Every good thing must have a bad side, when Facebook was born in 2006 stalking and malice also cropped up.
Being stalked in any way can be emotionally shattering! We have all heard of Facebook stalkers only that you’d rather hear it happening to other people. When one talks about stalkers people usually don’t take it seriously until it happens to them.
Annette Mbabazi 28, a married Clearing and Forwarding agent at MAGERWA was stalked for two years!
“Facebook stalking is real and can wreck your life, the stalker wrote me unprintable threats on my wall everyday for two years,” said Mbabazi.
“First I ignored the person thinking that whoever they are would get tired and stop, I didn’t tell anyone about it, I kept it to myself till it started distressing me.
I got depressed, became sleepless and, what made it worse was that the person seemed to know me very well.”
According to Mbabazi, he once threatened, ‘I know where you work from, where you stay and where you hang out, I can and will do what I have in mind.’
Another lady lecturer at the National University of Rwanda who preferred anonymity said she was stalked by a fellow woman for more than eleven months.
Her stalker accused her of being too showy and acting like she owned the world. ‘You splash your children and posh lifestyle on Facebook for all to see, I believe losing some of what you posses won’t affect you!’ the jealous stalker allegedly wrote on her wall.
“I was so worried! I felt like I had committed a crime; I felt like I had put my family in trouble by joining Facebook,” she said.
Stalkers torture their victims emotionally with constant threats and verbal abuse. They write blood- chilling messages to instill fear and shove them over the edge. If a victim is not strong enough to seek help, they can suffer from a nervous-breakdown, lose weight or even commit suicide.
Facebook stalking can be committed by a complete stranger or someone who knows you. A stalker can choose you because you live a better life than them, have grudges with them, or if you once had a relationship with them and terminated it or if you rejected them.
On March 10th 2010, a Facebook stalker was jailed for at least 22 years for killing his ex-girlfriend after seeing her on Facebook with another man. The killer Bristol boarded a plane and flew 4000 miles from Trinidad to England to kill his ex.
Be wary of malicious people who open up false accounts for the purpose of posting nasty or negative comments.
Facebook after numerous complaints from its users has upgraded their privacy options to limit or block stalkers or people whom you feel uncomfortable with.
Reasons why people stalk
• The biggest reason is anonymity: People feel safe hiding behind the hazy internet.
• A stalker can be obsession with the victim and the only way to be noticed is through Facebook
• The stalker bears a grudge against the victim, and enjoys causing distress.
• Jealousy can also drive people to stalk
• Loneliness and having a lot of free time: Remember that ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’
• A stalker can just see your photo on a social networking site and decide to stalk you.
If you have been stalked or are being stalked, it’s not your fault, anyone can be stalked, and some victims are randomly chosen
• Don’t respond to their comments because if you do, you will only be fanning the flame.
• Don’t threaten or communicate with a stalker, remember they may be psychotic!
• Don’t hesitate to consult friends for help: Being harassed by a stalker is scary and the victim may live in fear for rest of their lives.