I was dating someone a while back. Doesn’t matter who.
Shortly afterwards I started receiving emails from sockpuppet accounts on an online dating site which we both frequented. It was easy enough to tell who they were from, because after a few how-are-you your-profile-looks-interesting getting-to-know-you exchanges, they would make the same claim as the person whom I’d been dating: specifically that all of my female friends were whores and cunts, and that I was having sex with all of them.
Also that I was going to get what was coming to me. That was new.
One I particularly remember, because it ended with the words “We know where you live.”
It got to, I think, about three of these before I’d had enough and reported it.
Around this time Housemate Matt came home one day shocked and surprised because someone had thrown a stone at him in the street. He never did see who or find out why. It may have been unrelated. But I have my suspicions.
The last interchange I had with this person was via another sockpuppet account, this time purporting to be an old male friend. This time that someone I was seeing was ugly, and that they would see me in Leeds, where I was going for a conference.
Needless to say this old male friend didn’t exist.
At this point I’d had enough and spent a few hours looking up the law, and sent this to the latest sockpuppet.
Hi [REAL NAME REDACTED]
You’re probably not aware of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. Here’s a helpful link. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-change-to-the-protection-from-harassment-act-1997-introduction-of-two-new-specific-offences-of-stalking
You may be particularly interested in reading the guidelines on sentencing on that page.
You’re probably also not aware that your IP address, which tracks the computer you’re on, is recorded by [DATING SITE] whenever you access the website.
Get help. Do not pull this shit again.
The response from “jamessprat” was as follows:
I think you meant this for someone else, but will say hello in Leeds.
The harassment stopped, and I’ve never heard from them or their sockpuppets again. Which is all for the best. And, needless to say, the mysterious Mr Sprat did not turn up to say hello in Leeds.
During this time, I thought to myself that this, in some small way, must be what it’s like to be a celebrity on the Internet.
It was only a couple of days afterwards that I realised that wasn’t quite right, and the following was closer to the truth:
This, in some small way, must be what it’s like to be a woman on the Internet.