Online Harassment: Or, A Haters Gonna Hate

Why you hating on me??

We’ve all seen it happen before and since I started this blog, I realized that I opened myself up to be targeted by psychopathic, jealous trolls. The Internet brings out the worst in people, and people forget their manners and say things they would have never have said face-to-face. However, here’s my advice and tips on avoiding online harassment. Not to mention, some assurance that I won’t tolerate any type of harassment on this site (directed toward YOU or ME or any writer or contributor here).

I realize that I’m writing on a very personal matter here: religion. Not to mention, I’m openly discussing my experiences with ministry groups and public figures here. I’m the first and only blog that I know of to bring to the public the experiences people have faced in an abusive relationship with these prominent Christian ministries, and name them. Yes, it sounds egotistical, but I’m leading the way. Therefore, as a “whistle blower” of sorts, I take a pretty hard hit. I’ve wanted to give up. I’ve wanted to shut down this site. I haven’t told my readers all the stories, all the emails, all the text messages. And, I won’t.

Although I won’t publicly disclose them here, I keep track of them. Why? When you put yourself in a vulnerable position as a spokesperson for a group of victims, you can’t turn a blind eye to the harassment. They may be harmless threats, or just jealous retributive emails, but I take each one seriously. I record IP addresses, email address and the identities of those I know.

I keep a log of particular “stalkers” and “trolls” so that in the event their harassment turns to violence, there will be a paper trail and a report. I also think it’s important to share this with you, my readers, because I feel a sense of safety here. I feel like you all “have my back.” I’ve also contacted a lawyer regarding several issues related to recent online harassment I’ve received and it’s being dealt with. It may be the Internet, but there are still laws against blackmail and harassment.

See, it’s my first time “around the block” so to speak. My blog is new–about six months old. The amount of attention it’s garnered is something I never imagined it bringing in July when I started it. The evenings after work have been filled with me teaching myself technical aspects of running a website, forum, etc.; learning how to be a professional and reliable journalist; online etiquette and blogger-to-blogger “rules; and overall just running like a gazelle to keep up with the pace at which this entire project is growing.

It’s fun. Don’t get me wrong. I love what I do, and would love to develop this into more of a group “voice” with stories, resources, etc. made available to my readers. Mine is just one story. My voice is just one voice. Writing has brought me so much happiness and liberty in my life. I feel healthy. I feel good. I hope each of you partakes in that same joy and knows that a troll is just a troll. Deep down, they’re just a hater. They’re filled with unhappiness and jealousy so deep that they try to derail my efforts and your efforts of making ourselves better here.

Call me naive, but I’m going to pretend they don’t exist. Because honestly, someone that low in life isn’t even worth a minute of our time.

So, together, let’s all say it: DFTT “Don’t Feed The Trolls!” =)

3 thoughts on “Online Harassment: Or, A Haters Gonna Hate”

  1. Trolls and haters are annoying to say the least and possibly dangerous Lisa, but I am glad you speak out because contrary to them, this is some of what I perceive in your intentions and some of my reactions to the same.

    Sometimes trolls are an obvious danger, but some dangers can certainly be more subtle. One of the dangers that I am certain can be made from scriptures (For whatever that is worth to anybody, I’ll agree with the same point no matter the ethics framework) is what happens when we (or them?) start thinking we are above responding to legitimate concerns. Or when we/they start acting as if we have authority when the truth is we can not even respond to legitimate criticism without thinking the sky is falling. Or as you described, the married couple in charge over at “Our Savior’s church” can not even discuss your life with you without being certain you are willing to roll over at their whim. And when you do question their lead they willingly cause you to be thought less of in everybody else’s opinion.

    These folks are the same ones who monitor this site and your blog but are afraid to tread here. They’ve become lost to reality through the delusion of their own authority and think this represents danger to them when in truth it represents a chance for a better form of sanity than the false reality all their groupies keep them in.

    Paul wanted to go into a theater that was run by a real mob, with real clubs and fists to protect a few, but to these self important fops these websites of yours represent danger. And their followers want to protect them from danger too, what a warped reality compared to what Paul was eager to face!

    And to end with, for people like us, being fallible and sometimes foolish humans, we might not be above falling into the same folly of believing our own press and/or flattering reviews.

    What I love about where you’ve taken this conversation is that you show every indication of knowing this stuff already! 🙂

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