A quick google search will reveal thousands of hundreds
of thousands of hits for the term cyberstalking. Indeed, as of
today, there are over 900,000 posts where the word is used. Perhaps
not surprisingly, many of the listings involve teen cyberbullying
and child protection issues. There are also large numbers of
celebrities who are cyberstalked or otherwise harassed. Beyond
juveniles and celebrities, the most frequently stalked demographic
are 18-32 year old females, a cohort to which some of our own
bloggers (and co-publishers) belong. Curiously, reports indicate
that more and more women are also the cyberstalkers, not just
the victims. Anecdotal stories suggest many of these women are
married but unhappy with their lives.
According to a federal government report, cyberstalking
generally refers to the use of the Internet or other electronic
communication to harass, threaten, or intimidate someone. It also
can include attempts to gather information about the victim.
Motivations can range from obsession for love to revenge and hate
to ego and power trips.
Most problematic, the feds caution that such conduct could
presage more harmful behavior, including physical violence. As a
result, virtually every state has enacted laws that address
cyberstalking, cyberbullying, or both. Texas recently enacted such
a law. The greatest internet resource of all-time, Wikipedia,
has an article discussing various states' legislation here.
But anti-cyberstalking laws are not the only remedies available
to those being stalked or harassed. Indeed, computer experts and
plain old cyber geeks (many under the age of 25 like your kids and
mine) have developed software programs which enable those
being stalked to identify their stalkers. Government officials are
also encouraging victims to not take stalking lightly and to report
anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or threatened.
Bottom line, if you're being stalked, don't just let it
go. You can fight back. You can identify your cyberstalker. Police
and other government officials are there to help. Prevention is the
And, if, perchance, you are or are thinking about cyberstalking,
stop before you get outed and caught. Its not only dumb, its
criminal. And it can't be worth the damage that will be done to
your life and reputation. Take that as gospel.
Corporate tweeters or bloggers – employees who post promotional and often entertaining commentary on behalf of their employers’ businesses – add much of their own personal brand – their voice, their opinions, their snarky remarks – to the information they are disseminating on the company’s behalf.
In a First Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry released at the end of March in a proceeding begun in 2003, the Federal Communications Commission continued its comprehensive review of its rules, policies and procedures governing radiofrequency radiation and limits on exposure to human beings.