Bullying is everywhere. It is not just something encountered at school, but also in the home, in the workplace, in society and now in cyberspace. It can ruin lives.
Please don't get me wrong, I am a great fan of online communities, which generally are informative, supportive and empowering. However online, like anywhere else, there are people who get their kicks from stirring up trouble and insulting others. There is a big difference between lively debate and personal insults or threats.
Usually we can deal with these 'trolls' just by ignoring them. But what happens when that unwanted attention turns into cyberstalking? Anyone who has ever received abusive comments on their blog or aggressive emails from a stranger (as I did once from an eBay seller) will know how disturbing it can be and how frightening an escalation of such abuse must become.
You may have noticed a small new 'stalker alert' button in my sidebar, just below the picture of Madeleine. Please click on it to see what I am referring to in this post and how you can help, then go straight here for updates.
Update 8/6/07: The cyberstalker is in custody and Rachel has asked that we all remove our buttons.