Those MySpace Blues
by Ted L Glines
For Camille, 2006 started out as a good year. She was connected with a popular band owned by her ex-husband, and she was pregnant. Their drummer was a sharp-looking married man, who happened to be also dating a girl named Jackie. Camille's MySpace never lacked for happy and interesting gossip. The Jackie/drummer affair was mentioned more than once. But, as will happen, her MySpace page was viewed by Jackie, and everything went downhill from there.
Camille began constantly receiving hateful emails from Jackie, using two separate email accounts, calling her names and making violent threats. Camille told Jackie to stop, several times, all to no avail. The emails kept coming, sometimes 20 or 30 per day. The language became worse and the threats became more personal and frightening. Jackie created an imposter MySpace page, pretending to be Camille, listing Camille's home address and telephone number, and claiming to be a prostitute - open for business.
Camille began receiving telephone calls from men desiring her services. These calls were frightening and came at all hours of the day and night. Twice, men knocked on her door. One of them refused to leave until the police arrived. Soon, Camille began receiving calls at her place of work, for Jackie had added that number on the fake MySpace page. Camille felt that her job was now in jeopardy. She sent several complaints to MySpace but the offending imposter page was never removed. Camille did remove all the “Jackie gossip” from her own page. She knew that her gossip had been the original cause of this problem, outraging Jackie. Camille emailed Jackie, apologizing and stating that those postings had been removed, and again asking Jackie to remove the fake MySpace page and cease harassing her. The page was not removed. The constant email harassment continued, as did the phone calls at home and at work. Camille was at her wit's end.
In early 2008, Camille found HaltAbuse.org and filed a complaint. Within a few days, an Internet Safety Advocate was assigned to her case. Camille was advised to disengage from any further communications with Jackie, but to keep all of the emails from Jackie on file to be used as evidence. She was also advised to report this issue to her local police. Using printouts of the offending emails, Camille was able to file a criminal misdemeanor harassment charge against Jackie, since they both lived in the same state. A formal HaltAbuse complaint was sent to the Internet Service Provider used by Jackie's email accounts, and those two email accounts were closed. After three attempts, HaltAbuse convinced MySpace to delete the offending imposter page.
As of this date, Camille has heard nothing more from Jackie. She does not know if the police arrested Jackie. Camille still maintains her own MySpace page, but she says the fun has gone out of it for her. Camille says she now avoids gossiping about the affairs of other people. Now that you mention it, that is an excellent rule for living.