Defamation and cyberstalking?

How do you deal with it? Offline recommendations welcome, attorney references especially.


[quote]How do you deal with it? Offline recommendations welcome, attorney references especially.
Defamation and “cyberstalking” are two very different things, and I deal with each of them differently.

I’m wondering what you mean by “offline recommendations”. Are you asking for recommendations to be made to you “offline”, and , if so, how do you expect that to be accomplished?

While not an “offline” recommendation, and given the “duality” of your question, my first recommendation is to educate yourself, either via the numerous online resources (just use Google), or by contacting an attorney who specializes in such things, regarding defamation.

Quite often what many report as defamation really does not fit that legal definition; perhaps most notably the stating of an opinion is not defamation, whether or not it is true. There are also other important types of “protected” or “privileged” statments that people often misconstrue as defamation, and there are other nuances between defamation, slander, and libel which are likely to be relevant. That is what lawyers are for, and IANAL (“I am not a lawyer”).

“Cyberstalking” is a term that is still evolving in it’s legal meaning and, at present, means different things in different jurisdictions and even other things in common usage.

If you feel that any “cyberstalking” you experience is of a potentially threatening nature, and you are concerned for your safety, I think you should contact your local law enforcement authorities, apprise them of the situation you are experiencing, and avail yourself of their advice.

If you feel that defamation or cyberstalking is being conducted against you using a particular service (ISP, webhosting service, Forum, IRC channel, Chat room, etc.) and is either illegal or a violation of that services Terms Of Service (ToS) or Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), you can always contact the service provider and ask for their assistance in dealing with the problem (in the case of DreamHost, you can email You should be aware however that, if the conduct your are experiencing is not clearly illegal or a violation of the ToS or AUP (or involve copyright issues, violation of the DMCA, etc.), they may only be able to suggest you contact an attorney for assistance.

All that said, my general answer is that I always attempt to resolve the issues directly with the party involved if at all possible though, given the “universality” of access to the internet and the sometimes misguided or inaccurate perception of anonymity, that is sometimes difficult to do effectively.

Your post seems particularly out of place on a “Beginner’s Forum” (“New to web design - or even the Internet itself? This is a place for those just entering the wonderful world of web publishing to ask questions and get help.”) It probably would have been more appropriately posted in “Off Topic Discussion”. :wink:


Private message.

Thanks for your advice.

I’m wondering, and call me paranoid, but why do you frequently check “who’s online” when you are logged in to the forum?

If anyone were trying to make their activity more inconspicuous, for whatever reason, they can just toggle the button that says “Do you want to be visible on the “Who’s Online” screen?”

And yes, the fact that you’re very up-to-date on who is checking what in the “Who’s Online” section of the forum does make you sound a tad paranoid. What happened to stress you out so much?

You are welcome, and I hope you found some part of my comments useful.

Probably for the same reason you did: Because I’m curious who is online and what they are doing. :wink:

Actually, I don’t check it as often as it might appear; I usually leave a window “logged in” here, and if I happened to have left it on that screen, that’s what will show up when you check to see “who’s online.”

Or, maybe you are not paranoid at all and I am a cyberstalker, and I’m stalking YOU! :open_mouth: ha ha ha.

Seriously though, I often participate in many threads simultaneously, and if I see a particular user is still online, it might help me decide which one to answer first.

Often someone will “hang around” a bit if they are anxious to get an answer, while others will just post and go to bed planning to check back for an answer the next day; I like to answer those that are still “active” first, if I can.

I also use it check if someone I want to pass a private message to is logged in and active. On occasion, I like having some idea of how often/when DH staff is around. :wink:

As pangea33 correctly points out, you can avoid being “observed” as being online on these forums very easily if you want - just change your profile settings. I probably should consider doing that myself, as I’ve been getting an increasing number of unsolicited PM’s of late.