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04 January 2012 @ 12:56 am
My experience with a cyber-bully (**Massive trigger warning: Rape, bullying, and suicide)  

*SERIOUS trigger warning!! Rape, sexual violence, and suicide*

*This is a post that I transferred from my regular blog because it was too upsetting and personal*

This is truly the worst abuse I have ever had directed at me on the internet. All those “You’re a stupid, ignorant cunt” emails/comments just do not compare to what this person has said and done.

It all started when somebody on Tumblr put up a post about the politics of the sex industry. The post was basically explaining how offensive it is to say that women “sell their bodies,” which seems to suggest that all that a woman is is her body. While I disagree with some of the post, I agree that sex workers should be shown the same amount of respect as any other workers. Anyway, I saw that one person responded to the post thusly:

I assumed that she was an angry feminist, since she was telling somebody else that they didn’t have the right to call themselves a feminist. So I said, to my followers, “Who the fuck is this person, and can we kick her out of the feminist community?” Her response was unlike anything I’ve ever seen:

I then saw that one of the people I follow on Tumblr had responded to the bully as well, about a different post. The post was a truly upsetting exposé of cyber-bulling and the young people and children who have committed suicide as a result. Wolfborg, the bully, responded:

I then posted on Tumblr, apologizing to my followers for engaging with the bully in the first place, as I had thought she was an angry feminist, when really she was a Social Darwinist Nazi. She of course had yet another disgusting response…but then something weirder happened. She decided to send me a personal message.

It said something along the lines of, “I like that you want to help save the world. But you need to learn to take a joke. Why so serious?

Let's remember where this quote is from: The Joker in Batman. A man who kills innocent people and laughs about it. Which I think is beautifully illustrative of her behaviour. This was when I realized that not only was this woman evil, she was psychotic. Or, more accurately, she had a very extreme version of multiple personalities. I wasn’t actually that surprised; she was clearly disturbed, and judging by her language from another (unrelated) post, she probably has experienced some violent sexual abuse:

I responded, trying to explain to her that suicide is not a joke. Her response:

I decided to report her to Tumblr, as a violation of their own Terms of Service. Tumblr clearly states:

“Under no circumstances will Subscriber use the Site or the Service to  (b) harass, threaten, stalk or abuse any person or party, including other users of the Site.”

Their response? “We realize this content may be very upsetting, but we also highly value freedom of expression and freedom of speech.”

They refused to enforce their own Terms of Service, even after several complaints were made.

This is unacceptable. Freedom of speech isn’t freedom to incite violence. It isn’t license to bully. It is freedom to express your opinions, your philosophies, your politics. But all that freedom of speech means nowadays, to anybody, especially in the good ol’ US of A is “freedom to spew hate and abuse as much as is humanly possible.” Verbal abuse and emotional abuse can be just as harmful as physical abuse. So why doesn’t it hold the same penalties?

So, now I’m going to answer your questions, dear readers, before you ask me them. I am that psychic.

Why did you engage with her in the first place?

This has already been covered. I wanted other feminists to be aware of her and keep away from her.

Why did you continue to engage with her after you realized what she really was?

This post of mine should answer that for you:

I was very upset that I got no support from the post. It wasn't until I messaged some of my followers individually and asked them for their help that I got any response whatsoever. I have now recently received help from the person who posted the bullying FAQ, so I'm very thankful for that.

Why didn’t you block her?

As should be obvious by now - because I wasn’t worried about myself. I needed to take screenshots of her comments as well. I am not at risk for suicide. There are a lot of people on the internet who are. Wolfborg enjoys attention – she has admitted this – and it is obvious that it is bad attention she craves. She especially feels exhilarated by hurting people. If she can drive somebody to commit suicide, she will.

But isn’t she just a troubled person?

Yes she is troubled. No, that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be disciplined. Most bullies, abusers, even violent offenders and murderers, are troubled people. They need help. But that does not make them any less dangerous.

I have just blocked her, as I have obtained all the screenshots I needed from her blog.

So what is the point of this post?

We need to start cracking down on cyber-bullying. Tumblr, and every social networking/blogging site out there needs a strict anti-bullying policy that they adhere to. This isn't even close to the worst stuff that's out there, or the worst stuff that's allowed to be out there. People actually sometimes gang up on one person on the Internet and drive them to suicide. And this is allowed to happen, because "FREEDOM OF SPEECH AMERICA FUCK YEAH BALD EAGLES N SHIT WOOOHOOOO!!!!" I'm sick of it. This needs to stop.

I have recently learned that threatening to rape somebody is illegal in New Zealand and some other countries. If you're in New Zealand, you can report to Netsafe for help from bullying or the police for illegal behaviour. Netsafe was very supportive, but unfortunately there wasn't anything they could do about it from their end. The person who was threatened with rape would have to report it to the police in their country.

Please do not ask me questions I have already answered in this post.

Note: By discipline, I mean taking her blog down, or at least issuing a warning. Tumblr has done, and intends to do, absolutely nothing.