Cyber Stalking — Six Types of New-Aged Internet Stalker

A midst a high-tech virtual society, the twenty-first century has changed life for many Internet users. With popularization through mass media outlets, in early 2009, social networking has made an explosive impact on millions of users; effecting how information is gained and distributed. Social media has allowed for each globally diverse user to become his/her own media by allowing them freedom to produce content; based on their individual needs, wants, and desires. The revolution of social media has attracted millions of individuals who, before, would have never co-existed on the same medium. Social media sites such as Twitter, Digg, and Tumblr are growing rapidly — as a sign of changing times. The shocking growth on these mediums, and many similar, have produced an assorted make up of users, all in communication with each other; this expansion includes basic users, teachers, political figures, celebrities, businesses, and beyond. These users are without limitations; coming from all age groups, races, sexes, social classes, and locations. With public pages becoming increasingly popular and technology use increasing, the door has also opened for the negative behaviors of the Internet stalker. Safely from his/her own home these stalkers act to call distress to their victim(s), often using anonymity. Internet stalkers exhibit familiar patterns in their behaviors, acting out due to some type of rejection, jealousy, or criticism; the action of abandonment also feed the stalkers’ obsession, with the victim, and most commonly turn the stalkers rage into a motive of anger. The stalker, usually a loner who is socially inept in today’s society, will harass their victim(s) through a variety of unwanted and obsessive contact; such as messages, emails, comments, and even gifts. Linked with mental illnesses, psychologists has grouped the new-age Internet stalker into six specific categories –- each with unique differences.

Type One – The Delusional Stalker – These Internet stalkers have a history of mental illnesses, usually untreated, such as schizophrenia, manic depression, or borderline personality disorder; but are not limited to a single psychological illness. Delusional stalkers are often in denial of their mental illnesses, which can manifest for a variety of reasons, and even profess to others they do not have any type of mental illness — this is done, as a method of attention seeking, so to appear normal to society. Their stalking and harassment are evidently reflective of their preexisting mental disorders. For example: The delusional stalker may freely talk about hearing voices, have abnormal beliefs of concrete facts, form love to hate relationships with friends, fail to understand the needs of others, or profess their normalcy when a mental illness is mentioned.

Type Two – The Intimate Stalker – These Internet stalkers are the most common of the six defined types. The intimate stalker cannot accept that his/her relationship has ended and begin to stalk the partner through the Internet. The victim usually has no knowledge they are being stalked, and when they do the stalking has intensified. The intimate stalker believes that the stalking attempts, professed love, bullying, threats, or public shame will harm the partner or win back the affection of that partner. These stalkers do not think rationally but with a wounded heart and are most commonly female; but males can also be intimate stalkers as well. Intimate Internet stalkers resort to upping their harassment tactics when their victim(s) communicate with other people; such as friends, new love interests, or those of the same sexual orientation; in most cases these individuals are also harassed, threatened, shamed, and warned to keep away by the stalker.

Type Three – The Vengeful Stalker – The most dangerous and destructive types of Internet stalker are known, to mental health professionals, as the vengeful stalker. These Internet stalkers should be considered dangerous as they are more apt to take their online obsessions to real world form. The vengeful stalker are not limited to obsessive stalking techniques, profane bullying, or sexually explicit harassment. Operating with the motive to cause misery to the victim, this type of stalker may act to publicly shame or create falsifications to assassinate the character of the victim; these actions may also pin the victim against friends and family. Vengeful stalkers take it upon themselves to gain personal information at no cost, living in unclean conditions, failing to function in real life, of living on quick fix foods; during this time the stalker may stay up for days, disregard their responsibilities, ignore others, disregard household duties, and stop bathing. Personal information is priceless to this type of Internet stalker, acting with revenge they may befriend the victim’s friends and family members to gain intimate details of the victim; or breech computer security to gain Internet Provide (IP) address. Depending on the skill, a single IP address may reveal the exact location and real name of the victim; leading to a real life obsession to be formed. This type is most commonly linked to crimes beyond stalking which involve kidnapping, assaults, sexually motivated crimes against children, and even murder.

Type Four – The Erotomanic Stalker – These Internet stalkers form non-existent relationships with their victim. Erotomanic stalkers, who may problems sexually, form relationships in their head; at any display of attention both positive and negative. These stalkers believe their actions, of abuse, will lead to the victim falling into love with them; and that any attention from the victim is a display of that love interest. The Erotomanic stalkers goal is to be loved, sexually fulfilled, or given attention; they may resort to violence to get their wants, desires, and needs met. These stalkers are very demanding of the victim, egotistical, and self-centered. Any communication to the victim from friends, lovers, spouces, family members, or stangers is perceived as a threat to the self created fictional relationship; usually causing a rapid increase in the stalking abuse.

Type Five – The Trolling Stalker – These Internet stalkers often post obsessively violent statements to their victims; these comments may also be controversial, irrelevant, inflammatory, and off-topic.  Not to be confused with the supernatural munchkin, trolling stalkers are very abusive in their attempts to gain more creditability then that deserved. These Internet stalkers derive their self pleasures by causing harm, electronically, to their victims; and usually act without the victim’s knowledge. Trolling stalkers wish death on their victims, steal content, mimic behaviors, copy actions, and threaten; with little to no self control. The exploits of such behavior is to up the creditability of the stalker so that the stalker can point the finger and blame the victim.

Type Six – The Predatory Stalker These Internet stalkers are classic sexual predators.  The predatory stalkers are motivated by the desire for sexual gratification and power over the victim. Usually sexually deviant, this type of stalker may also have poor social skills, and lowered intelligence; they most commonly keep to themselves as sociopathic individuals and come from a troubled existence with past hardships. This type of stalker should be considered very dangerous; victims and observers are encouraged to contact local law enforcement in protection of themselves and others. Sexual predators pray on those who appear to be weaker usually females and children; and may engage in behaviors such as surveillance, monitoring Internet activities, obscene phone calls, fetishism, voyeurism, sexual masochism, sexual sadism, and/or exhibitionism. Victims to this type of Internet stalker can be a known individual or complete stranger.

Those who are avid in social networking, using it in its full growing capacity, are more likely to be stalked by today’s Internet stalker; these users may not even be aware they are at risk. Victims are encouraged, by both police and mental health professionals, not to engage the stalker in any way; these stalkers exist to only seek attention from others. Those who are victims to today’s Internet stalker should know that the stalker behaves with immatureness that cannot be reasoned with as Internet stalkers do not behave with the same morals and values of the victim. While victims may not be able to stop these vile stalkers, they do reserve the freedom of peace on the Internet. This peace can be obtained by documenting all harassment at the time of its occurrence by screen shots; also victims are encouraged to also print out all tractions as a secondary method of record keeping. These records, along with a detailed description of the abuse and time frame, should be given to the local authorities, website owner, forum moderator, or social networking support; based on the harassment. These cases will be left open and can be added to as abuse occurs; all abusive observations need to be properly reported to the case worker. If it is believed life is at risk, contact your local law enforcement immediately –- using this method it is the victim has the power over the Internet stalker.

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