Beware the Social Media Brown Shirts

In the past two months I have been experiencing increased threats and intimidation by homophobic lurkers on Facebook and Twitter. Here’s what I think is going on re. certain stalkers on Facebook who seem to be increasing in number:

Due to the rise in homophobia (and these kind emboldened, thanks to right-wing dogma), LGBT’s are being tracked down, then intimidated to the point where they shut down their account. Some may go further and find out where they live, and attack them. They also get the names and info of their online “friends,” before their target catches on. They portray themselves as very nice people at first, in order to be “friended.”

But they will soon act sexually aggressive in an attempt to dupe you into giving out personal information, such as address and phone number. Otherwise they will /not/ act homophobic (usually). They may also use one or more other personas who “friend” you, but appear harmless and on your side, never aggressive or threatening. That is so when the main persona gets “unfriended,” one or more “friendly” versions remain connected with your account. So that if one switches from “public” to “friends only,” the culprit remains an active observer, if not participant.

I’m sure these brown shirts are also fanning out to other social media such as Twitter, Tumblr and Snapchat. Those were just examples of where they infiltrate; I’m also sure they’ll target web sites, forums, and other sites where LGBT’s congregate…especially news outlets with a large base of comment participants. They will also target their allies who are connected with them in one way or another. This will cause an increasing number of folks following you to unfollow. And that’s part of their plan: to terrorize and isolate their victims. And have you shut down /all/ the services you use, including web sites…so that pro-LGBT presence on the web will diminish, and possibly disappear entirely. I may soon have to do that, myself.

They’ll find out where you live, where you work, where you travel, and with whom you associate…all from the convenience of their keyboard. And they are growing ever more organized. Due to the nebulous nature of cyberspace, your attacker may not occupy a distant land or region, he may even reside in your own city. Or neighborhood. Or apartment building! But even if they do live a great distance from you, they can easily acquire cohorts much closer, and in record time.

In their initial salvos many LGBT’s will report harassment by this or that individual, never imagining the force behind their attacker: that many other bullies are doing the same. Meanwhile these creeps are gathering personal data about their victims’ friends and coworkers…while their extended marks remain clueless until it’s too late.

If you suspect one has recently “friended” you, check their Facebook account. Usually it will be very scant, not even a photo. But if there are pictures, they will be copies from elsewhere (people they don’t even know), in order to trick you into complacency. Sometimes they will post to their wall semi-scary comments or images that denigrate women, gays or whomever. But not necessarily. Once suspected and reported, they will most likely shut down that account and create a new one, also pseudonymous.

And if you think you’re safe because you only let “friends” subscribe, watch out! For your “friends” might not be as vigilant as yourself, and unknowingly allow enemies to leak through. They will study what you post, and gather increasing information about your personal doings and whereabouts. Even reporting a suspect may be fruitless, as these brown shirts have already infiltrated the upper tiers of many online services. Don’t think that such “progressive” services like Facebook, Google and Twitter do not have at least a handful of Christian zealots in their rank.

While queers will be their first scapegoats, rest assure that progressives, abortion advocates, people of color, immigrants and anti-Republicans are on their list, too. Take my warning seriously: this is just the beginning of a mass attack a la information wars. Muslim fanatics will soon join in.

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