[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 email@example.com). 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”.