True Crime Online Newsletter - February 23, 2015

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .College dean gets box of fake IDs meant for student named Dean
Four Radnor Township college students who ordered fake IDs from China made a cringe-worthy blunder. Police said an 18-year-old college student named Dean ordered a box of fake IDs and had them shipped to his campus address. What the student probably didn't think about was he shared the same name with a dean at his school. The package was delivered to the administrator, who open the box and found eight realistic-looking IDs, one complete with the student's real name. "You can't make this up," Radnor Police Superintendent William Colarulo told the Philadelphia Inquirer. Police linked the fake IDs to four 18-year-old men, but would not identify the men or the college. Local schools include Villanova University, Cabrini College, Eastern University and Valley Forge Military Academy and College. Police tracked the package to Guangzhou, China, and said it is part of a larger problem with fraudulent identification. The cards are easy to get and can be used for far more than sneaking into bars. There are many people who use these to commit forgery or credit card fraud," police Lt. Chris Flanagan said. The students are not facing criminal charges but have been referred to their parents and may face school sanctions.

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

Florida Camp Counselor Accused of Sending Threatening Messages to Kids - 02/23/15
A South Florida man faced a judge on Friday after being accused of cyber-stalking a 13-year-old boy and surrendering to police. 18-year-old Robert Yagid of Davie, Florida had previously counseled the boy at Camp Adventure at Tree Tops Park in Davie. Yagid is the son of a police officer. In court, Yagid was placed under an order for home detention with an ankle monitor, is not permitted further contact with the victim, and strictly limited internet and computer use. "You can only use a computer and internet access for school work," said Judge Carlos Rebollo in court.

Lamar County woman indicted for cyberstalking - 02/23/15
A Lamar County woman has been indicted for cyberstalking of a Purvis teen. Keri Jo Ford, 38, of Purvis was arrested Friday and charged with one count of cyber-stalking. Ford was later released on a $1,000 bond. According to the indictment, between Sept. 1st 2014 and Sept. 4th 2014 did willfully, unlawfully, intentionally and feloniously electronically communicate to another repeatedly for the purpose of harassing any person: to wit did repeatedly electronically communicate with Joseph Barrett, 19, for the purpose of harassing him.

Paedophile awarded £20k Facebook damages - 02/20/15
In a landmark verdict, Mr Justice Stephens held that both the social media giant and page operator Joe McCloskey were liable for misusing private information. He also ordered that the 'Keeping Our Kids Safe From Predators 2' profile at the centre of the lawsuit is to be terminated. Ruling for the sex offender who brought the privacy action, the judge said information published indiscriminately could have threatened public order and incited violence and hatred.

Death Threats Force Dev Out of PAX East - 02/20/15
Indie studio Giant Spacekat has announced that it will no longer attend next month's gaming convention PAX East in Boston due to threats of violence. Giant Spacekat studio head Brianna Wu, who has faced death threats before and appeared on national television to discuss online harassment, announced the news this week on the developer's website.

Iggy Azalea quits Twitter after ‘cellulite’ bikini pic spawns ‘hatred’ and ‘pettiness’ - 02/20/15
IGGY Azalea is “taking time away” from social media after a string of feuds and online harassment over her body. The Fancy rapper said she is done with “pettiness” and “hatred” on the internet in an epic rant on Twitter, announcing her departure from the site. “I need to be happy and this is too negative and draining,” Azalea tweeted.

‘Serial’ Truthers Are Now Doxxing Women - 02/19/15
Those who speak their minds about the podcast are often harassed online and sometimes targeted in real life. And for women with an opinion on the show, it’s much worse. Susan Simpson has been blogging about legal matters since she graduated from law school. For five years, she’s run her site without any disruption to her professional or personal life. Then, she tackled the murder trial against Adnan Syed, which had been launched into national fame thanks to the popularity of the podcast Serial.

Threatening texts lead to cyberstalking arrest - 02/19/15
Lafayette Police on Thursday arrested a New Orleans man accused of sending threatening text messages to a woman in Lafayette. The victim called police and showed them the messages allegedly sent by David Curley, according to the affidavit of probable cause. The messages read that unless she allowed him to get his belongings from her house, he had friends ready to attack her as soon as she left the house.

Terrence Howard Death Threats: ‘Empire’ Star Claims Ex-Wife Threatened Him - 02/19/15
Terrence Howard is receiving death threats. The Empire star filed a police report with the Los Angeles Police Department, and he has an idea who is behind the threats he started receiving via social media a year ago. According to TMZ, Howard claims his ex-wife, Michelle Ghent, is behind the posts on an Instagram account. He took his claim to the police, and it is now being investigated. The posts on Instagram started last year, and several have targeted Howard and his new wife. One post threatened the new couple saying that “won’t live to see [their] children.” Another targeted his wife with a post that claimed Howard was cheating on her. The post showed Howard out with another woman. Yet another post showed an empty pill bottle of Howard’s.

Feminist writers are so besieged by online abuse that some have begun to retire - 02/19/15
Jessica Valenti is one of the most successful and visible feminists of her generation. As a columnist for the Guardian, her face regularly appears on the site’s front page. She has written five books, one of which was adapted into a documentary, since founding the blog She gives speeches all over the country. And she tells me that, because of the nonstop harassment that feminist writers face online, if she could start over, she might prefer to be completely anonymous. “I don’t know that I would do it under my real name,” she says she tells young women who are interested in writing about feminism. It’s “not just the physical safety concerns but the emotional ramifications” of constant, round-the-clock abuse.

A Social-Media Mistake Is No Reason to Be Fired - 02/18/15
Jon Ronson's forthcoming book, So You've Been Publicly Shamed, can't reach front porches soon enough, assuming it resembles the adaptation published in The New York Times. The journalist and humorist revisits the stories of mostly obscure people who showed bad judgment (as every Internet user has done at one time or another) but were unlucky enough to become the focus of an angry digital mob. The nature of their transgressions varies. But in each case, the punishments arbitrarily urged or meted out by callous strangers on social media affected their lives for years, costing them jobs, causing them to flee from their homes, stressing their loved ones, and sending them into states of existential despair.

Tips for Protecting Yourself from Cyberstalking from 2015 M3AAWG Litynski Award Recipient Jayne A. Hitchcock - 02/18/15
One of the earliest advocates protecting cyberstalking and cyberbullying victims, Jayne A. Hitchcock received the 2015 M3AAWG Mary Litynski Award today for her efforts in assisting targeted individuals, training law enforcement, supporting anti-harassment legislation and teaching teenagers how to protect themselves from potential threats. The lifetime achievement award for her work as co-founder of Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHO@) and in aiding thousands of online victims was presented today by the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group at the M3AAWG 33rd General Meeting in San Francisco.

‘Whistleblower’ pleads guilty to harassing couple - 02/18/15
A defendant in a district court case yesterday was “effectively a whistleblower” against himself and others in proceedings of harassment relating to Killarney’s famed jarvey business. Kevin Counihan, aged 34, from Apt 1, 30 High Street, Killarney, Co Kerry, pleaded guilty to harassing Michael and Julie Sweetman “by persistingly communicating with them, including by means of telephone and internet,” on dates between May 9 and May 25, 2010.

15 Truths About Online Trolls - 02/17/15
As long as there have been online communities, beginning with bulletin board systems, there have been trolls. According to Whitney Phillips, a New York University lecturer, Usenet users first used “the word ‘troll’ to describe someone who deliberately disrupted online discussions in order to stir up controversy.” Whenever 4chan rose to prominence in the mid-2000s, users began to proudly describe themselves as trolls.


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