Some of the posts start out reasonably enough (albeit rather anatomically specific) for a normal human being who’s enamored of a celebrity…
You have agreeable bone structure, and I want to go out with you.
…but then quickly spike into troll-ese:
If you had to genocide an entire race which race would it be and why?
That’s just one of the 1000+ messages that have been archived and published by their target, Mia Matsumiya.
Matsumiya, who’s based in Los Angeles, describes herself as a violinist and a “perv magnet.” Reading the messages published on Instagram under her perv_magnet account, it’s obvious that she’s not exaggerating.
She’s using Instagram to demonstrate the violence, aggression and volume of messages she’s received and captured via screenshot over 10 years, in an effort to show how relentlessly women are abused online.
Some of the posts are racist:
You do realize that one day, you're going to have a son and he's going to be small and Asian, just like the men you hate.
So why not just abort whatever son you have?
He will know that his own mother thought white men were superior.
While some of her troll followers are persistent, many post graphically violent sexual threats, and some combine all the above in a stream of hatred to a woman they’ve never met.
In other words, your standard trolls.
As scientists have found is typical of troll behavior, the abusive posts exhibit what even non-scientists would easily recognize as sadistic pleasure in others’ suffering (i.e., sadism) and psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy).
One thing that can be said about Matsumiya: as she gets, so she gives.
In one memorable exchange, she suggests that it would be great to see her correspondent rescued from drowning by a boat full of women, cough up sea water, and blurt out the same, inappropriate sexual question he’d posed to the violinist.
Then, a shark would come bite off the part of his body to which his initial question pertained.
Judging by the comments on perv_magnet’s comebacks, such verbal sparring, unsurprisingly, gives some of her followers satisfaction.
Not to criticize Matsumiya’s method of dealing with trolls, mind you, but it’s good to know that there are other ways to deal with cyberbullies – ways that don’t tangle victims in bile-filled, back-and-forth, downward spirals.
One such resource is Stop Abuse Online, a site launched in June by the UK government that aims to help victims of online abuse.
Aimed primarily at women and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people, which it says are the most abused groups on the internet, the site offers advice on finding help and reporting offenses, as well as getting offensive content removed.
Then there’s the “Don’t feed the trolls” approach of just ignoring them and not rising to their bait.
Then again, there’s also the Curt Schilling approach.
Back in March, the former Red Sox pitcher famously ignored the old “ignore them” advice about dealing with trolls and named and shamed them instead.
At one point, the count was up to nine trolls – all of whom had been hurling the same malodorous muck at Schilling’s daughter as the kind that Matsumiya sheds a light on – who’d been fired or kicked off athletic teams because of Schilling having published their tweets, their names, schools, and some of their sports and playing positions.
It’s a satisfying story to tell. But it’s crucial to remember that not all of us have the clout of an ex-sports star like Schilling.
The rest of us non-celebrities must bear in mind that taking on trolls can have extremely dangerous consequences.
I’m thinking here of swatting.
The term is derived from SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) and describes the practice of making bogus emergency calls, as a prank or as revenge, that result in the dispatch of emergency services.
Gamers live-streaming on Twitch.TV have been swatted.
Security journalist Brian Krebs has been swatted.
A US lawmaker pushing for an anti-swatting bill has been swatted.
Gamers entangled in #gamergate have been swatted.
In fact, game developer and ground-zero doxing victim of #gamergate Zoe Quinn in January launched a network, Crash Override, to help victims of doxing/swatting.
Readers, have you ever been targeted by trolls? Have your children?
How do you deal with an internet troll?
Image of Mia Matsumiya courtesy of s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
16 comments on “10 years of troll abuse published by violinist”
>There are weird people online
STOP THE PRESSES!
despite what sites try to make you believe, men are just as harassed as women online. if you think other male celebrities have never received weird messages from stalkers or just trolls, you’re disillusioned. (also applies to gamers. yes, it is common between male gamers to insult each others, say how one will rape one another, etc).
If I wanted sensationalist SJW articles, I’d go on Kotaku.
You clearly have no idea!
While I am curious about the background of the abuse accusing her of racism, I don’t think you can really accuse nakedsecurity of gender bias here, they’ve published examples of male victims and female abusers (Isabella Sorley, anyone?) before.
I’m curious about the tendency of anti-sjw rhetoric to mirror so-called sjw rhetoric – being damned by the company you don’t keep being the most obvious example.
Typically: the article didn’t mention x with whom I identify, therefore I imply it has an agenda to exclude x, has a negative opinion of x, does not acknowledge x, is identified with a campaign against x, is part of the problem we xers have been suffering etc.
Because some people just like fighting online and they all sound the same whichever side’s colours they are wearing?
Maybe they like fighting but it seems more like tribalism to me. Trolls aside it seems as if the merits of a given position are often made or lost by association with a tribe.
So the same behaviour can, in the same breath, be deemed both unacceptable and acceptable because whether it’s right or wrong comes down to who’s doing it rather than what it is.
I agree. WTF does this SJW BS have to do with information security?!
Regarding swatting, trolls are simply manipulating a a tool that law enforcement constantly mishandles. When you think about the time, effort and expense it takes to mobilize a SWAT team, it becomes apparent that the most basic due diligence in evaluating these threats are not being performed. Trolls are just pushing the buttons. When the SWAT teams calm down and stop jumping every time, this threat will disappear.
It’s pretty simple: remove the veil of anonymity and this stuff reduces by 90%.
You haven’t spent much time on Facebook, have you? Peope don’t actually behave better posting under their real names.
My favourite story of how to deal with perverts is from a long way back. I lived in Paris for a while and I heard about an English girl who was fed up of blokes in busy metro carriages grinding up against her or touching her up. So she took to carrying a hidden water pistol, which she gently discharged into their groin area so that it looked like they had wet themselves. Apparently it was very effective, and became an effective deterrent when reported on the radio.
Unfortunately the online trolls have nothing better to do with their lives.
Many years ago there was a plan to charge for email. I can’t help feeling a “pay per post” might be a good way of cutting down on the trolls, particularly if the revenue was shared with the target of the post. This way trolls would be paying for the privilege (and would be more readily traceable).
I am surprised with the level of analysis available these days, systems don’t process posts in the background, and before it lets you finally post, come up with a message (if it detects enough nastiness and negativity) that says “this is an obnoxious and nasty message – are you sure you want to post it” and if the answer is then yes, log the source details, and add a flag to the message so that it is suppressed from view at the other end and shown as containing nasty stuff with an option to immediately bin it.
OK, so maybe a bit far fetched, but why do we need trolling, bile and vitriol on the internet? Can’t we apply antivirus technologies to have a nicer internet?
“…So she took to carrying a hidden water pistol, which she gently discharged into their groin area so that it looked like they had wet themselves…”
Why not vinegar, instead of water? It’s completely harmless, and, in addition to looking like they had wet themselves, they would have reeked to high heaven!
Welcome to the internet sweet heart. BTW gender and race has nothing to do with it. I am a white male and if I published all of trolling I have received over the years it would blow these away by far! The fact of the matter is if you are thin skinned you should stay away from social media. Comments are just a way of someone expressing what they are thinking. No matter how deplorable it is at least you are seeing a glimpse of that individual’s mind, which is way more truthful than anything they will say face to face.
The real issue is how easy it is to troll people in the first place. I mean until sites get more sophisticated in blocking and monitoring offensive posts its kind of hard to stop them. When you limit the ability to troll in the first place it doesn’t happen as much. You can’t troll someone who you are invisible to. It won’t stop everyone but it will stop a lot when its harder to troll others. And the one’s who are dedicated to trolling will eventually end up revealing themselves in the process of trying to harass someone.
Nobody could troll me. The only people I add on facebook are close friends and family. I have my profile configured so that nobody else can message me, and only friends of friends can add me.
Besides that, there’s pretty much no way to get at me.
If someone felt like sending me a message telling me to kill myself or something, how would they?
If you sign up to a service that allows random strangers to send you unsolicited messages, I’m not sure why you’d be shocked to find that it happened, and that some of the messages were offensive.
Humans are terrible in the majority. Build yourself a small list of those that aren’t immediately morally repugnant, and stay away from the rest. If you plunge yourself into their field of view, they’ll see you.
And I’m sure someone will think or respond “but I should be able to go about my business being a woman/ gay person/ dragonkin”, and yes, you SHOULD, but people shouldn’t get run over by bad drivers, people shouldn’t get murdered, people shouldn’t be treated unkindly, people should never break any laws at all. But guess what, that shit still happens, so conduct yourself accordingly.
I would also like to extend the question to small businesses and community organisations who maintain a presence on social media whether they have been the victim of trolling or other similar abuse. This is because I had seen this happen to a cafe which I frequent in a particular town who was the victim of social media abuse because they didn’t allow a protest group to place campaign fiyers near their till.