Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Still having problems with an Internet stalker

You may have noticed that I changed to a third party comment manager. I simply haven't been able to shake Blipey the stalker, and he posts from 3-10 comments per day with the intention of starting flame wars.

Unfortunately, even after changing comment managers, he has managed to get through that system by changing his IP address with every comment. I've even been blocking whole IP ranges, and I'm still unable to get rid of him. The clown is seriously unstable, and this is not the first time he has stalked certain individuals on the Internet. He had a fixation on DaveScot from UD for quite some time, and went as far as trying to get Dave to meet with him personally at Dave's own home. Dave told him that if he showed up on his property, he'd send his dogs after him. Blipey has also mentioned in the past that he'd like to meet with me at my home to talk about the debate issues. That's really creepy coming from a guy who is harassing you on the Internet.

Getting freaked out by him only feeds his mental disorder, and he's probably getting a troll fix with this particular post, so this will be the last time I mention the problem. Stalker trolls seem to thrive on attention. Unfortunately, I've been putting up with this for over a year, and it seems to be getting worse lately. So, moderation will remain on, and although I like the blogger comment manager better than this new one, I'll continue using it in order to keep a running total of all of his IP address changes along with his comments in case I need them for evidence in the future.

Here is a description of the kind of stalker I'm dealing with...

Hate, Revenge, Vendettas (Flame Wars Out Of Hand)

What is a flame war? Well a flame war is basically an argument that is online. Someone voices an opinion that another disagrees with and the fight is on. Name calling, threatening from both sides.

How does it differ from harassment and stalking? Well the key factor is that a flame war is two sided. Both parties are involved in the flaming and arguing. Both respond to each others mails, posts etc. Flame wars are easy to get into and often difficult to get out of. You want to express your opinion, you want the person to understand your side. You "want" to win the argument. But as is the case in real life often "turning the other cheek" and walking away is absolutely the best path to take. You really don't "know" the person your arguing with and can not predict how seriously this person will take the argument. Do you want this person to trace you to your home in order to win your point of view? Of course not. So be the bigger person and walk away.

What happens when you want to walk away and the other person won't let you? This is when a flame war becomes harassment and perhaps stalking. They may post continuously about you in a defamatory manner. Create a Web site about you or your group or go as far as tracing you and calling you at home or work or even coming to see you offline.

When anger fuels the harassment and someone can't let go of that anger you are dealing with a potentially dangerous situation and you need to take action. Stop posting on the site of the flame war. Don't respond to provoking posts or e-mails. Block the person from messaging you and from sending you e-mails. Disappear online by changing your identity and if necessary your Internet Provider. Your safety is more important than the inconvenience of having to change your online identity.

Because this particular troll participates in a forum I frequent, unfortunately I'll have to refrain from that venue as well so that I'm able to completely sever all contact with him.* If this doesn't work, I do know his real name so that will be helpful when reporting him to the authorities.

I regret having to moderate because I've enjoyed open moderation, but unfortunately I don't have a choice. I know getting me to moderate comments is part of his objective because then he can claim that I won't let folks who disagree with my views comment at my blog. Unfortunately, I have no choice other than to moderate when I'm inundated with his constant flame throwers.

Again, if anyone has any other suggestions as to how to rid myself of this troll, let me know. But, at this point, it looks as if moderation will be on indefinitely.

[*Those of you from AtBC who read this will claim that I'm using blipey as an excuse to end the continuing conversation in regard to common descent vs. common design. That is not the case, and I will address relevant comments to my last lengthy post on the subject in a post from my blog in the near future.]