Yesterday I started receiving strange notifications linked to my business Twitter account. Also a Facebook message stating “HAVE A GOOD DAY AGAIN Isabella” coming from an individual that is not someone I follow or I am remotely linked to. I deleted this message without thinking that much out of it, up to when I tended to the Twitter notifications.
It appears that a troll started a campaign against one of the owner of a popular (unrelated to change management) YouTube channel and blog. This troll wrote a blog post and used the comments of several individuals scattered around the internet to make her point about the owner of the YouTube channel.
It appears that one of the followers of the owner of the popular YouTube channel stated, without providing any evidence whatsoever and based on what it appears to be a random reverse Google search based on thin air, that I was the troll. She started a smearing campaign including threats (such a shame she identified the wrong individual without making any thorough research) and posting my personal telephone number on Twitter.
All of a sudden I was the culprit!
The owner of the popular YouTube channel started making remarks about me being the troll (even if I am not and this accusation was totally fabricated and not substantiated by any evidence), a hater and the person behind this charade – again no evidence was provided.
I wrote to the individuals that made the false allegations about me being the troll clearly stating that I was not him/her and that I would have had the matter investigated. I got blocked by the two of them making false statements about me (apparently I am a mad troll and I don’t even know what my identity is) and started also receiving comments on my YouTube channel asking me why I hate this individual so much. The person that made this comment quickly deleted it when I pointed out that the allegations against me were completely fabricated and that the matter was being investigated.
The real troll has remarked several times that I am not him/her and that they accused the wrong person, to no avail. Apparently the owner of the YouTube channel needs to point the finger at someone even without having objective proof. But then it’s always someone else that has to be the hater and the troll, right? The Twitter troll account has been deactivated, but the tweets making false statements about me – along with threats and disclosure of personal info – are still up at the time of writing.
The matter is currently being investigated by Twitter: the tweets with the false allegations and smearing campaign against me are still up. I do believe that the actions and the quick conclusions of the people involved in the matter speak louder than words about their modus operandi.
It is the first time that I am subjected to cyber harassment and bullying. It can happen to anyone. Someone can wake up one day, cut and paste random material and send it around. On the receiving side people that are not interested in getting to the bottom of the truth can start accusing you of actions you have not taken and start a harassing/smearing campaign against you even if it is not substantiated.
What worries me the most is that this could happen to youngsters and vulnerable people. I reacted immediately, contacted those who made the false statements, gathered the evidence and reported the actions. But a 15 years old may not have the strength to do this or a vulnerable adult may not be able to respond to false accusations and fabricated allegations against them.
Jamiroquai would have said “Virtual Insanity”. The problem is that this is real and that it can happen to anyone.
(the real one!)