Friday, December 4, 2009

Social Networking Encourages Cyberstalking

Many use Facebook & other social networking sites daily without being aware of the cyberstalking threat.

Examples Of Facebook Stalking Here and Here

Any bit of your information that you include is shown on your profile, which can lead to further problems.

Although many may think they're only sharing this information with your friends, Facebook has a "friends of friends" feature that allows your friends' followers to see the activity. If you decide you want a facebook/myspace /networking profile, then like me you need to have only ONE Profile and you need to "LOCK IT DOWN"! to people you know personally! and remove all friends of the cyberpath/psychopath/narcissist


Think it's just cyberpaths or ex boyfriends/spouse's who cyberstalk? think again, even male friends cyberstalk, even those with girlfriends or wives of their own. It's easy for cyberstalkers today to keep tabs on you, your life and activities with just a click of the mouse. Deleting web history and cache is practiced by thousands. Make sure the friends you have on your profile are people you trust.

Friends don't even need to speak to each other online anymore, they can just click on your name and find out all the need to know about how you spent the day/weekend/month, who you are dating or not dating, what you ate for dinner, what perfume you like etc.

These tidbits of information can easily be used to manipulate you or follow you, buying you gifts they know you will love, showing up at the movies where they know you are going to be, phoning and hanging up on you. Pitting one friend against another. Leaving cryptic profile status messages. The list goes on and on

Types of Stalkers and Stalking Patterns

Types of Stalkers and Stalking Patterns (Note: The following 6 categories have been defined by P. E. Mullen. However, even Mullen asserts that these are not entirely mutually exclusive groupings, and the placement of an individual is a matter of judgment. Like sexual harassers, stalkers may fit more than one profile, or begin with one approach and move to another. )

Rejected Stalker

The most common, persistent and intrusive of all stalkers, the rejected stalker is obsessed with someone who is a former romantic partner or friend, and who has ended their relationship with the stalker, or indicates that he or she intends to end the relationship. Depending on the responses of the victim, the stalkers goals will vary, and the rejected stalker usually struggles with the complex desire for both reconciliation and revenge. As Mullen writes, "A sense of loss could be combined with frustration, anger, jealousy, vindictiveness, and sadness in ever-changing proportions." This stalker may be very narcissistic, and may feel humiliated by the rejection. In most cases, they will have poor social skills and a poor social network. They are also the most likely to try to harm the victim in some way, and may employ intimidation and assault in their pursuit. They may become jealous if their victim enters or continues a romantic relationship with another person. A history of violence in the relationship with the partner is not uncommon.

Resentful Stalker

This stalker is looking for revenge against someone who has upset them--it could be someone known to the stalker or a complete stranger. The behaviors are meant to frighten and distress the victim. The stalker views the target as being similar to those who have oppressed and humiliated them in the past, and they may view themselves as someone striking back against an oppressor. Or, the victim could be a professional believed to have cheated or abused the stalker in some way. Often irrationally paranoid, this kind of stalker can be the most obsessive and enduring. While the least likely to use physical force, the resentful stalker is the most likely to verbally threaten the victim. They may use personal threats, complaints to law enforcement and local government, property damage, theft or killing of pet, letters or notes on the victim's car or house, breaking into the victim's house or apartment, or watching the victim's movements.

Predatory Stalker

The least common of all the stalkers, this is the classic sexual predator whose plan is to physically or sexually attack the victim. They are motivated purely by the desire for sexual gratification and power over their victim. This type of stalker is sexually deviant, has poor social skills, and usually has lower than normal intelligence. They usually will not have any direct contact with the victim while they are stalking them. This stalker may engage in such behaviors as surveillance of the victim, obscene phone calls, fetishism, voyeurism, sexual masochism and sadism, exhibitionism. The victim can be either someone
the stalker knows, or a complete stranger.

Intimacy Seeker

The intimacy seeker seeks to establish an intimate, loving relationship with their victim. To them, the victim is a long sought-after soul mate, and they were meant to be together. Also, they may have the delusion that the victim is in love with them--usually called erotomania. They may interpret any kind of response from the victim as encouragement, even negative responses. This stalker may write letters, send gifts, or call their victim. They may believe the victim owes them love because of all they have invested in stalking them, and is very resistant to changing their beliefs. The intimacy seeker has an inflated sense of entitlement, and if they recognize they are being rejected, this stalker may become threatening, or may try to harm the victim in some way, sometimes using violence. (In this way, they may become a rejected stalker, see above.) This stalker may become jealous if their victim enters or continues a romantic relationship with another person. After the rejected stalker, the intimacy seeker is the most persistent type of stalker. They are usually unresponsive to legal sanctions, viewing them as
challenges to overcome that demonstrate their love for the victim.

Incompetent Suitor

The Incompetent Suitor desires a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim but is impaired in their social and courting skills. This stalker may be very narcissistic, and cut off from victim's feelings (lack of empathy). The incompetent believes that anyone should be attracted to them. Typically, this stalker will repeatedly ask for dates, or call on the phone, even after being rejected. They may attempt physical contact by trying hold the victim's hand or kiss the victim, however, the will not become physically violent or threatening. The incompetent suitor is less persistent than others, and is likely to have stalked
numerous others in the past, and will probably do so in the future. They will quickly stop stalking if threatened with legal action or after receiving counseling.

Erotomaniac and Morbidly Infatuated

This stalker believes that the victim is in love with them. They believe this even though the victim has done nothing to suggest it is true, and may have made statements to the contrary. The erotomaniac reinterprets what their victim says and does to support the delusion, and is convinced that the imagined romance will eventually become a permanent union. This stalker may suffer from acute paranoia, and typically chooses a victim of higher social status. They will repeatedly try to approach and communicate with their supposed lover, and is typically unresponsive to threats of legal action of any kind. Without
psychological treatment, this stalker is likely to continue with their activities.

Cyberstalking and Cyberstalkers

Cyberstalking is an extension of the physical act of stalking; however, the behavior occurs using electronic mediums, such as the Internet and computer sypware. Someone who is physically stalking an individual may employ cyberstalking as another means to pursue, harass, or force contact. Or, cyberstalking may be the sole means of surveillance and pursuit of the victim. The stalker may join forums they know their target frequents, and pose as someone else in an attempt to contact their target, or they may contact other members to get information about the target or defame their character. They may use spyware to access their target's computer and the personal information contained within. Given the vast distances that the Internet spans, a "pure" cyberstalker will never move beyond electronic mediums and into physical stalking. Still, this does not mean that the behavior is any less distressing, frightening, or damaging, and a cyberstalker's motives can fit any of the categories described above. Moreover, given the ability of individuals to ‘mask’ their identity when using the Internet, linking the harassment to one particular individual can be difficult. Programs that mask IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, and anonymous remailers are merely two examples that hinder the identification of the stalker and their (digital) location.

Who Becomes a Stalker

Stalkers are usually isolated and lonely, coming from the "disadvantaged" of our society; however, a stalker can occupy any place in our entire social spectrum. Often, the stalking may be triggered by a significant trauma or loss in the life of the perpetrator, usually within at least seven years of the stalking behavior. (For example, relationship dissolution or divorce, job termination, loss/potential loss of a child, or an ill parent.) Most stalkers are not psychotic. In a comparative study of psychotic versus non-psychotic stalkers (Mullen et al. 1999), 63% of the sample was found to be suffering from a common psychiatric condition, such as major depression, personality disorder, or substance dependence--with personality disorder being the most common diagnosis.


Common stalkers are people who previously shared a romantic relationship with the victim, and former intimates are the most common type of stalking target. This can be either from a long or short term relationship.

Family members:

A stalker may target a member of their family, such as a parent or sibling. This would most likely be a resentful or rejected stalker, and they would target a family member they feel had rejected, humiliated, or abused them in the past.

Friends and Acquaintances:

The victim may be stalked by an intimacy seeker or an incompetent suitor motivated by a desire to start a romantic relationship with the victim. The victim may be stalked by a resentful stalker, typically a neighbor, who may be involved in a disagreement with the victim about something such as noise, the location of a tree, or pets.

Workplace Contacts:

In their study of stalkers, Mullen (et al) found that 23% had a professional relationship with their victim, most often a medical practitioner. Other stalkers may be supervisors, fellow employees, service providers, clients, or others who show up at the victim's workplace. Stalking behaviors directed at the victim may include: sexual harassment, physical and sexual assaults, robberies, or even homicide. A violent workplace stalker usually has a history of poor job performance, a high rate of absenteeism, and a record of threats and confrontations with people they resent in the workplace.


These are most commonly Intimacy Seekers and Incompetent Suitors, but may also be Predatory stalkers or Resentful stalkers. These stalkers may hide their identity from their victims at first, and reveal it after stalking their victim for some time in order to get closer to them. Victims may be Initially flattered when stalker approaches them and respond politely. They may even agree to go on a date with their stalker, after many requests. This can have the unintentional effect of encouraging the
stalker, and making them believe that their love is reciprocated.

Gender: Stalkers are far more likely to be male, however, women can also become stalkers. Women are more likely to target someone they have known, usually a professional contact. Men are less likely to pursue other men, while females will often target other females. The majority of female stalkers are intimacy seekers seeking to establish relationships, whereas men show a broader range of motivations, and are more often to be seeking to restore relationships. Women are as likely to use violence as men, and there does not tend to be a difference between genders regarding the duration of a stalking. Thus, while the contexts and motives for stalking may differ between men and women, the intrusiveness of the behaviors and potential for harm does not.

Once Upon Time On Facebook

Once upon a time, two people fell in love. It rocked.

They both changed their Facebook status to "In a Relationship" and posted pictures on their blogs of them kissing, laughing and frolicking. Then things went sour and they broke up.

In the olden days of, say, 2001, they would have parted ways and had little way to keep tabs on each other, outside of gossipy friends and occasional apartment drive-bys. Not anymore.

She watched his MySpace page and knew exactly when he started dating a new woman by his status updates. He looked at her Flickr photos and saw her having a great time at a Granada concert, and wondered, "Who's that guy?"

Cyberstalking is alive and well in the digital age, with many relationships continuing virtually long past the breakup through passive observation.

"It is creepy, but we're curious by nature," said Angela Faz, 31, who admits to mild curiosity about exes. "I try not to look!"

The view from online is tempting, because instead of driving by his or her house, you get an intimate view of your ex's thoughts, she said.

But that view can be painful, especially when the other person has started a new relationship or appears to be having a rollicking good time without you.

Oak Cliff resident Michael M., 33, is cyberstalking his ex and said he often wonders when the obsession will stop.

"I've found that since my breakup, I've had the need to keep up with my ex – is she dating, did she go to the fair this year (with whom?), what did she do for Halloween? Did she wear a costume we talked about last year? Is she keeping up with me, too?"

The situation is sort of like a sore in the mouth that would heal, if only you'd stop tonguing it.

"Am I doing it for pleasure – do I enjoy the torture and sometimes humiliation that goes with it?," Michael M. asked. "A friend once told me, 'You can glance at the past, just don't stare at it.' At what point does the staring begin?"

There's also a question of whether the observed person knows he or she is being watched and posts with that in mind. It could feel good to stick it to your ex by posting ambiguously sexual remarks on another (hot) person's profile.

Not that we would know anything about that. But even cyberstalking is still in relation to the two people involved and the length and intensity of their relationship.

The way this changes the psychological dynamics of a breakup is unclear – will it make it harder? Easier? Or just more complicated? Only time – and maybe a few SuperPokes – will tell. - Cyberpaths

Victims often do not tell their family , friends co-workers or supervisors about the person who is stalking them because they fear reprisals from the stalker or other employees, don't think they will be believed, or feel embarrassed about the situation. (For other reasons, see Confusion and Denial, on the home page)

Doctors, nurses, psychologists, or other healthcare providers may become the targets of stalking by obsessed clients or patients. (Or the other way around) Teachers may become stalked by students. (Or the other way around.) Psychiatrists are at particular risk for being the targets of stalking because of their contact with people with psychiatric conditions.

What to do if you're stalked -

Show no emotion, regardless of how scared or angry you are. Never confront or agree to meet your stalker.

Call local police to find out which officer is running the case.

Tell your friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues.

Keep evidence like texts, emails, letters and parcels. Record anything that could be proof and keep a diary.

If you get calls from a stalker, in the U.K. use 1471 to track their number.

If you're being followed, try to stay calm. If you're driving, head for the nearest police station to get help.

If you ever feel in imminent danger, call 999. (or 911 in the U.S.)

For great information/resources/help please visit Cyberpaths Exposed Online they have been tremendously supportive of me and other victims and work hard day in day out to educate the public on cyberpaths/sociopaths/the internet/stalking and therapy.