Cyber Bullying – My Story

Many things in this world you just can’t explain. You can’t explain why sometimes when sitting down you tend to shake your leg. You can’t explain why sometimes you have a tendency to bite your nails. Sometimes you can’t explain why some people in this world have so much time on their hands, to want to try to sabotage your life through cyber bullying.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2012 aside from cyber property violations, cyber threats and sex crimes were next in line (Waugh, 2014).

“The results, which span a population of 27.5 million people for the year 2012 (the latest year for which data is available), show that cybercrime is far from being anonymous and victimless. Cybercrime affects large numbers of people in a serious way (a total of 9,084 crimes were serious enough to be reported to police, or 33 cybercrimes per 100,000 population) (Waugh, 2014).

The numbers are shocking and heart breaking, because the top cybercrime towards individuals was child pornography and the accused were ages 25 – 34 (Waugh, 2014). In 2012, police reported 1,441 incidents of cybercrime relating to sexual violation – and charges were brought in a quarter of those cases (Waugh, 2014).

Until two years ago, I would have never imagined myself to be a victim of cyber bullying. Nor did I think I would be the one speaking up about it. It has been a week since I received a call from my boyfriend during work and I falling to the floor praying it would stop and that this “someone” would leave me alone.

This is my story…

May 14, 2013 – “Someone” took a photo I had posted on one of my Facebook photo albums from 2010 named “SCHOOL DANCE” and decided it would be fun to Photoshop a pair of naked breasts onto my picture to make it seem as if I was taking a naked photo of myself. This person proceeded to create a Facebook account under my name and added multiple friends and family. This person changed their name about three times, and did not stop adding people. I didn’t know what to do next other than reporting them over and over again on Facebook and hoping their account would get removed immediately.

(The topless picture above I have blurred because I am afraid it might be used against me by the police for posting child pornography)

That day I decided to call the police and file a report in hopes of them being able to help me find the person behind this. Especially since the recent tragedy of the Amanda Todd incident and her unfortunate battle against cyber bullying. I had high hopes that my local police department would take my case seriously and help me stop whoever it is that is trying to sabotage me. However, it was much to my dismay that the police didn’t even attempt to look for the person behind these pictures; the police had arrived at my house, asked what had happened, and that was it. No action was taken, -“nothing could be done” they had said, over and over again.

May 21, 2013 – The Facebook page the “Someone” created was finally taken down.

I was so relieved when it was finally all over. The fact that the police were useless did not bother me as much as I thought it would, because the Facebook account was taken down. My friends and I knew the photo was fake, and that was all that mattered to me. What I thought was a one time thing did not end there.

February 1, 2015 – I had received a message from my friend who said he needed to talk to me right away on the phone. He told me what happened, that exact same photo was posted on Tumblr, but had no attachment to my name. For anyone who saw the photo who didn’t know me would have thought it was any topless Asian girl.

He was unsure if it was real, but he knew me well enough to know I would never do something like that. He sent me the link and I was beyond upset that not only because the photo was posted up on Tumblr, but the fact that their were over 1000+ reblogs of that photo on that particular Tumblr page.

I was unsure if the owner of the Tumblr blog posted that photo themselves or if the photo was submitted to them, but the photo was uploaded in November 2014.

By the time I saw and reported the photo to Tumblr it had already been reblogged on other peoples pages over and over again.

Thankfully, Tumblr removed the photo from the original page it was posted on.

This time I did not contact the police, since they were no help the first time. As much as it hurt hearing my friend ask me if this photo was real I was glad he knew I would never take naked selfies and post them online. I could only imagine the damage this would’ve caused onto my reputation if a photo like this was leaked to a future employer or anyone who didn’t know me personally.

Once again, I was relieved it was over.

Now fast forwarding to what happened last week.

April 19, 2015 – I get a call from my boyfriend during work. He mentions a “naked photo” and I immediately bursted into tears. He told me someone created a Twitter account and tweeted that exact same photo out.

My boyfriend is first of all not a social media maven. He did not understand the importance of social media and the role it played in my life, since I am in public relations and half my life revolves around social media.

I looked into this persons Twitter page that was under the name, “@Jasonchan911” and profile name “Jacob Black”. This Jacob Black posted two tweets with the naked photo attached and also tagged me in the two posts. Not only that they followed my friends, classmates, and companies I had sent internship applications to for the summer.

April 22, 2015 – I contacted the police and an officer arrived at my house later that night. I explained my story and had high expectations that they would do something about the situation, since it was an on going thing. The officer first told me there is nothing she can do or will do. She went on with her assumptions, saying she felt the person who was doing this to me was not from Vancouver. Although, I told her I had a strong feeling it was someone from Vancouver, and to be more specific I told her I had a strong feeling it was someone I knew. She proceeded to tell me it was okay as long as the accounts have been suspended and deleted, and to update her if anything else happens.

I then asked her.. “What about Amanda Todd, the police were able to track her harasser all the way to Europe.”

The police officer said, “Well, I have confidence that you would not harm yourself because of this situation, and unless this situation becomes more serious I will then put more resources towards this case.”

It was unfortunate the police were useless to me once again.

April 23, 2015 – The twitter account was finally suspended.

At this point I am happy the account is suspended, and it hurts to know that the people who’s job it is to protect you are of absolutely no help. I am upset about being cyber bullied. However, there are many young individuals out there that may not have as thick of a skin as I do, and its sad and ironic to see Canada offer $3.3M to combat cybercrime in Central America, Caribbean (Canadian Press, 2015). When the RCMP aren’t even willing to combat cybercrime that is taking place right in their backyard.

To everyone who is reading this, the only thing I can say really is be smart about using social media. The photo this person stole from my Facebook account was of me getting ready for a High school dance with my friends when I was 16 years old. Social media is a love/ hate relationship, and I would have never thought I would be a victim of cyber bullying.

50 thoughts on “Cyber Bullying – My Story

  1. Tiff says:

    Brave girl stay strong! Someone is jealous of who you are and what you have and this is their sad way of trying to bring you down! Take it as a compliment and use it as a motivation to help you stay as an amazing human being loved by your friends and family!

    Liked by 1 person

    • X says:

      This has been happening to me for the last three years, it’s a nude shot of some one who looks exactly like me!! Tumblr… Fb… Twitter.. Tagging my ex boss in the photo, creating multiple accounts.

      Police absolutely useless as in your story. So utterly helpless with what to do

      Like

      • darkonc says:

        One legal path to take might be to start a lawsuit against this (yes, anonymous) person. The charge would be (among other things) libel/slander. You could also include the revenge-porn statute as a tort. (yes, you can sue someone over criminal actions — that was decided as a side effect of the Clayoquot Sound cases).
        Once you do that, you would be able to subpoena twiter et. al. for the IP addresses and times of the perp — then go to their ISP to connect that data to a specific subscriber.
        It’s a rather convoluted process, would probably be expensive if you paid a lawyer to do it, but you might be able to find a lawyer (friend) to take it on a part time/pro-bono basis (It’s just ‘the right thing to do’, and it could be the source of some decent publicity,)
        or just do it on a hobby basis (you’d end up learning loads about the legal system).

        I’m not a lawyer myself — I’ve just done a bunch of (pseudo) legal work on a hobby basis over the years.

        Like

  2. deee says:

    hi andrea,
    i found your post via a mutual friend of mine on facebook and i cannot tell you how much this post made me so upset. as a female and a woman that wants to enter the law field, i can’t believe the police had the audacity to tell you that there was NOTHING they could do. it sickens me to think that they believe that if someone were to go as far as committing suicide, it would be something worth while of investigating. i’m sure there are good police officers out there that can help you with your case. i would have gotten those two officer’s names and filed a freaking complaint for their stupidity because this is so angering. on a positive note, thank you for staying strong, and i’m sure you’re an amazing person. hopefully this asshole receives the punishment they deserve.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. RandomReader123 says:

    It’s not that they can’t do anything about it, it’s that they don’t care enough to do anything about it. Report the incident to the police chief or even the police ombudsman. That will get their attention.

    CSIS and bill C51 could easily track the person down. Facebook and Twitter have IP logs pointing at the person that created the accounts. If police even bothered to ask, that would have the address belonging to the internet subscriber over night.

    Like

    • RandomReader123 says:

      It’s definitely harassment with intention to cause malicious damages. Even separate of the internet medium, that is criminally punishable behavior. You may be entitled to compensation for damages as well.

      If anything, referring to it as “bullying” is separating the criminal aspect too much, because historically people think bullying is what happens between children when there is no permanent damage.

      At the stage of targeted harassment with malicious intent to humiliate someone publicly, and perhaps get them fired from work, that’s no longer a child’s game. That is brutal malicious behavior.

      Like

    • VanKnight604 says:

      Actually it is bullying. This person has been tracking Andrea for whatever nefarious reasons and constantly making sure people in her life and future employers see this. “A nasty thing” is to do this once. Doing it over and over constitutes bullying.

      @ndrealynn, When I was first reading your article, I was thinking to myself “she should bring up Amanda Todd’s case”, and then you did… It’s really sad that that police force is so useless it decides not to help. I’m glad you’re able to come out above this, despite their incompetence.

      Like

    • darkonc says:

      cyber bullying, libel/slander, Distributing child pornography, now revenge porn. If a prosecutor wanted to go to town on this creep, (s)he’d be in a deep legal morass.

      Like

  4. someoneorother says:

    the original photograph was taken when you were 16? and it was photoshopped – then it’s CP. Reposting photos of unclothed minors is against the law, and that is how you could hang your case on when you contact the police again.

    Like

  5. Bruce McIver says:

    Saw your story on Reddit. I’m sorry for all that stuff. You shouldn’t have had to go through it. Sorry.

    Like

  6. m says:

    I truly admire how you’ve handled this whole situation. I truly hate everywhere in this world that never treats a matter when it has already resulted in tragedy. Why always wait until something terrible has happened? They always say they are there to help, but once and once again, they prove their incompetence. Thanks for writing about your story and I hope it will continue to inspire and teach one to stay strong and fight again cyber bullying. Keep it up girl! 😉

    Like

  7. Celina says:

    When I read your story, I was really disappointed in our police system. This is unacceptable harassment and it is a crime! If you ever decide to create a petition on change.org to lobby/shame the police into doing something about this, I would be more than happy to sign it and encourage others I know to sign it too. Stay strong!

    Like

  8. lulumumlulumum says:

    As a local blogger, I’ve been there. My cyber bully never crossed that kind of line but he was very persistent and relentlessly schemed different ways to damage my reputation and publicly embarrass me. It started off with him being a blog follower and a friendly commenter. At that time I was getting a lot of harassing rude comments on my blog and I had no idea it was him using fake names, but it was (it all came out later and he’s admitted to it). He’s had at least 15 different aliases he uses on facebook and in comments. He’s gone so far as to enlist friends of his whom are local to me (he is not) to harass me on his behalf and use my craigslist sales ad against me (setting up fake pickup times – leaving me hanging) I don’t know why people like this get so obsessed with harassing some random blogger they don’t know personally but it happens quite often. All you can do is keep detailed notes, screen shots, note ip addresses and aliases and search to see if this person has done the same thing on different forums. My harasser was removed from a pretty large apple forum for the same type of behaviour over there.

    Like

  9. Natsu says:

    “Well, I have confidence that you would not harm yourself because of this situation, and unless this situation becomes more serious I will then put more resources towards this case.”

    What does it take I wonder… Lives being lost before they decide to take action? What’s the point then?

    People really have nothing better to do than to pull stupid stunts like that. I am glad you’re thinking about things clearly. Don’t give in to people like this! Next time maybe it would be good to make their handles public, so that anonymous hackers could help you track them down or something. I wonder if twitter or facebook in this case would be able to help out. I am sure they can track their address down with ease.

    Like

    • I.T-Girl says:

      I agree, but Facebook doesn’t seem to help much. I’ve read articles with victims and Facebook not doing much to help. I would contact Anonymous. They’re a group of hacker/activists, they’ve helped others especially female victims of cyber bullying/rape.

      Like

  10. Tammy Lacroix says:

    I found your blog because of vice magazine. im glad to see you havent let these bullies crush you. the rest of yr blog is pretty good too. you should consider monetizing it. its pretty easy to set up (easier if you blog with blogger) and its pretty good passive income if you have traffic. you get a lot of hits! good luck!

    Like

  11. El Gordo Loco says:

    Amazing that with a case of child pornography they would not trace the original poster.

    What if you lawyered up in order to file a lawsuit vs Twitter, Facebook, etc… Would they not be legally forced to disclose some sort of paperwork leading to the trail of the person creating the account they eventually deleted? You could then simply drop the lawsuit.

    It MUST be someone you know, unless this is some freak occurrence of a random psychopath..and why would a stranger risk child-pornography/criminal charges with no motive..Its 99.9% positive someone you know. Your 1st hunch is probably correct.

    Like

  12. H says:

    Hey Andrea, I am sorry to hear that you had to experience something like that.
    I think you handled the situation exceptionally. You did everything you could and you didn’t let anything from breaking your spirit. In the end, you will always have more positive support than the negativity created by individuals like this bully.
    Hopefully there’ll be more measures against this type of bullying in the future.

    Keep fighting the good fight and best wishes!

    Like

  13. Nik says:

    I, too, ended up naked everywhere online…except the bulk of the naked pics were not originally in the buff. My perpetrator spent countless hours teaching himself how to utilize Photoshop and other various apps and software programs to integrate audio, video, and animations into otherwise benign material. You are doing an amazing thing by speaking out. Keep living out loud and spreading awareness! It is in this manner that you will rise far above and beyond any limitations you once perceived to have come from your situation. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Like

  14. sweatyandfit says:

    This is insane. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. How dare someone think that they have the right to alter an image of you and use it to deface your name and your reputation. Not only that, but to also follow you through years of your life… It is unfair on so many levels, and truly disgusting. I hope that this is finally over for you! Glad that your story got out and people can hear the truth.

    Like

  15. Alex c says:

    Wow that is messed up, so sorry you have to go through this.
    I hope that whoever is doing this gets what is coming to them!

    Like

  16. Lindsay Ng says:

    Andrea!!!
    Hi, my name is Lindsay and I just stumbled upon your blog, and I must tell you that I am absolutely astonished by how completely useless the police were to you. I want you to make this a case that you consider… It may be a stretch; I completely understand how upset you may feel with someone taking a picture of 16 years old you and photoshopping it. Okay. Let’s think of it this way, suppose you could make it a case to the police that given your age at this time, this is indeed a case of child pornography and pornographic images disputed against your own will especially being under aged. Further more, this defamation has not only tarnished your well being and reputation as a respectable person, hindering you from your right to education (connections with jobs and employers) and impacting relationships with your peers. You should not have to sit behind a computer screen wondering who this culprit is and take immediate action. Please, I am more than willing to help you if I could go beyond this comment in any way. The more publicity this gets; I am nearly confident that the police will become involved. Continue being brave, strong and confident!

    Like

  17. winstonlee1 says:

    I was reading this I feel bad for you and for the person cyber bullying. Some people are stupid and creepy. He should get a life. Hope you are better now

    Like

  18. winstonlee1 says:

    Hi Andrea I was reading this i really feel bad for you. Some people are stupid and creepy. Hope your feeling better

    Like

  19. Tina says:

    I found your blog off a posting of your unfortunate situation on facebook. This happened to me as well except it was a nude photo…one I took of me…for ME. Chronicling my weight loss and fitness journey. Police did NOTHING, so I feel your pain. I recently heard of someone who copyrighted their photo which then made the perpetrators subject to piracy and copyright laws. It’s something I’m about to do for my photo….just a suggestion. It will also prevent future postings as the penalties are no joke.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Laura says:

    I’ve been cyber stalked and bullied for more than two years now. I’m trying to be strong enough to go tomorrow to the police and express what has been happening. I hope they help me. This person doesn’t seem to have anything else to do with his time. I’m sure is a male and like you, I suspect someone.

    Like

  21. Tom Creesle says:

    Can’t believe the police won’t do anything about this. Can’t imagine what you must be going through. The law needs to catch up with our modern world. It’s not what it used to be.

    Stay strong, and kudos to you for going public with this. I hope it helps others that have had similar experiences.

    Tom

    Like

  22. Stranger2 says:

    Just a reply to say great job on standing up for yourself. I admire your strength. I remember reading the Amanda Todd case and the person responsible was actually blackmailing numerous other young girls. I bet your stalker has other people he is “bullying”. He will get caught…. Sooner or later. I have been hacked in the past as well. My emails, Facebook….which I no longer have. Keep the faith and stay strong.

    Like

  23. Wesley says:

    Interesting point that seems overlooked. Feb of 15 you received a message from a “friend” and then a few months later, the next round is exposed by your boyfriend. Usually, people that do things like this are not random and distant. . .it is someone very close. Have the police question the boyfriend and other friend about how they found the photo. . . Amazing that the pictures were found so quickly and brought to your attention.

    Good look, I hope you find who is responsible and see them in jail!

    Like

  24. Carrie Lynne says:

    The most frustrating and crazy-making experience gets worse when you try to report it! I sound crazy when I describe the harassment that I continue to endure to anyone, particularly law enforcement. I am currently experiencing another round of cyberstalking/harassment from an ex boyfriend from almost 10 years ago! He lives in Vancouver, I have the IP address from the email, I have contacted the woman whose photos he uses to solicit sexual contact, and she is ready to report him too,… but we live in the US, complicating things further!

    Like

  25. fifi says:

    well done! for telling the police because it could have been even worse. the woman should not have sent those pictures because you do not know what the person could do. he might have hacked into details and found out where the woman could have lived and killed the parents.

    Like

  26. shr3w says:

    Whilst I can empathise with the embarrassment it must’ve caused you. You must understand the difficulty in attempting to track down someone on social. If you knew whom it was posting that photo, and could relay that to law enforcement, their inaction would be more of an issue. It’s not as simple as pulling an IP address anymore.

    The more important issue here is the fact people think they can send photos – on social media or (what they believe to be a private) channel and be “secure”. Secure in the sense there’s no way the recipient or, anyone man-in-the-middle isn’t a complete asshole. The internet is not safe, technology is not safe. How’s about people simply refrain from taking nudes. I know absurd of an ask right, you can say it’s your “right”. Sure, it is, but, people need to understand the inherent risks associated with doing so. Technology whilst great, opens you up to a shit ton of vulnerabilities.

    Liked by 1 person

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