you are dealing with someone who is deeply disturbed and most likely can’t be reasoned with rationally since they are engaging in psychotic behaviors.
Let me share with you my own personal story about one such instance of a Troll that went too far with me. Let’s give our troll a name, we’ll call him David for sake of clarity. David was once an active welcomed member of our streaming community. David would show up to most of our streams and be perfectly pleasant.
One day things started to change rather abruptly. David started to become a lot more hostile as the stream grew in popularity. David suddenly became furious that I was starting to earn a steady income with the stream. As the popularity of the stream grew so did his anger at one point he went berserk and started bashing me personally for no apparent reasons with a tirade of personal attacks. He was of course banned from the channel as any caster would do. This enraged him even more and he started spamming the report button with false reports under the name “Danisafag” getting himself banned from the site.
I didn’t know what was wrong with him, his transformation was so sudden and unusual that I reached out to him by email asking what was wrong. He replied back that he was sorry he was drinking heavily that night and lost his temper. He admitted that he loses control when he drinks. Through subsequent emails I learned he was unemployed at the time and seemed to have developed a drinking problem out of depression most likely and needed a punching bag. I was an easy target for him since I was coming out of depression as he was going into it.
He vanished for quite a long time and people were wondering where he went since he used to be a part of our community. I explained what happened and people were shocked as the behavior was so unlike him. I thought the matter was behind us and he had moved on with his life. I was wrong.
Eventually he returned, under a different name. He would be pleasant for a while, then would again lose his temper unexpectedly and get himself banned. If this was the only behavior involved it would be nothing more than a simple trolling cycle that is common on the site, but things escaladed.
In the past few months David has become very unstable. He has become so disturbed he has been writing emails pretending to be other people. He has even been writing an email as the lead singer of Queen who has been dead for over 30 years. The emails themselves are full of petty personal attacks that I guess are supposed to make me feel bad. They all contain the same things over and over so I’ve stopped reading them and instantly filing them for the record if I need the evidence.
David has been spending countless hours obsessing over me, trying to find something sinister or secret that he can smear around to the world. He’s been searching dating sites, scouring my facebook pages, tweets, blog, personal stuff, trying to find his white whale that doesn’t exist. (Moby Dick Reference)
In addition, he has called my place of employment. Yes I’ll let you think about that one again since it shows the level of stalker we are dealing with here. He has called my place of employment. Luckily my manager is smart and thought the man was crazy. Asking him questions like “Why are you calling me?” because he was so confused as to why a stranger would be calling him like that.
David considers his life to be happy and fulfilled.
There are some problems with that statement. People who are happy and fulfilled don’t feel the need to drag others down. People who are happy and have a fulfilled life try to encourage others, love those around them, and enjoy the company of their friends and family. People who are happy don’t get upset or obsessed about the lives of people they don’t know and have never met on television, the internet, etc.
Simply put if you are truly happy you shouldn’t feel the need to make others feel bad. Having the need to destroy another so you feel happy is a sign of severe depression of, emotion problems, or addition (Alchohol).
David, I do not read anything you type to me because it’s filled with hatred and a desire to attack me. Insults don’t affect me because I’ve move to a place in my life where I don’t let others affect how I feel. If I did, I would have stopped streaming or at least turned off the web camera long ago. I am completely comfortable with my life and how I look. I am happy.
David. I don’t want you to feel upset, I don’t want you to be unhappy or alone. I am not responsible for what has happened in your life but I do feel sorry that it happened. But what happens to my life shouldn’t affect you in any way. Seeing me fail or be upset or whatever your goal is, while not make you truly happy.
David, I want you to be happy. I truly do. If attacking me makes you feel better, then I’ll turn the other cheek and let you continue your assault. But I pray for your own sake that you take it upon yourself to find out what the source of your anger and sadness is seek some help.
David, I wish you the best and this is the last time I will speak to you until you have decided to shelve your anger. When and if you are able to deal with your personal demons you will be welcome back into my stream cause I truly want you to be happy.