Responding to Online Harassment

My wife has been having a problem with a specific individual on an Amazon.com discussion forum. I don’t care to discuss it apart from sharing the brief message I posted to him.

– – –

J. Gramze says:

Jeff, or whatever your real name is,

I am going to ask you once and only once — for the record — to stop directly communicating with my wife online. I would further ask you, for the record, to stop discussing or referring to her in any way. In that your behavior distresses her concerns me greatly. Man to man, I am telling you to stop this and stop it NOW.

A true man of strength treats others gently. A true man of wisdom treats people with patient understanding. A truly intelligent man does not habitually make it his agenda to harass and distress another man’s wife either directly or by talking about her publicly.

My wife has kept a record of most everything you have posted about her and to her in context. Your deletions have been noted as well. I insist that this collection of documents stop growing.

Jim Gramze

– – –

My wife then posted, for the record, telling him to stop directly or indirectly addressing her in any way.

The actual discussion topic is immaterial. This is the appropriate first legal step in handling this sort of thing. I hope I do not have to fully explore the next step.

7 thoughts on “Responding to Online Harassment

  1. I tried to reply to this one at work but it didn’t go through. This is crazy. WHO could be crazy enough to fight with someone as sweet as Cathy???? And that is a rheorical question cuz we know the answer is only a whack job! 😉
    Anyway, GREAT letter! She is lucky to have you…
    I’d love to know the story! How do you get into an argument on Amazon? I already know it wasn’t her doing! I think that the problem is that people who have low self esteem and pathetic little lives, hide behind their computer screens and keyboard and think that they can say anything they want to. I mean… I totally picture unkept slobs who don’t bathe or comb their hair… sitting in their sweats day after day unkindly commenting on the looks of celebrities or such while hiding behind their fictional avitars. Kind of like road rage. People behave crazy in their cars hiding behind a pile of metal but would never confront you like that face to face… I call this screen rage…
    I’ve seen it happen on line too. I have a Yelp account and have gone on the TALK version of it from time to time and am amazed how mean people can be. It usually tends to be the same ones picking fights with different ones. I just feel sorry for them.
    Hope your letter works. Most likely it will because most of those people are cowards whose elevators don’t go all the way to the top floor if ya know what I mean.

    • There are discussion forums on Amazon. This one is a Judaism forum and there are Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. Some of the Orthodox are extremists who think they have the only correct understanding of anything because they study the Old Testament in Hebrew. And anyone who is not one of them they feel free to treat with rather abusive and insulting language. I kept telling Cathy to either not go there or to put them on “ignore” so you don’t even see their posts. Cathy likes talking religion with many of the people there and the trolls won’t leave their discussions alone. Our blogs are open for comments but we can delete anything we think is inappropriate or even mark certain individuals as spam. No such luck in that forum. I only acted because Cathy asked me to and she really is someone who can usually stand up for herself. It got out of hand, she started losing it, so I stepped in. So far it has worked, but that was just earlier today. We’ll see.

      • Amazon? Really? That’s news to me… I just thought that they had reviews.
        But…
        I totally GET where Cathy is coming from. I have gotten caught up in chatting with hard core atheists and finally Brooke saw how I was getting caught up in it and said “Mom do you really think they care what you think” I guess my answer would be… I don’t know, I was hoping that I might say something profound that would help change their mind or at least plant some seeds. But it was one of those “Out of the mouths of babes” moments and I totally realized she was right. There was one in particular that would follow me around to different threads and kind of stalk me. Finally I had to just back away from the keyboard and walk away. BEST thing I ever did.
        Another time… I was on a Weight Watcher thread. I was working at my store 16 hours a day and working HARD. I was watching my calories but not really following an exercise program and I had lost 40 pounds. Granted I was up and down ladders, unpacking boxes and moving around the store but I was not going out and jogging around the block. This woman on the same WWs thread said it was impossible to lose weight without exercise. I know it was not nice of me but our stats show by our avitars and I pointed out that I had lost 40 pounds in 5 months and she had lost 8 so I begged to differ kind of stating that I might know what I was talking about and perhaps she didn’t. I won’t even add: lol. Smile. Well, the next day she wrote back stating she talked to her husband about our conversation and it had upset her so much she was withdrawing from the online WWs program. THAT is when I realized that we really are people on these things, not just no name avitars. I told her I never meant for her to take what I said so personally and for her to stay and I would not be signing on anymore so she was free to stay. I never went back on line after that, back then. I kind of thought it was teensie bit pathetic that she would have let my little comment affect her so much but I never meant to cause anyone that much distress. This day of social media really is a sensitive subject. Sometimes not worth the bother and at other times you make great friends! 😉

      • I stand as proof you can lose 65 pounds while just sitting around. Exercise for fitness, cut out carbs to lose weight. Tons of objective research supports that. Exercise burning fat is a myth.

        But yeah, arguing with people online is foolish and anyone who becomes upset by it should go somewhere else. It isn’t worth the upset.

  2. Yes. Normally I would simply leave and find a better, more pleasant forum. But there are none for non-Orthodox Jews. Orthodox Jews, while only 15% of US Jews, dominate the Jewish online presence the way the Religious Right dominates the Christian online presence. And since I want to light candles on Friday nights the scheduling does not work well for going to the closest synagogue, some 30 miles away. It’s not a Jewish area, so I am almost totally isolated and need contact with other Jewish people.

    • You did try to start your own moderated forum to keep out all the idiots. A shame no one would join you there. People must enjoy the aggressive infighting somehow. I can enjoy a civil exchange of ideas, criticism even, but the mean-spirited insults and closed-mindedness is a waste of my time. I’d rather be doing music and blogging and watching TV.

    • Cathy, I so GET where you are coming from! Sometimes you just need someone to connect to of the same heart. I wonder if you tried to connect with someone on wordpress? I have not found the same immature fighting here that I have seen on other threads elsewhere. Maybe if you searched here for the same things you just mentioned? My husband is trying to understand my blogging. He tends to think we are all kind of one bubble off… those of us who devote so much time on blogs… though he does still try to support me… it is nice to find people who GET you and so that is why I keep trying to connect here with people who like to write. Same goes for those who like to bake, cross stitch, play an instrument, or knit and those who don’t.. we all tend to like to hang out or find people with our same interests. There are a lot of believers here who talk about their beliefs… have you tried to google wordpress non orthodox Jews and see what comes up? My best friends are Jewish and I have learned a lot from them. My kids have experienced Shabot from the time they were born and my daughter is very interested in what our friend Larry has taught her.
      Sorry about your experience with someone who is most likely one bubble off (lol) to be following you around just for the sake of an argument. I guess it takes all kinds to make the world go around!

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