Monday, February 17, 2014

Online Gang Stalking and Mobbing

By David Simms, Senior Contributor

The word “mobbing” is the bullying and harassment of an individual by a group of people in any context, such as a family, friends, peers, school, workplace, neighborhood, community, or online. Mobbing can take several forms, some of which may not be obvious. It is a common dynamic found in the workplace where co-workers gang up on someone to force them out by spreading rumours, using subtle innuendo, as well as discrediting and isolating them.  Obviously the execution of such behaviour is supplemented through internet and other electronic communications. Sometimes the mobbers don’t realise they are part of the mob but are acting on what they believe is the right thing to do based on the prevailing opinions and perspectives. Bullying is a type of mob behavior and can be sparked by the smallest of incidents. For whatever reason, a person is targeted and a rumour is started about them. This generates a prevailing opinion amongst a group who then participates in a collective attack on the individual. 

In a closely related phenomenon, the term “gang stalking” refers to the stalking of an individual by several people who know each other and who have common intentions and objectives.  What distinguishes this type of mob-like behaviour is the psychological wearing-down factor. Gang stalkers utilise the internet to create a false reality about an individual by means of subtle perturbations of the facts. The intent is to make the target believe they are going insane. One of the frightening aspects to this insidious crime is that it is executed in such a way, a victim attempting to explain the situation to authorities, will be easily dismissed as being overly paranoid or crazy.  It renders the victim helpless and ensnares them in a vicious cycle where the more they try to explain, the more they appear insane. If a victim does not have credibility or support from those close to them, this type of crime can have disastrous and fatal consequences.