Types of Cyberstalkers
Who are cyberstalkers?
A cyberstalker can be anyone, including unknown members of online communities or forums. They are generally someone who has a close personal tie to you. This may include, but are not limited to: former or current spouses/significant others; co-workers; frustrated suitors; classmates; radical religious sects and racial supremacy groups; and shy individuals who would not want to physically follow or call you.
Why do people cyberstalk?
The behaviour is often motivated by a sense of personal wrong or belief that there has been harm done by you. More often than not, this perception is not based in reality. The cyberstalking can be driven by hate, anger, jealousy, obsession or mental illness. The cyberstalker is often driven by a desire to frighten or embarrass you, or to “teach you a lesson”. Money, politics, religious beliefs, revenge, hate and romance (either desired or former) are the primary motivations.
There are also many cases where you and cyberstalker do not have any relationship, or are nothing more than casual acquaintances. In these cases, the motivations are generally the personal enjoyment of the cyberstalker, who takes pleasure in causing you distress, embarrassing you, or making you the subject of ridicule or further harassment by others.
Common types of cyberstalking behaviours
There are a number of different ways that cyberstalking can be classified, most derived from the way the stalking behaviours are started or manifest. The most common types can be classified as the following:
Obsessive:Typically a former intimate partner who refuses to believe that a relationship is over, despite having been told repeatedly that it is. They may not see that their behaviour is harmful/threatening.
Delusional: This type of stalker frequently has never had any direct contact with you. They may suffer from mental illness like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. What they generally have is a false belief that keeps them tied to you, such as a belief that he/she and you are destined to be together.
Vengeful: Seeking revenge, generally very angry with you for a wrong, either real or imagined. They may never have met you, but generally have. Their behaviour is meant to be threatening and harmful. It can escalate to violence.
Troll:Seeks to draw people into pointless/controversial/off-topic debates or discussions to lend themselves more credibility than they deserve. They will frequently follow you and steal content, mock, copy actions or threaten to evoke a reaction. It is common to find this type of stalker online.
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