Cyber-bullying, Internet Trolling and Cyber-stalking
Cyber-bullying, trolling and cyber-stalking are an escalating problem. Anyone with an intention to harm can use the internet as a vehicle for hate where anonymous postings on websites and hate-blogs are now something that many must deal with on a daily basis. This conduct is harmful, and a serious health risk.
The activity is widespread across all ages and can no longer be viewed as the school-yard antics of teens. The average age of a troll for instance has been found to be 29 years old (Buckels et al, 2014). Community awareness is growing around the need to address this escalating problem with the understanding that to be the target or perpetrator of cyber-bullying and cyber-stalking is a serious matter with serious consequences where depression and suicide are known risk factors for both adults and children. The perpetrators are also at risk of psychosis, depression and suicide (Klomek, 2011; Srabstein, 2009).
We need to consider this problem as more than just a health risk. A truth-full response to this activity is to call it for what it is – a communication crime, plain and simple. It is behaviour done with the intention to harm – the effects are known and anyone who engages in cyberbullying is knowingly intending to do great harm to another. We cannot excuse such a crime.
The case of Esther Rockett and Lance Martin’s cyber-bullying campaign against Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine demonstrates how cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying can be used as a platform to vent the hate of an individual and can spread beyond the boundaries of the online environment.
In the case of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, Esther Rockett, has searched the internet to find any forum where her targets appear and added malicious comments posing as Darkly Venus or Pranic Princess, often directing readers to her online hate forums where she covers her targets more extensively. Esther Rockett’s cyber-stalking, extending far beyond troubled malicious comments on online forums and cyber-bullying on her hate blogs, has escalated to sending personal emails to selected people and letters to employers where she makes serious false allegations of misconduct alongside strange and paranoid claims of conspiracy and cult recruitment. Her accomplices, also internet trolls with the veil of anonymity (using names such as “Venus Darkly”, “erotic doberman”, “Eric Dobbs”,“Battleaxe’, – something ‘bitch’) – have waged an online attack which has also more seriously included direct personal communication.
On this site we will examine the work of cyber-bullies Esther Rockett, Lance Martin, Robert Macindoe and others and also explore the psychology of the cyber-bully, cyber-stalker and internet troll. We will expose how the internet has been used to spread malicious lies about Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon and illustrate how the unregulated online environment can be the source and means through which cyber-bullies attempt to cause harm to their targets, apparently unaware that their activities are equally, if not in some instances, of greater harm to themselves.
Buckels, E.E., Tapnell, PD, Paulhus, D.L. (2014). ‘Trolls just want to have fun’. Personality and Individual Differences, in press
Klomek, AB. (2011). ‘Bullying and Suicide’. Psychiatric Times, Vol 28 (2)
Srabstein, J.C. (2009). Be aware of bullying: A Critical Public Health Responsibility, Virtual Mentor, Vol 11. No. 2: 173-177.