Cyber bullying? Where do we go?

I watched something quite awful unfold on Twitter last week, and I began to wonder whether we are being a little bit too open about our personal lives?  I have nothing to hide about my personal life (except my identity!), and  my personal details are there for all to see. There are "crazies" out there, that we can be sure of, but I never expected to see such vitriolic abuse targeted at one individual.

To cut a long story short, an individual, for reasons of their own decided to target a particular lady who had been campaigning and raising awareness for different charitable groups.  This lady had been open and honest and had suffered her own personal tragedy, but for some reason " the crazy" had decided that she was a charlatan.  Over a period of a week her "friends" had become the subject of a barrage mad tweets and saw the lady being reduced to a  quivering wreck and trying to explain to friends what had happened in a very moving audio boo .  Subsequently, the lady has closed her twitter account and deleted her lovely and moving blog. It only took a moment to check her story to know that it was indeed genuine.  I have no idea how this lovely lady must be feeling, and am saddened that there are some that hide behind anonymity to debase another human being.

Most of us don't know many or any of the people we befriend on Twitter.  Can we honestly say that they're genuinely interested in striking up an on line friendship based on the same interests?  Or is there a more sinister reason? I generally only follow someone if they have a blog that I'm interested in.  Some of those that follow me, are only there in the hope that I may buy something from them.  I mean, why would I want to buy a man when I have a perfectly acceptable one tucked up in bed?

The Malicious Communications Act 1998 and the Communications Act 2003, gives the computer user some kind of recourse, but it is a long and arduous road. Whilst the police may be a port of call, very often their resources are limited.  It is quite easy to find out the IP address of the user, therefore leading to the identity of the culprit, which would be a great help for the victim in pursuing their claim. But many victims, just want it to stop. 

Respectme gives the legal low down for cyber bullying, with Wiredsafety giving good, sound advice and a step by step guide to reporting and dealing with cyber harassment.

I suppose that by "putting it all out there", we are all vulnerable but I'm not about to let it stop me doing something that I am enjoying, and it's certainly not going to stop me supporting others doing something they love. Stay safe. xx

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