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Worried sick about online troll

  • 27-04-2022 9:08pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 16


    Hi everyone,

    I am so stressed out and miserable and worried and I'm looking for some help.

    I'm an autistic woman in my thirties and going through a lot at the moment, with some serious health issues and depression and anxiety. I've been staying at home a lot over the past two years and spent a lot of time on internet forums, one specific one especially on learning to code, as I hope to be able to do this and change my career.

    One particular poster started harassing me because I posted something he didn't agree with once. He would follow me from sub forum to sub forum, replying to my posts and comments with nasty replies and mocking me. I had posted something quite personal, describing something bad that happened to me (victim of a crime) and he called me an idiot and told me it was my own fault and mocked me. I then snapped and sent him a PM, and I'm ashamed to say I called him the C word. He then replied and told me not to DM him, and I replied to the DM saying he was a horrible person. He told me if I sent another DM, he would report me to the police for harassment. I then blocked him, and then woke up the next day to find I was banned from that website because he had reported me for harassment. I tried to appeal and make the case that he had been harassing ME but no luck...turns out he'd a mod on the site and basically he set me up.

    I am absolutely terrified now. I keep thinking surely sending a single message on an anonymous forum calling someone who has been harassing you the C word is not grounds to be arrested? If that were the case surely the police would never get anything done? It was literally two DMs in the space of 10 minutes, nothing else, and I did not contact him again once he mentioned the police. I imagine that me blocking him triggered him to get me banned from the site as a punishment for no longer responding to his goading and bullying, but what if he has in fact reported me to the police as well? I keep telling myself they would never take him seriously because he was obviously goading me, and I would think following someone around different sub forums to insult them and goad them is far more harassment than sending a single DM telling someone to F off, but perhaps they wouldn't see it that way? Presumably he's deleted all his harassment of me and I'm no longer able to delete anything now my account has been blocked.

    I am so worried about losing my job...I can barely sleep and I'm constantly anxious. I feel so stupid that I responded to his goading and it didn't occur to me in a million years that calling an anonymous poster on an anonymous website the C word once would be grounds for any kind of police action. It's not targeted, it's not sustained, I have no idea who the guy is, it doesn't seem to meet any of the criteria for harassment, and I don't think sending DMs when someone has their DMs open is harassment (and as I said, I sent nothing else once he mentioned the police) but this guy seems totally unhinged.

    Post edited by Hannibal_Smith on


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 961 ✭✭✭mistress_gi


    I think you might be overthinking this a bit. I would talk to someone you trust in real life and/ or take measures to put your mind at ease, with all your problems this might make it worst. It is not the end of the world, you will be fine. Be kind to yourself, after all we all make mistakes... Virtual hugs



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,689 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump


    Not sure whether your post is serious, but just in case it is, you have nothing to worry about.

    He has nothing to report to police and they would laugh at him if he did try to report anything.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭JoChervil


    I am really sorry for you that such a non-issue made you so worried. It is all in you mind. Relax. If things were as you described, you are banned and that's it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,604 ✭✭✭893bet


    You are “catastrophing”. Assume the worst possible out come will be the most likely.


    Relax. Forget it.


    and yer man is a **** and you were right to tell him.



  • Registered Users Posts: 16 miserablelady


    I did talk to my boyfriend and it made it worse...he asked me why would I call someone a c*nt instead of just blocking him? Basically made out that it's my own fault if I'm arrested. I said to him it was a moment of anger after being harassed by your man and he said it's still not right.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,471 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    There is absolutely zero chance of anything happening.

    Is the other user even in Ireland to begin with? Not that anything is going to happen if they are, regardless.



  • Registered Users Posts: 16 miserablelady


    The thing is, I didn't really have grounds to be banned from the site either. If he's capable of making that happen, who knows what else he's going to do? He's clearly a very vindictive, unhinged person. What if he works out where i work and contacts them?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭JoChervil




  • Registered Users Posts: 851 ✭✭✭radiotrickster


    You’re going to be fine. People call each other names all the time on social media. That guy called you an idiot so he’s almost as bad in terms of being mean.

    If something like this ever happens again, use this as a lesson and go to a mod yourself instead of contacting the person. But for now, just breathe and find something else to focus on for a while. Get away from the screens and go outside tomorrow for a walk to clear your head. Any time you begin to panic or find thoughts creeping in about what happened, remind yourself it’s over now, you’re safe and try to clear your mind again.



  • Registered Users Posts: 16 miserablelady


    that's what I thought...sure I see much worse every day on Twitter...people sending very abusive tweets, with their name and photo attached!...so surely a couple of DMs on an anonymous forum snapping at someone for being a d1ck isn't a big deal?

    i am serious...I am going through a very bad time right now with depression and anxiety, and this is one of the things your man was goading me about. He already convinced the moderators of the website I was the problem and it's terrifying to me that they believed him and saw me as the harasser...who is to say he wouldn't spin a yarn to the police?



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,617 ✭✭✭Did you smash it


    i think you need to analyse your opinion that you don’t deserve to be banned from the site. I don’t know what’s that based on as being banned seemed a clear result of abusive behaviour.


    im not saying ur in the wrong and he’s in the right ultimately but you were personally abusive and that will get you banned.


    as has being said move on and stop worrying.



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,689 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump



    It's not illegal to call someone a cu^t. It can't even be defamation if you say something to someone directly and privately.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,138 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge


    Relax. Forget about it and move on. You'd be banned here too for sending that PM regardless of the cause or who the other person was. It's no big deal. He can't do anything more and he certainly can't and won't pursue you now you're off the site. Your boyfriend sounds like a charmer though.



  • Registered Users Posts: 16 miserablelady


    No, we are both in the UK. It takes the police hours to come out when there's serious anti social behaviour in my road (there was a stabbing last week) so the idea that they'd even entertain some freak reporting me for calling him a c*nt seems wild but the guy seems genuinely vindictive and unhinged.



  • Registered Users Posts: 16 miserablelady


    My boyfriend treats me badly and blames me for everything that happens to me. Sorry you think it's a wind up. I'm glad for you that you have supportive people in your life. I don't.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,471 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Nothing is going to happen. Find a different forum and forget about it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 16 miserablelady


    I don't think I do. I was defending myself against being bullied, but it's hardly rare for the victim of bullying and harassment to end up being punished when they eventually snap, is it? I definitely should not have called him a c*nt. I get upset very quickly and find it hard to regulate my emotions but in future I will try to step away from the screen before replying to someone, and calm down. Or just immediately block.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 851 ✭✭✭radiotrickster


    OP, he could be mates with the owner of the website. He might even be the owner but he posts under multiple accounts to make the site look popular. He doesn’t have power just because he got you blocked.

    About 12 years ago, I was blocked from a forum I loved because I was accused of bullying. I had made a joke but because the tone couldn’t be picked up (no emojis on the site), I was accused of being terrible basically. I tried to fix it and explain but whatever I said only made it worse and like you, I was very anxious that it would all catch up on me and I’d get into serious trouble. I was sick to my stomach worrying about it, knowing I meant no harm but it had all just gotten out of hand and another person was genuinely upset about it. I got blocked and was devastated.

    Instead, I’m still here twelve years later. Nothing happened about it. Nobody went to the police. Nobody that I was friends with on the site even said anything to me about it when we chatted on MSN that night. Everyone moved on and so did I.

    The real issue here isn’t to do with the internet, but your anxiety and depression. Are you getting help from therapy, a GP or doing anything yourself to improve your mental health?



  • Registered Users Posts: 16 miserablelady


    Yes, quite possibly.

    It's quite gutting because this is a huge website and was a lifeline for me over the past two years. I'm looking to get out of a very bad situation and learning to code is hopefully my way out. I spent hours discussing things about programming and the industry with people there and now it's all gone, I can't participate, can't message anyone and have lost all the online 'friends' I made there.

    There is very, very little support here in the UK. The NHS is on its knees. I've been waiting over a month for a scan that was marked urgent, and I have been waiting well over a year for counselling. I am trying to go to the gym and exercise most days, and put my energy and focus into coding so hopefully I can get into a better paid career soon, but there's only so much I can do.



  • Registered Users Posts: 16 miserablelady


    Well, I don't think my boyfriend is going to get me arrested, stalk me, or report me to my job.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,617 ✭✭✭Did you smash it


    Well if you call someone a Cnut here you’ll get banned.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 66,471 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Your boyfriends actions are real; what has been suggested to you by the forum crank isn't going to happen.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,060 ✭✭✭stargazer 68


    OP as others have said it's a non issue re police etc. Im sorry you have lost your friends etc on there due to some ar*e. Take a breath and let it go

    And your boyfriend sounds like horrible person. Get rid!!



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,905 ✭✭✭Jequ0n




  • Registered Users Posts: 16 miserablelady


    Fair enough I guess, but I feel like someone who stalked someone around different sub forums harassing them would also be banned, no?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 16 miserablelady


    He is very unsupportive and become quite mean over the pandemic. I want to leave, I just need to get my ducks in a row first and make sure I can support myself. Because of my health conditions a flat share isn't suitable so I need to make sure I can afford rent alone.



This discussion has been closed.
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