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 heartbreaking, 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 cyberbullying. 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 fall 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 cyberbullying. 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 there 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 burst 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 person’s 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 ongoing 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 cyberbullied. 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 to 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 cyberbullying.