Monday, January 2, 2017

Victim Shaming



In football, they call it piling on: when the play is dead and tacklers continue to gang up on the runner.

It’s the same thing in cyberbullying. When a disparaging post is created to destroy a person, there are people who take the bully’s side. It is one thing when strangers believe it, but when it’s your family and people who you thought were your friends, the pain runs deep.

Former NHL hockey player, Theoren Fleury, has influenced me to use the word “survivor” rather than “victim.” Victim can be a perpetual state, whereas a survivor strives to rise from the abyss. You might remember Fleury from his battles with the court and personal demons as a result of his experience with infamous hockey coach and sexual predator Graham James. He has survived, and thrived, but that was not always the case. There are times one stays stuck in victim mode until they can find that light at the end of the tunnel.

Cyberbullying is a rape of your digital footprint. It never goes away and is just as psychologically damaging. Every time you turn on your computer, there it is, until the end of time.

So when a cyber smear links you to a heinous act, deems you untrustworthy, and great effort is made to make sure that link or web page is SEO’d to stay front and center, it is never an accurate description of your problems.

Motivational speaker Mary Miller says, “Some people who I thought were friends, stopped communicating because of what was written about me on the Internet.”

So if you have been cyber smeared and have painfully learned that friends you thought were friends are no longer friends, you are not alone. You are not alone if it is your family who believes it.

All you can do is try your best to survive. Then after taking some effort to establish your digital direction, build your own digital footprint, despite the nastiness online, eventually you will move from victim mode to survival, and ultimately thrive. Let the bullies and the fair weather friends eat your digital dust.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Economic Cyberbullying of Ticket Selling Sites



If there was ever a concert that exposed the depth of the rigged ticket selling system, it was the Tragically Hip.

Canadian emotions were high as they learned front man Gord Downie had been afflicted with terminal cancer. In order to give Hip fans one last chance to say goodbye, Downie mustered up his energy and the band embarked on a farewell tour throughout the country.

But the cold and uncaring scalper bots had something different in mind. The soaked up at least 2/3 of all the tickets and ceremoniously gouged the fans to the tune of $25 to $30 million.

It's like a big fuck you, Canada, and the Hip could do nothing about it, or maybe they could have.

Louis CK has warned fans that if they purchase tickets from resellers, those tickets would be invalidated and he might even cancel his performance.

Meanwhile Lewis Black has set up a F.U.C.K.U. membership site to take his ticket sales out of the hands of ticket bots and resellers.

More artists need to step up and take the control of their ticket sales out of the hands of selling sites like Ticketmaster, which admit they cannot stop bot sales.

There is a problem when an entertainer intends for his or her tickets to sell for $50, but the average fan can only acquire them for $120. Not only is it not fair, it's economic cyberbullying. 


Monday, December 5, 2016

Internet Privacy Is Now Dead in the UK



Government authorities spying on its people isn't really anything new. We expect it in places like China, Russia, Egypt, and many more countries abroad. But in so-called Western societies, the idea of freedom may be what the ideology stands on, but in practice, control is everywhere.

Besides what we know about the American NSA and Canada's CSIS agencies using overreaching tactics under the guise of "terrorism prevention," most of their spying has been covert, without any public policy in place.

Enter the United Kingdom. It's newly anointed Investigative Powers Bill publicly gives carte blanche permission for police and government to willy nilly spy on everyone and anyone with NO JUDICIAL OVERSIGHT.

Mitch Jackson talks about it more in Say Goodbye to Internet Privacy in the UK. Is the United States Next? – Streaming.Lawyer.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Russian-Paid Trolls, Fake News, and Meme Creators


No matter where your political affiliations lie with the 2016 American Presidential Election, the video below is a must see.

Leave it to a Canadian comedian Samantha Bee to discover that most of the pro-Donald Trump Internet traffic and negative Hillary Clinton traffic was created by Russian-paid cyber trolls.

Chances are the links and memes you've been sharing, the ones that support your point of view was created by a foreign government for the sole purpose of interfering with the results of the election.

So when you look at your Twitter and Facebook feeds, how's that working?

Не забывайте голосовать. (Don't forget to vote.)


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Do Reformed Cyberbullies Exist?


Can an anonymous Twitter troll seek redemption and reverse his or her behavior? Perhaps. At least that is what this person is saying.

Isabella Sorley was convicted and served 12 weeks of prison time for her role in the online assault of Caroline Criado-Perez, to which her actions totaled all of ten minutes. John Nimmo was convicted alongside her and served eight weeks.

The implied threats were serious enough to warrant a conviction and time. Let that sink in.

There are a number of factors Isabella cites for warranting her despicable behavior, namely alcohol, mob mentality, the ease of the platform, the anonymity, everyone else was doing it so why would she get caught? Yes, all of these may have played a role, but making the actual decision to pick up your finger and hit a keyboard and send button lays solely on the person who sent the tweet.

The victim's life will never be the same. Sure, these people may have been prosecuted, and the rest of the mob may have discontinued their online assault. But what is to stop the next mob from doing the same thing to her tomorrow? Or maybe they'll just pick a new target.

It is an overwhelming and uphill battle to enforce such a crime, but as a society, we must gather up the wherewithal to keep reporting, even if it means flooding our law enforcement desks.

The Internet is not going away. We desperately need the laws to reform and reflect our current realities. We will not accept the insane and short-minded laziness behind the phrase: "just turn off your computer."

In the case of Perez, her cyberbullies were also forced to pay a fine. This is a case that offers some hope for the future.

Sure, one or both of these Twitter trolls may have found God. Perhaps they are indeed repentant. But words alone will not erase the fact they uttered both rape and death threats.

What was Caroline Criado-Perez's Twitter crime? She lobbied for a woman to be represented on British currency.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Woman, How Dare You?


I just saw Huffington Post blogger Gretchen Kelly's 2015 post that has gone viral again: The Thing All Women Do That You Don't Know About. I had to send her a tweet of thanks and to tell her this post was a gift to all womankind. It gives all of us validation.

What Gretchen's entry tells us is that this is the every day physical life of what it is like to live in the skin of a woman. What it doesn't include is the every day vitriol half the population faces online for merely existing.

While the offline experience is innuendos, cat calls, grabs, and outright physical abuse, the online experience is outrageously venomous because hiding behind a keyboard seems to allow the perpetrator to feel safe from repercussions. Plus, see the offline behavior, court and sentencing examples of situations that were called out, and -- because perpetrating any of this behavior against a woman is an acceptable part of society.

No, this isn't a man-hating piece. If you read Gretchen's post, she is not calling out all men, just the assholes.

Online, there are assholes and there are those who don't know what it's like because they have never walked a block in a woman's body.

If there is anything this election season has offered us (besides the need to have a shower) is that these issues are becoming conversations. No, we don't report it offline any more than we report it online -- until our lives are threatened, which is, sad to say, more often than you'd like to believe.

This may not be the experience of every woman online. It depends on how active you are online and what you talk about, ... and gaming. God forbid a woman would participate in what some young males consider their domain. It probably doesn't matter what platform you're on, although some tend to rally the haters more.

Here are some examples:

Twitter abuse, why cyberbullies target women: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-23488550

Young women twice as exposed to cyber bullying as men: http://sciencenordic.com/young-women-twice-exposed-cyber-bullying-men

Why women aren't welcome on the Internet: https://psmag.com/why-women-aren-t-welcome-on-the-internet-aa21fdbc8d6#.n8m2xwjtk

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Winter is Coming for 4chan



Slime attracts slime. 4chan could be out of business unless the world's most hated man gives it a financial boost.

In the meantime, no decent human being is about to lose any sleep over the fact that Hiroyuki Nishimura can no longer afford to keep the dark web site afloat. 

He's had trouble finding advertisers. Gee, no kidding. This is the man responsible for allowing those hacked iPhone naked photos of celebs to circulate. His basket of horrible people have not only bought and sold hacked material, but created bomb threats, tried to convince teenagers to kill themselves, and is the place to go when you're looking for a cheap hitman. 

When you travel the abyss, an anal fissure is going to gorge your hollow excuse of a life. Winter is coming, bitch.

So Nishimura's options are: charge a fee for better access, downsize the available cyberspace, accept ads from malware plants, or get Martin Shkreli to bail you out. You know, the guy who hiked up the life-saving AIDS medication 5000 percent.

Maybe he can accept the last two scenarios. Accept malware-laden ads and Shkreli's financial boost. Then the malware can infect the 4chan servers, Shkreli's and all the cybertroll members' devices and have them sort through the same Internet pain they've given everybody else times 1000.