Ipstenu.Org

Twitter Wars: Impersonation

This is becoming a serial post.

Now they made @JorjaFoxOnIine. I suppose that would work better if they bothered to realize that the capital I only looks like an L in some fonts. So yeah. The cycle goes on. I’ve have linked to them, but it was deleted by Twitter within six hours (thank you, @TheCaptain).

Since the account was nuked, I’m kind of glad I saved this screenshot for my own edification:

I really get the classy assholes, don’t I? The second tweet is a re-tweet that @dino (the tech support who helped me suspend two other accounts) posted. I can only guess Oniion (yes, I’m calling the person Oniion – pronounced Onion) decided to prove it was ‘real’ and ‘me’ by retweeting something @dino tweeted to look cool? The account also followed all the 25 people I follow. None of them followed Oniion back and a couple DM’d me to ask what the fuck was going on.

At no point did I tweet about this publically. I tweeted this:

Someone pointed out that, by blogging all this, I’m in essence feeding the trolls. That may be the case, but the point is not that I get hassled (I can handle it, I’m ignoring and make sure it doesn’t dilute my ‘brand’). The point is how Twitter handles these problems.

See, I firmly believe that it’ll get better. But it can’t until people step up and say ‘You know what, there are rules!’ Twitter touts itself as a communication system. Did you know that I can get your account suspended on many ISPs for harassment? I’ve done it before. And did you know that if I harass YOU, my ISP has the right to terminate my account? The point of all that is there needs to be some accountability.

Even Gmail has some rules about behavior and it’s pretty clear that they subscribe to Wil Wheaton’s motto Don’t Be a Dick. Here’s the relevant bit of Google’s ToS:

You shall not, shall not agree to, and shall not authorize or encourage any third party to: (i) use the Service to upload, transmit or otherwise distribute any content that is unlawful, defamatory, harassing, abusive, fraudulent, obscene, contains viruses, or is otherwise objectionable as reasonably determined by Google.

And if you’re being harassed, you can report it here. But Google also has a massive fail here, in that they hide the IP address! Al Iverson’s rant about Gmail’s privacy and harassment explains it much better than I can.

The damned part of it all is that I shouldn’t have to do any of this. People should have a clue. A brain. A care. Why attack people? Why humiliate them? Maybe I’m guilty of doing it by chronicling my drama here, but at the end of the day, if one kid sees this and goes “Hey, she gets shit too for being weird and cool!” and knows they’re not alone, then I win. I win everything. I pass go, collect my counters, and get a free roll.

So what do you do when you’re harassed?

  1. Never ever ever ever ever reply.
    Okay, I break this rule sometimes, but just don’t talk to them. Kill all conversation. If it gets really bad, you’ll be able to tell a lawyer that they instigated all contact. This is good for you later.
  2. Block the users.
    On Gmail set up a filter. If, like me, you have your own domain and cPanel, set up an account or user filter.
  3. Report them.
    Yeah, it’s 90% likely that Twitter, Google, and Facebook won’t do a thing, but if you don’t report them, then it’s 100% that no one will do a damn thing. That 10% success rate I’ve had makes a big difference in my moral. If you’re at university, get some cookies and go down to the geek lab to ask for help. You may find the love of your life and some great help. If it’s at work, find your HR department, or a manager you can trust. Heck, tell your ISP and ask for advice, they may know something you don’t! Tell someone.
  4. Save evidence.
    Tweets and comments don’t help much, but they show a pattern of behavior. Keep tabs on the harassers and if they post anything like your home address or phone, you’ve got the grounds for legal help. Most of the time it doesn’t get that far, but if it does, and you’ve saved a series of bashing tweets, statuses and so on, then you’ve got something.

Above all, remember this: You’re not alone in being harassed, so look for support with those of us who’ve been there (or are still there). You don’t have to fight this alone, and you don’t have to feel like no one care.

Take it from a ‘fucking man-faced dyke.’ You can make it through this. And if you need someone to talk to, I’m here for you!