In a previous post from November, I wrote about getting banned from Amino, which is a fun little place where I share fan content and interact with other fans. Someone had falsely reported me for sending porn to them (I obviously would never dream of doing that), and explicit material is an insta-ban. After I created other accounts to investigate why I was banned (because you can't use a banned account to contact the management), the troublemaker went after those accounts too.
On Wednesday last week, the person got caught trying to do it again. They did something foolish and sloppy while trying to frame me, finally creating enough of a red flag for the administration that they investigated it and determined that I'd definitely been framed. The bad person was banned and my account was reinstated.
I'm still irritated about two things.
The staff at this place is volunteer, young, and largely non-responsive. The one staff member I was able to initially get on board to investigate was very dismissive to me throughout the investigation. (A different staff member was later more sympathetic, and it was she who contacted me about the suspicious behavior of my stalker and led directly to getting me unbanned.) Now, it's true the first staff member was just doing her job, and was probably overwhelmed, and isn't being paid, and has the unenviable task of handling many problems with no real resources to help her and no training, and is a teenager. But among other things, my major problem with the way she handled the situation was this:
She was not willing to even consider that I was being targeted.
After I got banned three times for "sending porn" within the same few days, some of those "offenses" mysteriously occurring WHILE I was trying to get them to believe I hadn't done it in the first place; after I spent eight months creating valuable daily content that was frequently featured on the front page and understandably did not want to lose it; after I had supposedly done something extremely trollish with no apparent motivation that was so far out of character for me . . . the idea that I was being targeted by someone who wanted me gone was not worth entertaining whatsoever.
When I suggested it to her, she simply told me she didn't think it was possible--end of story--and warned me to avoid "causing trouble" on my replacement account, because if my new account "happened to" send porn like the others, she wouldn't be able to listen anymore, because three times in a row is where she draws the line.
After the truth came out and it was clear I absolutely had been being targeted, and after the other staff person unbanned me and I was free to post again, she did find me and apologize for being harsh. (The message was longer, but the rest of it was about why I should understand that she took the action she was supposed to, as she should have.) But I wasn't worried about her "being harsh."
I was worried about her just straight-up dismissing me.
She wouldn't consider my position at all. I was already guilty based on very suspicious "photo evidence" that she has admitted can be faked. There's something wrong with your approach if a popular, mature member suddenly turns into an unrepentant porn bot from three accounts and you don't think her previous reputation is relevant.
The idea that this moderator believes she handled it with the appropriate amount of skepticism, with only her "harshness" to apologize for, is frankly alarming. Everything I said, everything I tried to do, everything I suggested--it was all no, no, no. Not important, not worth talking about, not worth researching, not worth the benefit of the doubt. I'm sure she did some homework and legwork she hasn't disclosed to me, but none of it was discussed with me and none of it was presented as if she was hoping to help get to the root of what was really going on. The fact that I had no leads on who was targeting me or why, that I didn't have counter-evidence to show them, meant I was guilty by default, and that I was treated like it.
I've been dealing with trolls and deplorables for half my life and they are exactly like this. They target people who enjoy their lives, enjoy creating, have something to say/something to contribute . . . and they decide "wow that's lame!" and try to destroy it. Not only do they target people like me, but they also rarely give up.
Which brings me to my next point.
These kinds of people strike again.
Falsely reporting someone is also a bannable offense. If someone's willing to risk such a thing, they are putting themselves on the line to get rid of you, and must be confident that they can pull it off. This person actively followed me around to different profiles pretending I was the one attacking them with pornography, and more than two months after they got my account suspended, there they were trying to get me again.
It wasn't enough that they successfully hurt me one time. They weren't satisfied by destroying something I cared about. They wanted to keep limiting my ability to communicate and share fan content with people who liked what I do.
They've demonstrated that this wasn't a whim. This was a sustained campaign and it was intended to be ongoing.
And if they hadn't made a mistake, the management probably would have gone on believing them. Believing that I inexplicably am targeting this one member sending them porn over and over again, rather than believe maybe someone has it out for me.
What REALLY bothers me is that I know this person is out there, and that they were not satisfied with what they did to me the first time, and that they are probably even more furious that they got their account banned as a result of stalking me and lying about me. They're probably madder than ever. (And I don't know what I might have ever done to make them mad, because I do not have a relationship with the person as far as I know. Now that I know who did it, I can see that I apparently had nothing but a passing relationship with them, and we've only ever had civil conversations on the account that's now banned. They have at least one other account, though, and I don't know what it is.) Anyway, mad lying stalker getting punished for targeting me leads to more aggressive, more determined stalker in most cases.
And given the history here, I'm worried they'll do something that no reasonable person would believe, but will work anyway. Since that's basically what happened last time, you know. It was thought reasonable that I was porn-spamming people while in the active process of trying to convince the management I wasn't doing it, after all. No reason the stalker couldn't, say, pretend I found them on a new account and threatened them with violence. That would get me banned, if they believed I was doing it.
I noticed certain aspects of how the person spoke (while impersonating me) which may help with evidence on any further attempts to harass me, but me pointing them out isn't very useful. If it's ME trying to prove I didn't do something, pointing out obvious differences in how they spoke would make it clear that I recognize those myself and could imitate them. Sounds like a lot of mental gymnastics, but after spending more than two months assuming all my hard work was gone and then getting it plopped back in my lap and getting vindicated, I'm fiercely irritated that justice didn't prevail in a more reasonable manner, even if overall I'm just grateful that it did at all.
But I'm annoyed because I know they are very likely to try again and if hearsay has so much power with the management, to the point that accusation is essentially conviction, then it's just a matter of time before it's coming again, and I cannot trust that being vindicated on a previous occasion is enough to protect me.
Having stalkers really bites. Having people in charge of protecting you enabling the stalkers instead bites even more.