Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Internet Stalking

I'm ranting about forums and blogs.Well actually I'm ranting about online trolling and harrassment. There are quite a few forums that I visit. Most of them are music forums but not all. I'm easily identified as "The Frog Queen" on most of them. Now some of these forums I've been posting on for nearly 10 years, but why? I've come to realise that forums are one of my pet peeves. I rarely post on any of them anymore but continue to read them. Basically its just a hostile environment. People always putting each other down, arguments between uninformed individuals, harassment... basically if you say anything remotely opinionated you will have a whole slew of people putting you down. I see it all the time. So why do we feel the need to reach out and type to somebody who won't even read it in real time? I suppose its the same reason so many socially under-developed people love the internet- because we can say anything we want with a certain amount of anonymity and we don't have to face anybody. No repercussions.

I have been blogging for approximately 10 years now. Basically I started blogging when I discovered my first forum. I created an online diary and eventually I created a website called "Life with Rockets" detailing my sexlife and little else. That particular site became retired after I left Halifax. It was started during a particularly awful part of my life in which I became engrossed in sex and wanted to learn a bit more about what drives us to get down and dirty.

One thing I find incredibly funny about starting sites like those is that people leave anonymous messages on them and start lurking. It's weird because 9 times out of 10 it's someone that you actually know by aquiantance. On the Life with Rockets site I had a number of people lurking about and most of them had not so nice things to say. What are peoples motives for doing the lurking, posting negative messages and basically haunting your site ? What exactly do they gain from this? My guess is that it's actually a way to touch base with someone they envy, maybe even wish they were friends with but instead of taking a friendly stance, they lash out in a negative way. It's also something Ive come to realise is stalking- internet stalking. This has actually happened to me a few times in the past. People reading one of my blogs found out who I was and approached me while I was enjoying my night at x-night club. This is always strange. The ones who pretend to know exactly who you are, those ones give you the willies. Its all fun and good to say "hey I like your blog, it's entertaining" it's another thing to run up to someone and act like you know them because you read a few thoughts online. Some proceed to leave messages on your blog... that's internet stalking as far as I'm concerned.

Now the problem with the internet is of course it's not policed. You got threats being made, bloggers being harassed, and yeah you could easily say "if can't take the heat get out of the sun", but what if you got something to say? Does that automatically entitle disagreeing parties to add death threats or other harassing comments to your blog??

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