Posts tagged cyberstalker
Amy Klein (who now writes the illustrated column “True Confessions of an Online Dating Addict“) was an editor at Los Angeles’ Jewish Journal when her stalker announced himself on his blog. From then on, she could rely on (and sometimes fear) his attentions. And, as she admits in this most recent “Modern Love” column, she found it “oddly flattering.”
When you’re a journalist, cataloging the words and actions of others, you believe you are granted a writer’s type of diplomatic immunity — inured to being written about, reported on and critiqued yourself. Well, that’s how it used to be, before the Internet.
As Amy discovered, the internet changed the rules, and some bloggers don’t believe that even these new rules should exist. For bloggers who run on attention, giving them any credence fuels them:
I wasn’t familiar with the ethics of blogging (or lack thereof) in terms of what someone can write about you — without fact-checking or sourcing or the other protections that journalists have in place. It was exasperating to have these random claims and judgments about me out there for anyone to read. But complaining about it, as I discovered, only gave him more material:
“About 10 p.m., I was wandering around when I saw the young female managing editor of The Jewish Journal, Amy Klein, dressed as a black cat. I waved at her and she waved a reproving finger back: ‘Don’t write about me on your blog!’ she reprimanded. Rabbi Wolpe then walked by. Amy said to him, while pointing at me, ‘This man is dangerous. He has this blog where he writes about people.’ ”
Writers want to know that we’re reaching people, that the random letters we string together will form a bridge between us and others, enabling us to connect better with people who are actively part of our present and who may be part of our future. Attention is flattering, but there’s a line of comfort that’s different for everyone. In person, when someone crosses a line, you say no, and that should be respected.
It’s been said that a person’s individual blog provides a space where that person can do whatever she or he wants–this is often articulated as “my blog: my rules.” When there’s this kind of feeling of anonymity/immunity in effect 24/7, why should you guard your tongue? Why shouldn’t you be “real,” or totally unfiltered? Why not say what you mean, when you mean it, and to hell with the world and its rules?