08-19-2013, 09:58 PM #1
Mother of child with brain cancer receives hateful email
Channel 2 Action News is searching for the source of several hateful emails sent to local families struggling with sick children.
So far those emails have been impossible to trace, but one mother hopes getting them out there helps soften the blow for other families in the same boat.
Music and Matchbox cars help 6-year-old Brayden Martin get by.
"We are faced with it all the time of this being a possibility that we might lose our children," said Brayden's mother, Maranda.
Brayden has been battling brain cancer since he was 2 years old -- traumatic enough for his mother, let alone the random anonymous email she got during one recent hospital trip that said, "I am so sorry to hear that Braden (sic) is now laying stiff in a freezer in the morgue."
"It was awful," Martin said. "I was immediately sick to my stomach."
Martin soon learned other families with sick children got equally horrific emails saying they're children would be "…eaten by maggots" and "…your child will soon be dead." "I was wondering what we had done to someone to make them so upset with us that would want to hurt us that badly?" Martin said.
One common denominator among the families is the popular social network CaringBridge. There are privacy settings, but Brayden's page was open to the public, including Martin's personal email address.
"The reason the email is on there is so that people can contact me because we do need help," Martin explained.
Cyber security experts call it "griefing."
"It's just the Internet's equivalent of a psychopath," said Don Jackson of Dell SecureWorks.
Jackson said griefers troll the Internet for the purpose of causing people needless pain.
"You have a certain group of people that are going to do it just for fun, no matter what," Jackson said. "The Internet gives them kind of a sense of anonymity."
And while there's no way to know if that griefer got the families' contact info off from CaringBridge, Martin just wants the emails to stop.
"You have no idea how badly it hurts to picture your child this way," Martin said.
CaringBridge Vice President of Marketing Amy Bay Robinson told Channel 2 Action News that users are required to set their own privacy settings and the company never sells or gives out users' personal information.The above post is as always MY OPINION ONLY!
08-19-2013, 10:35 PM #2
This cruel behavior done via internet seems to be some sort of trend. I only see it getting worse unless laws are changed or it becomes easier to file civil action with out paying a arm and a leg for an attorney to do it.
People need to be aware that it's very common and the more open a person is with their information, the more susceptible they are to harassment.
My advice to someone that may experience this is be aware that it is very common. Understand that those who do these kinds of things are not mentally right and in a lot of cases I do think this may be a trend with some teens. Try not to let it bother you (I know it's very difficult) and don't respond back and encourage the behavior. These people thrive on attention. If people let things like this eat at them it takes away from other efforts that are so much more important.
These are bullies that have found a way to anonymously try and cause harm to people behind a computer screen. It is pathetic.
08-19-2013, 10:58 PM #3
On a related topic.
'It just makes me happy when I can make someone angry' - A special investigation into the dark world of trolling
BEN spends up to 70 hours a week on the internet getting high on other people's anger and despair.
The unemployed 19-year-old from Victoria - who spoke to news.com.au on the condition of anonymity - doesn't go out much and doesn't have many real friends, but he doesn't feel alone. He believes he's part of a community of similar-minded people who scour the web looking for pages to vandalise and lives to upset.
Ben (not his real name) first started trolling in 2008 on the online forum 4Chan.
Psychologist Karyn Krawford claims that extreme trolling may be a sign of mental ill-health.
Ms Krawford said she had done studies which showed the empathy of mental health sufferers decreased for every hour they spent online.
I am not in any way suggesting that some Internet trolls are mentally ill. Some have some issues.
They also claim they have been bullied in the past and repress their rage. Not buying that either.
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08-20-2013, 12:01 AM #4
I think one way people can protect themselves from 'griefers' is by assigning an administrator to any email acc't connected to a donation or fundraising or awareness page. They shouldn't have to but unfortunately the trolls will target them. The administrator acts as a buffer so that parents and loved ones aren't exposed to the ugliness.
08-20-2013, 12:26 AM #5Registered User
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
They need to expose and shame these people. Publish their names for everyone to see.
08-20-2013, 12:28 AM #6
It hurts me to hear this, so sorry that this boy and his family are targeted like this. Prayers offered for healing for him.
My Facebook page; I am grateful for the fact that two people who joined had colonoscopies, discovered cancer and are on the way to healing through treatment. Colonoscopies save lives! [A 3rd person has just been added. 8/7]
08-20-2013, 11:02 AM #7
The UK has different laws than the US when it comes to this kind of activity. In this case in question it was emails but in so many others it is activity on SM.
I have worked to try and bring down FB, twitter and blogs that are hateful and ones that are pornographic in nature. I have also tried to assist in getting profiles removed that were created pretending to be others. (stolen identities) It is literally impossible to get this accomplished unless you enlist a large amount of people. If you get an account removed it just pops up again under a different name. SM sites care about nothing but numbers. Numbers are what increases their revenue from advertising. They could care less that 50% of the accounts are fake. (I'm just throwing a percent out)
IMO, until we demand that SM sites verify users and we demand that laws are created to curtail online bullying this will only increase and get worse.
SM sites and users scream "freedom of speech" violations when this topic is brought up. "Freedom of speech" my a$$.....there has to be a line drawn somewhere.
08-20-2013, 11:05 AM #8
08-20-2013, 11:10 AM #9Former Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2011
- Georgia -- Redneck Country
15-20 years ago many internet users believed that you don't use your real name and you don't offer tons of personal information online for the public. Trolling still happened which is WHY people were careful about their anonymity. In many of those older circles the worst thing that can happen to a person these days is to get "doxed", meaning someone UNCOVERS your real identity and personal info.
These days the masses are online and most seem to think it is natural to put out ALL of their personal info out there for the entire world! When they realize trolls and twisted people exist and it isn't like their little neighborhood social group or church group they become shocked.
08-20-2013, 11:21 AM #10Registered User
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
08-20-2013, 11:44 AM #11
The subject has caught my attention on many occasions and I'm interested in learning more.
08-20-2013, 12:00 PM #12
There is so much I want to say because I'm passionate about this issue but I feel like I'm may be drifting O/T on the thread.
I'm interested in seeing the outcome of the investigation they do in this case and what steps they take.
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