Gadfly/Stalker Case Study

Case Study: Gadfly/Stalker Intimidation

Digital Media simplifies intimidation and stalking, using the veil of anonymity. We use a wide array of resources to evaluate and mitigate these threats. We bring in law enforcement and security resources as needed.

A network broadcast journalist contacted us when being continuously harassed by a gadfly. This digital stalker was posting personal information about our client on several different websites, in article comments and on Wikipedia. The information posted was personally identifying, including address and phone number, and could be used to locate our client or further harass them offline.

We intervened with each publication to have the comments removed rapidly. We used Wikipedia’s rules for Biographies of Living Persons to not just have the information removed, but ban the user and IP address that posted them.

Through a number of iterative techniques, we used certain information about the person doing the posting to identify them directly. We learned about their past interactions with our client, and performed a criminal, civil, and personal background check. In total, this information suggested an individual with a grudge, but with no history or propensity to accelerate their activities.

Based on this, we contacted the gadfly, indicated that they had been traced, and requested that they cease posting personal information about our client. Shocked to have been identified, they stopped all of their harassment at once.

It’s important to note that not all harassment is benign or contained to the Internet. We strongly advise consultation with law enforcement when so indicated.