For several decades celebrities have dealt with harassment, defamation, and even stalking from the public.
Celebrities such as Anna Kournikova, John Lennon, Tom Jones, Madonna, Steven Spielberg, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Halle Berry, Paris Hilton and many other stars have had to contend with stalkers who have threatened their safety and required the intervention of police and prosecutors.
Eventually stalking was so bad most A-list celebs and public figures could not leave their highly protected homes without having a group of armed bodyguards with them at all times. Imagine not being able to leave your home and go for an evening jog without having to have guards jog along with you or follow behind you in a car.
Although, it seems nowadays no one is safe by himself or herself. If you turn on your local news, in a matter of minutes you will hear about someone abducted or harmed by another. Still, we cannot live in fear and we all take our chances every day of our lives.
Having online social sites is the same. Whenever you create a profile on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or one of the many online social sites, you are taking a chance and hoping that you will be safe and protected from the evil that lurks on the online world.
Celebrities are people like you and me. They deserve to have social sites just like we do and be themselves without having to hide. However, they know as soon as their account is launched to the public they become a target.
Thousands will read everything they post and the response is not always pretty. It is bad enough having to deal with paparazzi and media that love to twist things and create scandals but now they have the public to help make matters worse.
I am sure there are a few people reading this saying, “Well, they chose to be a celebrity knowing this would happen so I don’t feel sorry for them.”
To us, that is like saying, “Well, he/she chose to go to the grocery store that day so I don’t feel sorry that he/she was mugged.”
No one ask for bad things to happen to them. No one in their right mind enjoys stalkers and “haters” harassing them in their daily life. Just because someone’s life is publicized does not give anyone the right to harass that person.
R.I.S.E. & STAND believes is freedom of speech and your right to your opinion but we believe a line is drawn by morality. Let’s assume you didn’t have a parent or guardian that taught you right from wrong, we ALL have a God given sense of right and wrong embedded inside us.
If you choose not to believe that, we respect your opinion, so we suggest, all people have some sort of common sense. You know murder is wrong, you know stealing is wrong, and you know lying is wrong. So why is it so hard for people to see that harassing, humiliating, and stalking another person is WRONG?
It seems everyone should just know it is morally wrong. Yet, thousands of people are harassed, defamed, stalked, and plain tortured online every day. Majority of those people are celebrities.
For some unknown reason people think, “Oh, he/she is on TV so now we know everything about them.”
We have watched as celebrity supporters post something as simple as, “Washing laundry! I love the smell of Tide!” The celebrity meant absolutely nothing scandalous when making the post. She just had the thought while doing laundry and shared it.
Yet, within just one day over a hundred people post comments like, “Guess she’s having money problems having to wash her own laundry.” or “Wow, what a sell out, giving Tide a shout out. How much money did they pay you?” The worse was, “She’s such a B**** she can’t even pay someone to do her laundry.”
Why do people enjoy being ugly? Is it jealousy? Are they so sad in their own lives that they feel they must bring down others?
We do not think people realize the pain the cause others. It is to frightening to think maybe they do realize it and just do not care.
We cannot make people care. There is not anything we can do to force people to love, however, we can stand up for others and refuse to sit back and allow someone to get hurt.
For a long time now we have shouted, “Stand for the silent!”, “Rise above bullying!”, “Stand up. Speak out!” How often do we actually do those things? How many times will a person, much less a celebrity has to commit suicide because no one will come to their rescue when they are under attack.
Read the story about the beautiful Charlotte Dawson. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Dawson ,or the stories about these three Korean celebrities just starting out. http://stcommunities.straitstimes.com/tv/2014/02/24/celebrity-suicides-due-cyber-bullying
The death of actor Robin Williams yesterday was a devastating shock to so many of us. However, we cannot help to wonder if his suicide had something to do with the harsh media stories and heartless bashing from the public in the last few weeks. Just July 1st 2014 people like TMZ reported about Robin heading back to rehab. On the episode that aired some jokes were made about Robin’s recovery and one of the women stood up for him saying something like, “Hey he is trying to prevent a relapse that’s why he’s seeking help guys.” It was refreshing to see someone who saw things in a different light besides automatically assuming the worse. http://www.tmz.com/2014/07/01/robin-williams-actor-rehab-photo-rehab-drugs-alcohol/
Remember the phrase, “If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all”? Well, your Mom was right. Words affect people in ways you may not understand. It is not something you can just take back or that people easily forget. Words stay with people. Words cause insecurities, depression, and bitterness.
It is our opinion that anyone who knows this and continues to abuse another with words is the one with the real problem, not their victim. It is up to us to end this.
In most cases, the law will not help. Social sites will not help. You can just Google more about Charlotte Dawson’s story, she begged Twitter for help. We cannot let these victims feel defeated or like they are in the wrong because they cannot get good help. We have to stand for them!
We believe that social sites should take celebrity stalking & harassment more seriously. Majority of the scary stalking causes that make the news started online. Most of our readers may know our founder, Kitty McCaffery, owns a PR & talent agency called Hollyweb Online. Part of her job is to help track and stop her celebrity clients stalkers.
So many times Kitty has reached out to social site owners to let them know about a stalker, but majority of the time unless the stalker has made a direct threat or created an impersonating account they just don’t care.
You might be thinking, “Well if there was no threat then why was she worried?” Stalkers can use threats like, “You’re going down.” or, “You better keep an eye out.” According to social sites like Twitter, those are not direct threats and do not violate their TOS.
If that’s not scary enough a stalker could find a celebrities address or number through some public record site, pay the fee, and then share the information publicly and that also does not violate their TOS. How is that possible? Twitter’s TOS claims private addresses cannot be posted.
What their rules do not tell you is that if the private address or number was bought off a website somewhere and then shared to Twitter to them it is public info and does not violate TOS.
So, if you pay to keep your info private and yet some stalker pays a background search site for the “private” info and then shares it to Twitter there’s nothing Twitter will do about it.
Below is an email from Twitter when we submitted a report for one of our celebrity sponsors whose private information was posted along with a threat, “this will never end. I know where you are at all times.”
Thank you for the report but we do not see where the tweets violate our TOS.
If you are receiving unsolicited @replies or if this user begins to send you @replies, please respond to this email with the exact status links to the Tweets you would like us to review.
This help page explains how to find a Tweet’s status link:
Here are some tips to help you with your situation:
* Do not respond to the user. We have found that responding to someone who is intentionally attempting to aggravate you or others encourages them to continue their behavior.
* Block the user. You can block the user using the blocking feature described here: https://support.twitter.com/entries/117063
* Learn more about how to deal with abusive users: https://support.twitter.com/articles/15794
* Learn how to flag inappropriate media here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/20069937
Twitter is a communications platform where ideas and thoughts are shared publicly. People may use our service to discuss controversial subject matter, and as a policy we do not intervene in disputes between users. However, targeted abuse or harassment may constitute a violation of the Twitter Rules (https://twitter.com/rules).
If someone feels personally threatened, or if you believe the content you are reporting is prohibited in your local jurisdiction, please contact your local authorities with the information you provided to us. You can point local law enforcement to our Law Enforcement Guidelines here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/41949.
Twitter Trust & Safety
Not exactly what we wanted to hear or the celebrity reporter getting the threats. A few months later the stalker showed up and a job the celebrity was on and he was arrested. We believe the scary incident would have never happened if more people stood up to the stalker, if Twitter would have stepped in and helped, and if law enforcement would have taken the threats seriously.
Something has got to change!!
Are you brave enough to stand for another? R.I.S.E. & STAND challenges you this week. If you see someone being harassed, bullied, or mistreated in any way. Stand for them. Get others to stand for them. Stand for yourself! There is nothing wrong with sticking up for yourself or others no matter what the bully says. We promise you that if the majority of the people put their foot down and took the pledge not to tolerate bullying we could end bullying. It IS possible.
Let’s make it happen!! http://riseandstand.net/takethepledge/
R.I.S.E. & STAND TEAM
The first celebrity stalker in recorded history was a 14-year-old who snuck into Buckingham Palace and stole Queen Victoria’s underwear. “The Boy Jones”, as they called him, actually broke into the palace several times before he was shipped off to Australia. His visits were fairly benign – unlike modern celebrity stalkers, he didn’t think he and the Queen were destined to be together, nor did he want to kill her, but he did want to sit on the throne, read her books, and go through her things. And steal her panties. According to Jan Bondeson, who is writing a book on the subject, “He was so famous in his time that he was hounded through the whole of his life. People would follow him shouting: ‘There’s the boy who went to visit the Queen.’”Jones broke in three times between 1838 and 1841, and was caught and booted out each time. Apparently he told them that he’d ‘always wished to see the palace’.