FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from

Monday, September 29, 2014

True Crime Online Newsletter - September 29, 2014

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Psychic: 'Mental forces' to blame for bending iPhones
An Israeli psychic known for purportedly bending metal objects with his mind says Apple's bending iPhone 6 woes could be explained by "mental forces." Uri Geller said during a visit to England there were "two possible reasons for the phenomenon" that has been dubbed "Bendgate" by unhappy iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners who discovered the phones bent after spending time in a user's pants pocket. "Either the device is extremely thin so that it bends when even a weak force is implied on it -- which is hard to believe for Apple has been conducting many tests and experiments -- or the energy and excitement of the millions of consumers stirred up their mental forces causing the iPhone to bend," Geller told MarketWatch. Geller said he is willing to help Apple shirk the blame for the bending devices. "I offer Apple to hire me in order to explain to the world that the phenomenon is not at all the company's fault." Geller said he knows from personal experience that its possible to bend a phone with one's mind. "I've bent my old BlackBerrys before," he said. Apple says so far a total of nine customers have complained to the company about bent iPhones.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Visit WHOA on the web at

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Man jailed over Twitter threats to rape British MP - 09/29/14
A MAN HAS been jailed for 18 weeks for a campaign of rape threats and other abuse on Twitter against a female MP in Britian. Peter Nunn, 33, targeted Labour MP Stella Creasy in July and August 2013 after she backed a campaign to put author Jane Austen on the £10 British banknote.

Law firm wins injunction against former client over online harassment - 09/29/14
A law firm has won an injunction against a former client who set up websites about the firm with its name in the URL, after the High Court deemed his actions to be harassment. The injunction also covered Rick Kordowski, who ran the infamous website, which was taken down following legal action in 2011, but was also involved in this case.

Confessions of a former internet troll - 09/29/14
Because I was 16 and because I was angry, too readily bored and too easily lonely, and because I wanted very badly to be accepted by anyone at all, I once spent the better part of an October weekend doing nitrous oxide in a San Diego hotel suite with a dozen or so hackers and internet trolls.

When Your Job Is to Moderate the Internet's Nastiest Trolls - 09/28/14
Alex Chrum can easily recite the most common sexist, racist and homophobic slurs. She’s privy to some of the most hateful language you’ve ever heard. And for about a year, she read it over and over again, every single day. Chrum, 25, became fluent in such viciousness thanks to her job moderating online commentary and trolling. As a content specialist for, a site that invites users to discuss controversial topics, Chrum had to wade into the dark, sometimes poisonous muck of Internet comments. Each day, she sifted through 50 to 200 questionable posts, trying to decide what to publish and what to let rot.

Trolling and talking smack on Yik Yak - 09/28/14
Our parents always warned us to ‘never talk to strangers’, but they never warned us about something like this. The latest craze in social media is an app called Yik Yak which functions much like an anonymous Twitter. Instead of tweets, users can send out ‘Yaks’ to those in their area.

Rise of the disturbing 'Sprouter' trend: Parents' fears over Instagram accounts where young schoolgirls are urged to post provocative pictures - 09/28/14
A disturbing new trend, which sees schoolgirls posting racy and provocative images online, has now got the attention of concerned parents and police. New social media accounts, on Instagram, are circulating and collecting pictures of 'sprouters', a term used to describe a young girl or boy 'sprouting' into an adult. Numerous Brisbane accounts have already been created, with photos revealing pictures of a scantily clad schoolgirls as well as shots of young boys wearing little clothes.

Dangers lurk on cellphones - 09/27/14
Used to be, kids had to go looking for trouble. Now, all too often, it is in their back pocket. Cellphones are a communications tool that can keep children and parents connected for convenience or when help is needed. But your children’s cellphones can also be a connection to websites that are questionable at best, a link to those who would prey upon them and a way for teens to engage in activities that could harm them now and in the future.

AUPE sues tweeter, blogger in $500,000 defamation suit - 09/26/14
The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees has filed a $500,000 defamation lawsuit against a local tweeter, an Ontario politician and an unidentified blogger for Internet statements about an ongoing labour strike. The lawsuit, filed in late August, claims that Kathleen Smith ­­ known on Twitter as @KikkiPlanet­ ­ and Jason Tucker, a politician seeking the Conservative nomination in the new federal riding of Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas made “false and defamatory statements” about the union.

Cyber-bullying and video games - 09/26/14
The saying goes, “kids will be kids.” But what does the life of a modern kid in American, European, and Asian countries share? Internet access. Bullying – the physical, school-ground kind – has actually been classified as a public health issue. It wasn’t until the mid-90s where instances of cyber-bullying garnered enough attention to warrant a subset classification, primarily because the effects of cyber-bullying were either identical or more severe than physical bullying. These include emotional stress, self-harm, and in rare cases, murder or suicide.

Facebook 'vigilante' put paedophiles' addresses on internet, court hears - 09/26/14
A man who denies running a Facebook witch-hunt against paedophiles is to be asked to reveal whether he posted a rapist's address, the High Court has heard. A lawyer for defendant Joe McCloskey confirmed he had asked his client to provide an unedited version of a post that appeared to detail where an offender lived.

Domestic Abusers Use Technology To Trace Victims - 09/25/14
Smart phones and G-P-S devices have transformed the reach of domestic violence as technology has become a new strategy for abusers to stalk and harass their victims. Janet Duffy, Executive Director of the YWCA works with victims of domestic abuse and says this type of abuse is about control.

Former cellmate of accused family killer investigated for threatening witness - 09/23/14
While Michele Anderson awaits trial for allegedly murdering six of her own family members in Carnation nearly seven years ago, KIRO 7 has learned a woman she befriended in jail is being investigated for threatening a potential witness for the prosecution. According to documents just filed in King County Superior Court, the witness -- who’s also an extended member of Anderson’s family -- received an anonymous text on Sept. 8 that read, “Good morning how are you doing today. (sic) Are you still at your house? I hope you are safe there…”

Websites Are Wary of Facebook Tracking Software - 09/23/14
Online retailers and publishers are pushing back against Facebook Inc. FB -0.14% 's efforts to track users across the Internet, fearing that the data it vacuums up to target ads will give the social network too much of an edge. Web traffic experts say there is less data flowing from some sites to Facebook, suggesting they have been reprogrammed to hold back information.

Monday, September 22, 2014

True Crime Online Newsletter - September 22, 2014

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Chicken iPhone case part of KFC giveaway
KFC Japan is celebrating "Colonel Day" with a giveaway including chicken-themed computer accessories and an enormous iPhone 5s case. The Japanese wing of the U.S.-based fast-food company announced earlier this month it is celebrating the Sept. 9 birthday of founder Colonel Sanders, born in 1890, by giving away items to Twitter followers including a computer keyboard with chicken shapes instead of letters. The company announced late last week the giveaway will also include a massive iPhone 5s case shaped like a friend chicken drumstick and an enormous desk pillow that users can wear "as a helmet." KFC's ad features an animated colonel laughing at how the iPhone case is "so big," and a girl in the pillow ad comments, "You can use it as a helmet ... You can put your hands in it!" The items, along with other chicken-related accessories including earrings, will be given away to followers of the KFC Japan Twitter account who enter by using the #KFCColonelsDay hashtag prior to Sept. 24.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Visit WHOA on the web at

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

YouTuber Makes Videos Harassing Women, Receives Awesome & Appropriate Backlash from Laci Green and the YouTube Community - 09/22/14
Two days ago, YouTuber Sam Pepper uploaded a video to his channel called “Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank,” which sees him approaching and violating unsuspecting women on the street. Despite the obvious sexual harassment in the video, YouTube has yet to remove it – and it’s inspired the YouTube community (and the greater internet) to speak out against both the video, and Pepper.

How 'home hackers' spy on you and your children... with YOUR webcam: The shocking evidence that shows how private lives are snooped on and streamed live on web - 09/21/14
Security camera footage from inside homes, offices and shops across Britain is being intercepted and broadcast live on the internet – without the owners’ knowledge. A Mail on Sunday investigation can reveal that ‘home hackers’ are easily able to spy on people going about their daily lives through cameras that were installed in homes to improve security. During a two-hour period last week we watched an internet website – available to anyone in the world – and saw footage from British locations of:

This Room Shows How Awful It Is To Be A Woman Online - 09/20/14
Amy Roth, also known as "Surly Amy," is an L.A. artist and writer. She writes about vegan cuisine and for the skeptic site, Skepchick. She founded the Los Angeles Women's Atheist and Agnostic Group (LAWAAG), and she also gets harassed online a lot. To provide an experience of what it can be like to be a woman on the Internet, she and her colleagues created 'A Woman's Room Online.' It's an 8 by 10 foot room in which every surface is covered in examples of harassment she and others have received.

Peoria Mayor Twitter Parody Account Led To A Police Raid, A Drug Charge And A Lawsuit Against The City - 09/19/14
Parody accounts have proliferated on Twitter almost since the dawn of the micro-blogging platform. And far from being exempt, politicians have frequently been the subjects: Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, Queen Elizabeth and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have all been subjects of parody Twitter accounts, and as far as we know, these high-profile figures accept a certain amount of ribbing as part of their job.

How Cyber Mobs and Trolls Have Ruined the Internet­and Destroyed Lives - 09/19/14
During the summer of 2008, “Anna Mayer” was getting ready to begin her first semester in graduate school. In her spare time, she wrote a pseudonymous blog about her weight struggles, body acceptance, and other personal issues. She enjoyed interacting with her readers and commenting on other blogs; it provided a support system and sounding board for her ideas.

Grimsley High School Girl Faces Cyberstalking Charge - 09/18/14
Police arrested a Grimsley High School student for her connection to a cybestalking crime on Wednesday. "Cyberstalking is when somebody threatens with bodily harm, showing pictures to embarrass or any kind of false things put out on the internet in reference to someone," said Greensboro officer E.Y. Watkins.

Smartphones help stalk, control domestic abuse victims - 09/18/14
Most people are familiar with how Big Brother or the NSA uses our data to track our preferences, spending and location, But there's an even darker side. Spouses, lovers and exes secretly watch their partners ­ from a distance. They are cyberstalking ­ using digital tools that are a lot cheaper than hiring a private detective.

Now You Can Serve Legal Papers Over Facebook - 09/18/14
It's been a while since Facebook was fun and games and casual internet stalking, but who among us could have predicted that someday we'd be able to use the social networking site to serve our spouses divorce papers? The future is now! The Post reports that a Family Court official ruled that one Staten Island man is authorized to use Facebook to notify his ex-wife that he will no longer be paying child support, in light of "traditional methods" having apparently failed.

Alert on hackers' attack on eBay which sees bidders redirected to malicious site in bid to capture their names and passwords - 09/18/14
Hackers have launched an attack on eBay which meant that bidders were redirected to a malicious site designed to capture their names and passwords. The scam was spotted by an eBay user based in Scotland, who accused the company of taking too long to remove and shut down the rogue account. He said the auction site was alerted to the problem on Wednesday night but did not remove the suspect listings until more than 12 hours later.

Massachusetts woman who threatened actor Kevin Spacey sentenced to more than 4 years in prison - 09/18/14
In a April 26, 2014 file photo, actor Kevin Spacey walks the green carpet as he arrives for the 15th annual International Indian Film Awards, in Tampa, Fla. A Massachusetts woman, Linda Louise Culkin of Quincy, Mass., who threatened to blow up, torture and castrate Spacey in what prosecutors called a “persistent and malevolent” cyberstalking campaign, was sentenced Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, to more than four years in prison.

Study Reveals that Harassers Prefer Facebook Over Other Networks - 09/18/14
Preliminary results from a study of online harassment reveal that the most popular venue for harassment, stalking and other abuse is Facebook. And it's fairly common for online harassers to target their victims for over a year.

Unlike! Facebook and Twitter could be fined if they don't take down material considered harmful to young people - 09/18/14
Twitter, Facebook and other online giants will face fines in Australia if they do not comply with plannned new laws to protect young people from harmful content online, the government says. In a major crackdown on offensive online behaviour targetting children, the government has announced the appointment of a Children’s e-Safety Commissioner as part of legislation to be introduced by the end of the year.

Zoe Quinn explains what it's like to be The Internet's Most Hated Person - 09/17/14
If you haven't been following the gaming press in the past couple of months, let me tell you: it's been a real shitshow. Death and rape threats are a repulsive part of the status quo for women in gaming but between targeting feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian and indie game developer Zoe Quinn, the vitriol seems to have been particularly vicious recently.

Grindr security flaw has potential stalking implications for Australians - 09/17/14
A PERTH university researcher has commissioned a study into the high rates of stalking within the LGBTI community, which comes in light of recent news of security flaws found in a popular hook-up phone app. Based on anecdotal evidence, the study by Curtin University senior lecturer Dr Lorraine Sheridan will examine the apparent higher-than-average rates of harassment and stalking experienced by LGBTI people.

Why it's a bad idea to sell your child's cheap tablet on eBay - 09/17/14
Parents understandably don’t want to spend excessive amounts of money on tablets for their children. Many choose to buy relatively low-cost Android devices from the supermarket, such as Tesco’s Hudl or Aldi’s Lifetab. Once the kids are done with the tablet, mums and dads often flog them on eBay to recover some of the expense. But researchers have warned this could be a privacy nightmare in waiting, as wiping functions on these devices have been known to fail, leaving data accessible to their buyers.

Yik Yak breeds rumors and cyberbullying - 09/16/14
Over the last few years, social media has become a place for many to share opinions quickly, publicly and ­ in many cases ­ without immediate consequences. Apps such as Yik Yak, however, have taken things further by allowing users to post messages anonymously, a move that opens the door to hateful rumors, bullying and other types of internet harassment.

Victims Still Fear Convicted Cyberstalker - 09/16/14
A Lincoln Park man is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday on charges of felony cyberstalking and residential theft, but even though he could be facing time behind bars, the criminal's victims still fear retribution. Jicheng "Kevin" Liu could face up to 14 years in prison for his crimes. One of Liu's victims, who asked to be referred to as Sherwood, says he's still putting his life back together after he and his wife marketed Liu's merchandise on eBay four years ago before discovering the goods were stolen and alerting police.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Back to School Means Back to Cyberbullying…

You know what I loved best about this summer? The lack of stories in the news about kids and teens killing themselves because they were cyberbullied. I have already been booked to speak at two schools this fall, which is sad, but good. One is a repeat – they want me to speak to their sophomores every year, which is even better. But I wish more schools would hire me or someone like me to come speak to students about how what they do online is there FOREVER. And that cyberbullying is never, ever cool. Or that sexting that photo of your boobs, penis or whatever is never a good idea. Or that app they use does not make the posts/photos disappear – they are still there somewhere. That’s good advice for adults as well – It will haunt you for the rest of your life. If you have children or grandchildren of school age, as long as your child is under the age of 18 and living under your roof, you have every right to know what they are posting online or sending via their smartphone/cell phone. You are paying for a roof over their heads, food on the table and their Internet and cell phone service, right? Then you can lay down some rules. My advice: 1. If your child has a password on their device, you need to know it. You also need to make sure they know you are not going to snoop on the device unless you need to. What would that be? If they suddenly start acting strange, don’t hang around with friends, spend way too much online or on their smartphone, their grades drop, etc or, heaven forbid, they disappear. 2. Set a time limit on all of the devices they use. If they have a laptop, netbook, tablet and/or smartphone, take it away from them at their curfew time at night. There is no earthly reason they have where they absolutely need to keep texting or chatting online into the wee hours of the morning. What they have to tell their friends can wait until the next morning when they wake up. 3. If they are allowed to use any devices in their bedroom, their door must be open at all times. If you walk by and they hide, turn over, or close their device, then it’s time to have a talk and see what’s on the device. 4. Go over the “rules of the Internet superhighway” with them. A good place to start is to exchange pledges – we have a couple on our web site at (they are on the left side of the main page). There is one for kids/teens and one for you. Sign and exchange them. 5. Make sure you encourage your child to come to you if *anything* happens to them online or via smartphone upsets or worries them. Most kids/teens are afraid to tell their parents they’ve clicked on a link to a bad (usually porn) web site or that someone is bothering them online. They are actually afraid *they* will be punished for something they have no control over. Many students have told me this after my talks at their school. Make sure your child can come to you for help. 6. If it is cyberbullying or online harassment, make sure they have asked that person to stop. A very simple “please stop contacting me” is more than sufficient. Then they should NOT respond after that, but should keep anything else that is posted online, sent to them, etc. If it continues, the school needs to be notified, especially if it is happening during school hours. If you know the child, a phone call to their parents may be in order. This is where keeping anything your child receives comes in handy. Then the parent can’t say their child didn’t do it. If there is a clear threat of physical harm, you should definitely call your local police and file a report. Don’t think it will just go away – if you or your child don’t do something about it before it gets worse, it can and will get worse. I do not want to read in the paper or see on TV you crying because your child killed themselves due to cyberbullying. 7. If you child is reluctant to talk to you or another adult, encourage them to go to our web site at and have us help them for free. We don’t contact the cyberbully, parents or the school. We can resolve 70% of the cases we get without involving anyone else. 8. Or they can talk to Phoebe, The Cyber Crime Dog at She has a form they can fill out on the page, become friends with her on Facebook and message her or follow her on Twitter. She has helped many students who would otherwise not seek help (and she has mad typing skills with her paws, lol). 9. I encourage you to put monitoring software on your child’s device and/or take advantage of parental controls on them, whether they are video came consoles, smartphones, tablets, or computers. We have a list of ones we have tried out ourselves – many have a free trial so that you can find one that suits your needs best. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry. Finally, we have a load of resources on our site at Please use them and please do refer others to the site. Questions? Please ask!

Monday, September 15, 2014

True Crime Online Newsletter - 09/15/14

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Cell phone lane created for texting pedestrians in Chinese city
A Chinese city has designated a section of pavement as a texting lane for pedestrians who choose to watch their phones while they walk. The 100-foot stretch of walkway in Chongqing, China, has been sectioned off into separate areas for those using their phones while on the move and a texting-free "no cell phones" lane marked by a sign featuring a phone with a line through it. Officials said the scheme was designed to highlight the dangers of walking without paying attention to the surrounding area. It's not the first time a city has implemented a texting lane for pedestrians. In 2012, Philadelphia installed an official texting lane across from City Hall as an April Fool's prank to raise awareness about the dangers of texting while walking.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Visit WHOA on the web at

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

'Revenge porn' on the rise - 09/15/14
Guernsey Police is warning islanders not to send intimate pictures and films of themselves to other people, it comes after the force has seen a rise in women being tricked into sending personal images to someone they have met online, then being threatened with having the pictures posted on the internet if they do not meet a demand.

SEGA Officially Banning Commenters Leaving Inappropriate Remarks on Photos of People - 09/14/14
SEGA of America has announced an update in its comment policies whereby anyone leaving inappropriate comments on photos of people will be banned/blocked from the company’s social media pages and channels. SEGA said that it has noticed a “disturbing trend” of derogatory and hateful comments, and personal attacks.

Zoe Quinn Told Us What Being Targeted by Every Troll in the World Feels Like -09/12/14
I just spent a few days trying to schedule a conversation with Zoe Quinn, the game developer whose personal life recently became a trigger point for millions of discussions of gamer misogyny. Contacting her wasn't easy. Even after she told me how to get a hold of her by phone, I knew I was calling a number that had been leaked onto the internet in order to harass her, so delays were understandable. I would be cautious if I were her. To make matters worse, a couple weeks prior, I had written an article about her ex-boyfriend, a guy I thought was just a young and naive computer nerd who pulled a dipshit move when he wrote a novel-length blog trashing her.

Comment sections are poison: handle with care or remove them - 09/12/14
It sits there like an ugly growth beneath articles, bloated and throbbing with vitriol. It groans as hatred expands its force, waiting for any point of dissent to break it – to unleash its full fury on targets who dare convey some measure of civility or dissent (if you want almost guaranteed hate, be a woman). Comment sections, to me, are the chronic pain centres of the internet, the part of the digital body we’re all forced to accept exists, but must manage by injecting policies and systems into.

40 possible Dutch victims of Amanda Todd cyber harassment suspect - 09/12/14
A prosecutor says a Dutch man suspected of possessing child pornography and blackmailing and harassing victims over the Internet with naked images of themselves may have victimized as many as 40 people in the Netherlands alone, and several dozen in other countries, including the United States and Britain. The 36-year-old suspect, identified under Dutch privacy laws only as Aydin C., did not attend a pretrial hearing Friday.

How One Woman Is Turning Her Online Harassment Into Art - 09/12/14
My good friend, Amy Davis Roth, is awesome. Or, more properly, awe-inspiring. On her own she is quite a person: A dedicated artist who produces cool jewelry, who creates wonderful paintings, who is an outspoken supporter of critical thinking and science, and who is also an intelligent, thoughtful, and vocal feminist. She does all this­and much more­every single day while slogging through an unbelievable miasma of misogyny.

Rock Island sheriff pleads guilty to cyberstalking - 09/12/14
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (I) announced Friday that Rock Island County Sheriff Jeffrey Boyd resigned and pleaded guilty to attempted official misconduct based on allegations of attempted cyberstalking. Boyd, 48, of Rock Island, entered a plea of guilty Friday, Sept. 12, before Judge Jeffrey O’Connor to one count of attempted official misconduct based on attempted cyberstalking.

Rejecting Violence, Both Real and Virtual - 09/11/14
It's a tale as old as time: When faced with the loss of power, the human reaction is to react with violence. You see it on a worldwide scale with military action used to gain power and to prevent the loss of power. And now, you see it on the Internet with violence used in comments and reactions to silence voices that are not meant to be heard.

Daytona man accused of cyberstalking, Facebook death threats, police say - 09/11/14
A 19-year-old Daytona Beach man was arrested after police said he went on Facebook and stalked and threatened to kill a former schoolmate who had offered to fix a multicolored blazer for the suspect but ended up losing the garment.

Stalking prosecutions rise by 20% under new law on harassment - 09/10/14
Prosecutions for stalking and harassment increased by more than 20% last year following the enforcement of a new law that criminalises behaviour causing serious alarm or distress. The number of cases are expected to grow, according to Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, as victims become more confident about coming forward to seek help, and as cyber-stalking becomes more prevalent.

Ice Bucket Challenge Bullies Messed with the Wrong Internet - 09/09/14
A group of bullies tricked an autistic boy into doing the popular Ice Bucket Challenge­only the bucket was full of human waste. The Internet rallied around the boy, and his tormentors have been identified. Social justice advocates are beginning to view sites like Instagram and Youtube as double-edged swords, acting not only as important tools for change, but also as attackers’ go-to choice for humiliating their victims.

NBC News producer is charged for 'secretly taping himself having sex with his girlfriend on Valentine's day and posting it on a porn website' - 09/09/14
An NBC producer was charged today after he allegedly made a sex tape with his unsuspecting girlfriend and then posted the video on a porn website. Carlo Dellaverson, 30, who is an NBC News digital producer, allegedly filmed the couple having sex on Valentine's Day on a hidden camera in their shared New York City apartment.

Answering the haters: An FAQ for trolls who have questions - 09/09/14
Yesterday, I posted an explanation at Slate about why I’m turning my Twitter mentions feed off and starting a new life with a dramatically reduced exposure to carping haters trying to make me feel bad about myself. I’ve been traveling and, of course, not checking Twitter mentions, so I haven’t seen much response to it. But I do know that sexists do not take it well when told they’re not entitled to a woman’s attention just because they want it.

Lawyer pleads guilty to cyberstalking charge in French Quarter noise ordinance feud, gets probation - 09/09/14
Stuart Smith, the New Orleans lawyer who sent a threatening text message to a vocal opponent of a controversial French Quarter noise ordinance, pleaded guilty Tuesday to cyberstalking.

What ‘GamerGate’ Reveals About the Silencing of Women - 09/09/14
For years, the online gaming community has faced criticism for its often abysmal treatment of women. But even more evidence of this systemic sexism has emerged in recent weeks, prompting a wave of denials and counterattacks from a huge number of gamers. Their vitriol, in turn, provides an excellent example of what crowdsourced silencing of already marginalized voices can look like­ and how chillingly effective that silencing can be.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

True Crime Online Newsletter - September 9, 2014

I couldn't make this up I tried. . .Welsh man's 'stupid' bourbon-chugging stunt
A Welsh man who posted a YouTube video of himself downing 23.6 ounces of Jack Daniels bourbon in 13 seconds said he now "deeply" regrets the "stupid" stunt. The video, filmed by friends, shows Will Williams of Caernarfon biting the seal off a 23.6-ounce bottle of 40 percent proof Jack Daniels bourbon and chugging the entire bottle in only 13 seconds. Williams instructs his friends in the video to "Neknominate that," a reference to an online drinking game based on dares. "It was something that I did jokingly and regret deeply," Williams told the North Wales Daily Post. "Straight away, I knew it was a stupid thing to have done." Williams said he was shocked to see the video accumulate more than a million views. "When I posted the video, I only expected friends to view it really," he said. The amount of alcohol Williams consumed in the video is more than seven times the daily amount recommended by Britain's National Health Service. There was no word Thursday on whether Williams' regrets included expelling the liquid the same way he ingested it after the video stopped recording.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Visit WHOA on the web at

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Crimes traced to social media on the rise, police warn - 09/09/14
An increasing number of criminals are using social media to target victims for robbery and sexual assault, while some online “friends” have turned into murders after meeting their victims in person, police records show. Status updates and other statements placed online also point to a rising awareness that social media is being used by criminals to target and win the trust of potential victims.

Cops identify people behind ice bucket prank on autistic teen - 09/09/14
Police have identified those involved in an incident in which the ice bucket challenge trend was used to trick an autistic teenager into being drenched with a bucket of urine, feces and spit. Authorities are not yet releasing the names, and are not discussing potential charges as the investigation is not yet complete, said Bay Village, Ohio, Police Chief Mark Spaetzel.

Reddit Bans Nude Celebrity Photo Subreddit, But Won’t Crack Down On Creepy Anti-Woman Community - 09/08/14
Popular online forum Reddit recently banned a page featuring nude celebrity photos that were part of a massive hack. But the site, often criticized for its lax response to misogynistic posts, has kept another page alive that publishes stolen nude photos of non-famous women. The decision to keep one page over the other puts its own free-sharing principles into question, and makes the site appear to value celebrities’ privacy more than that of average people.

Celebrities, nudity and other ways 4chan drives the internet hype machine - 09/07/14
The powerhouse of internet virality, 4chan, has achieved notoriety, and in a spectacular way. The release of hundreds of images claiming to show a pantheon of celebrities in various compromising, or at least awkward, positions has brought the many other social media channels alive with the sniff of salacious gossip.

For gamers, combating online abuse not easy - 09/07/14
While most attendees of Penny Arcade Expo come to the boisterous convention to play games, bag swag and meet like-minded people, a few take the time to investigate online bullying and why it's so prevalent among the gaming community. Therapist Stacey Weber, herself a gamer, is a bit mystified. "It just doesn't make sense," said Weber, who was part of a Saturday talk at PAX Prime called "Not Us, Not Here: Examining Bullying, Harassment and Misogyny."

Thousands of people spied on each year by opportunist stalkers using legal £25 gadgets- 09/06/14
Thousands of people a year are spied on by stalkers using cheap and freely available gadgets, experts warn. One woman was traced to the refuge where she had fled with her children to escape her abusive partner after he hid a tracking device in one of their teddy bears.

International Game Developers Association Taking FBI on Board to Tackle Harassment - 09/06/14
Last month, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) spoke out against what it considers abhorrent behavior against developers in light of the recent spate of personal attacks. The association has now gone a step further to tackle the issue by consulting with the FBI. The IGDA has confirmed that its working on some tools to help users cope with harassment by showing them how to minimize abuse and what preventative measures they can take. Apparently, the FBI has taken an interest in online harassment and is looking to crack down on perpetrators. IGDA Executive Director Kate Edwards, who met with FBI officials in July for this purpose, said:

'My Facebook stalker should have been jailed' says his Derby victim - 09/05/14
A WOMAN abused on Facebook has told of her relief that two years of abuse has now stopped – but feels her stalker should have been sent to jail. The Derby woman says she now wants to get on with her life after Dale Blackwood pleaded guilty to one count of harassment when he appeared at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court yesterday. The court heard how Blackwood began stalking his victim after he felt she "disrespected him" when they briefly met in 2011.

10 Social Media Blunders That Cost a Millennial a Job ­ or Worse - 09/05/14
A generation that lives its life on Facebook and Twitter learns the hard way that the bar for what can get you fired is surprisingly low. As managers grow savvier (and Facebook privacy settings grow meaningless) it is increasingly foolish to assume that those years-old photos of you double-fisting shots won’t come back to haunt you­and maybe even wreak havoc on your career. A whopping 73% of recruiters check out social media profiles of prospective hires.

Stalkers can use social media to harass you at the click of a button - 09/05/14
In this age of Twitter and Facebook, sometimes the connection to lost loves can be a click away. But sometimes that's not always a good thing. Stalking cases are on the rise thanks to social media. Quincy therapist Jerry Walker told KHQA social media definitely has an influence in creating rifts in a relationship.

Broadband's bawdy breach - 09/05/14
Perhaps you aspire to fame and fortune, the chance to walk the red carpet at the Oscars to the cooing of adoring fans and to have gossip columnists taking note that you were seen spooling pasta at Wolfgang Puck's while canoodling with another international sex symbol.
Career planning ­ it's a wonderful thing. But as with all matters of the cult of celebrity, there is a cautionary tale. Apparently there is an unwritten rule in the world of being a VIP (Very Important Pin-up) that requires having naked pictures of yourself taken by a paramour, which eventually ­ much to your carefully orchestrated chagrin ­ make their way into the cheesy cybersphere.

Catch Cyber Harassment in the Catfish Net - 09/05/14
Cyber-stalking and online harassment is a serious issue for many people. It can range from unwanted comments on social media sites like Facebook, to full on hateful behaviour. Often teenagers are targeted by online bullies, and others, but it can be far worse. Seeking a solution, Crystal Ball Apps of Folsom, CA has developed a new Facebook App called the CatfishNet. Crystal Ball Apps says, “By one definition, “Catfish” are bottom-dwelling, slime-sucking scavengers that feed off of the dead & decaying flesh of other creatures. That is pretty much the same definition we use for the CatfishNet App.”

Harassment doesn’t need curse words to be harassment - 09/05/14
I’m excited to announce a new art installation, for those of you in L.A., by the fantastic Amy Roth. Titled “A Woman’s Room Online”, it’s a depiction of how it feels to be the target of a gendered harassment campaign online, something that sadly seems to be happening more and more frequently.

Despite security flaws, legal failures: How to fight revenge porn - 09/04/14
The celebrity stolen nudes scandal has shined an uncomfortable light on everything from cloud security to sexual privacy. Now there's finally a very public conversation happening about how hard it is for women to fight online attacks such as this. I think it's time to talk about fighting back. It has never been more clear that when our intimate photos are shared without our consent, we're failed by every system we need to be able to trust.

Dating apps increase sexual harassment likelihood - 09/03/14
It’s no secret more and more relationships are started online, and with nearly half of dating app users being college students, it’s almost as if it is slowly becoming a norm to meet people on one’s phone rather than in person. Whether this will prove to be more than a fad has yet to be seen, but with so much personal information on the Internet through websites like Facebook already, it’s really not surprising that online relationships have started to take campuses everywhere by storm.

Indonesian student faces six years in jail for defaming an ENTIRE city by calling it 'stupid' on social media - 09/02/14
Law student Florence Sihombing could be facing jail time time over a social media post in which she complained about the service at a petrol station in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta. The postgraduate law student was arrested Saturday afternoon after complaining about the service she experienced at a petrol station. Ms Sihombings lawyer said the 26-year-old tried to bypass a long queue of scooters waiting for subsidised fuel by joining a queue for more expensive unsubsidised petrol, at which point she was refused service.