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Monday, December 24, 2007

I really hate stupid reporters

Grr.

It happened again. A stupid reporter from a small paper in Oregon decided to take a quote out of his ass and attribute it to me.

Good lord.

Here's the "commentary" this idiot wrote:

Logic Fleeting in Online Gaming Safety Debate

This is what he wrote about me:

One of their so-called 'experts', alleged cyber-stalking victim Jayne Hitchcock, president of Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA), makes the claim that games are at fault because they "can foster more vulnerability than there might be on other virtual meeting spaces such as dating and social networking sites".

Hogwash! The games always warn you to be aware of unscrupulous folks and to protect yourself accordingly... especially they warn you to NEVER give out account information, credit card information or any other personal information unless you are sure about who you are dealing with, and even then to do so warily. But they can only hold your hand and protect you from your own stupidity so much.


Hogwash is right, since I never said that.

I was so peeved this morning, I sent him the following email, cc'd to the president of the paper and guess what? He can't even write his first name correctly as his contact email address. He wrote it as "neil" instead of "neal." What a moron.

Mr. Feldman,

You read an awful lot into the article about online gaming that I was interviewed for. The quote you attributed to me was not made by me. Read the article again (Online Game Meetings Sometimes End Tragically, but Phenomenon Remains Rare).

I said (in the article):

"When you're in a social situation like that ­ playing a game, having fun ­ you're comfortable with the people you're playing with," said cyber-stalking victim Jayne Hitchcock, president of Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA). "People are just not very careful. They lose all sense of reality and themselves."

and

"You're going to see a lot more of these stories, unfortunately," predicted WHOA's Hitchcock. "Nothing surprises me anymore in terms of the ways the Internet can be used to harm people."

Also, I am not a "so-called 'expert,'" as you also wrote.

I *am* a cyber crime expert and have been since 1997. Yes, I was once a victim, but because of my situation and the fact that I have helped change many of the laws on the books in over 40 states to include cyberstalking, I travel the country training law enforcement from the local to federal levels. In fact, I'm a featured trainer at the DoD Cyber Crime Conference for the third year in St. Louis next month. I also speak at schools, conferences, to librarians, and others, and head up two online organizations that help victims of online harassment and stalking. Please do not denigrate the hard work I do at WHOA (our help is free, by the way, for victims). We are the only organization that has the most up to date cyberstalking statistics, and yes, we have had cases involving online games gone wrong.

In addition, I have written two books about Internet crimes, the latest is the 2nd edition of Net Crimes & Misdemeanors (see netcrimes.net). Video Professor bought the options to my book to make it a 3-CD tutorial coming out in a couple of weeks. And I freelance for magazines about Internet crimes and safety.

I think you do yourself and the paper you write for a great injustice when you can't even use the correct quotes.

I suggest that next time, contact the person you are quoting to make sure you get it right. As a reporter, you should know better.

J.A. Hitchcock


I'm sure I'll get a truly witty reply to this.

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