Kudos to Ms. Sealy-Smith for speaking out on this kind of cyber-harassment (“Blatant lie” on page 8 of Barbados TODAY, June 13, 2017).
Recently, someone hacked into my friend’s Facebook and Hotmail accounts and posted scandalous lies on her FB page that she has HIV/AIDS. The motive behind this attack was to drive her insane and have her take her own life.
There was a strategy to their cyber-harassment. First, they used a “blatant lie” to get her attention. Second, they posted vulgar “photoshoped” images of her. Third, they demanded that she kill herself. The next stage, they posted lewd lies about her family. Then they threatened physical harm to those who were supportive of her.
Family and friends had to make a complaint to the police. I was sent weird emails with ridiculous Wikipedia “demonic” images warning me to stop praying for this girl because my prayers were interfering and delaying their purpose. Then they started to post crazy stuff about me on the hacked FB page. That did not deter me from helping this girl. It took quite a while for FB to close those accounts.
I have learnt that family unity, their unconditional love and support, faithful and fearless friends, the help of mental health practitioners and a lot of prayers can neutralize the situation. My friend is alive today by utilizing all of these. Most people do not have these available assets. My research indicates that a lot of young people are being harassed through social media but they do not want to speak out or close their accounts.
If this is happening to you, speak out immediately. If the people around you are doubtful, find someone who will believe you. Stand up to cyber-harassment. It can save your life.