Death Threats on the Internet

Mark Gordon BrownStarred Page By Mark Gordon Brown, 4th Sep 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/7_241r0l/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Web>Usability

Have you been a victim of death threats on the Internet, should you take these threats seriously? What to do if you have death threats placed against you.

What is a Death Threat

A death threat is when a person threatens to kill you.

Somebody saying "I wish you would die" is not a death threat, however saying "I am going to kill you" is a death threat.

In order for a death threat to be taken seriously by police the person receiving it must have a reasonable expectation to consider their life to be truly in danger.

Is Your Life Really In Danger?

Sometimes death threats are real, such as threats made to the writer of the Satanic Verses, or founder of Wikileaks, but more often than not they are just the result of a heated debate in which two people disagree on a point of view.

Your life is not in danger if the threat comes from a person in an other country who cannot possibly know where you live.

Most threats on the Internet are nothing more than petty fights, or bullying.

Will Police Take Internet Death Threats Seriously?

Yes, if the death threat is serious.

For example in the case of a divorce or separation if one person has repeated threats made against them (perhaps on Facebook) by their former partner, the police will consider this to be a real threat.

If, however, the death threat is more of an incident of bullying or a difference of opinion on a subject, in which the "victim" of the threats is in no immediate danger of actually being hurt by the "attacker" the police have no cause to investigate further as it would be a waste of their time and resources.

Bullying

Bullying is common on the Internet, people feel safe to do so.

In some cases bullying is really just a difference of opinion perhaps taken too far in a heated disagreement.

In some cases bullying is really "bullying" where a person picks on somebody over and over. Usually they get a rise out of their victim's reaction, which of course only makes them continue with more venom. Have you ever wondered why bullies target one person? It is because that person makes it "fun" to do so; they react.

Bullies rarely continue to attack people who ignore them, what is the point?

I am not excusing the bullies here, nor trying to "blame the victim", clearly bullying is wrong.

Safety on the Internet

In order to remain safe on the Internet there are many things a person can do.

Stay away from controversial subjects. Again I remind you about the Satanic Versus and Wikileaks. Although getting your views across is important, you have to balance it with your fear level. For some writers getting the right information out there is all that matters.

Do not ever post your location, or phone number.

If using sites where personal information may be available, such as Facebook, be selective in who you accept.

Do not use your real name.

If you feel a death threat is real and that somebody in your immediate area is a threat to you, for sure call the police. However you must have enough evidence about the person and why you think the death threats are real enough to consider your life truly being in danger. Remember somebody saying they wish you were dead is very different than if somebody says they are coming to kill you.

Real death threats should always be taken seriously.

Tags

Attack, Bully, Bullying, Death, Internet, Police, Real, Serious, Threat, Threats, Victim, Website, What To Do

Meet the author

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
Raised in Michigan, I have a son who recently joined the Military. I am living in Canada with my wife where we have a hobby farm.

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Comments

author avatar Jerry Walch
4th Sep 2012 (#)

Mark, I will never hide behind a made up name or hide where I live. If the silly twit that prompted you to write this wants to send someone after me--I will stand my ground. I have been leaving that silly twit alone but she had to send me another direct message this morning to try and provoke me again.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
4th Sep 2012 (#)

I politely asked Jerry Walch to remove his face from my Follow List. He intimidates me. He has made death threats towards me.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
4th Sep 2012 (#)

Lady. you are a liar. I never made any death threats toward you. You have twisted my words on many occasion to make them sound that way. If you are so afraid of me why don't you press charges against me and then I will see you in court. Also, if a picture can intimidate you, you really are a cowardly sack of shit.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
4th Sep 2012 (#)

The question of Satanic Verses actually disobeys one of your principles; namely "Your life is not in danger if the threat comes from a person in an other country who cannot possibly know where you live". The threat came from the Middle East against a British resident. So clearly the seriousness of the threat (here a fatwah) that needs to be considered.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
4th Sep 2012 (#)

Indeed Jerry, a person who who provokes is asking for trouble as I stated in my last article.

Provoking somebody to attack you is silly, but at the same time each one of us can decide if we respond.. or not..

I have also used my name and have many times said my location.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
4th Sep 2012 (#)

Yes, Mark, I know that you do use your real name and have said your location on numerous occasions. My comment was not directed at you.Many writers here on Wikinut do use their own names, while others hide behind made up screen names and hide their faces with cartoonish avatars or cute animal pictures Another supposedly female writer that writes for Wikinut who takes pleasure in provoking me by writing derogatory, untruthful things about me and one of the sites that I write for, moderate for ans am a CE for, uses a half a dozen screen names and hides her face behind an animal picture. I'm truly sorry if you thought my comment was directed at you.

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author avatar rama devi nina
4th Sep 2012 (#)

Good article.

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author avatar Deepa
4th Sep 2012 (#)

Hi I saw this after I logged out. Your warnings are good because we always get warnings about attending strangers calls or opening sms on our mobiles as it could lead to some anti social element who will use our cell for terror attack purpose.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
4th Sep 2012 (#)

A real death threat should be taken seriously, no doubt but an online debate about an issue, or a disagreement, even if venomous and bitter, is not a death threat.

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author avatar Judy Ellen
5th Sep 2012 (#)

I'm confused!! But, I guess that is because all my fans love me and I love them. Perhaps I am a bit of a coward but I only chose fans who will tolerate my Christian views!! I don't try to push my views, but, I do want to share God's love with everyone.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
5th Sep 2012 (#)

I have no problem with anyone being a Christian or with them sharing the love of the Lord, Judy. I have a problem with people who profess to be Christians and then set themselves up as judge and jury to condemn any who don't live up to their standards of right and wrong. Jesus never condemned anyone but tried to get everyone to repent of their sins, to come to know the love of God. I am a Christian. I do believe in the Bible. But I cannot believe that someone who proclaims to be a Christian is really a Christian when they tell me that a gay person deserves what they get--beatings and even death. Jesus, the pure and perfect Son of God, didn't condemn the harlot that was about to be stoned, so what right does any mere mortal have to condemn anyone?

For the most part I have supported everyone here on Wikinut even when they disagree withe my views or my views disagree with theirs. Steve Kinsman, the moderator who moderated this page, will testify to that. there have been many times when he and I have agreed to disagree. I have been with Wikinut almost from the very beginning and over the years I have only encountered two people here on Wikinut that have gone out the way to provoke battles with me. As the young folk use to say back in the sixties--make love, not war. I would rather make love than war, Judy, but there is still a great deal of the military security officer in this 69 year old body and I don't know how to retreat from a battle.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
5th Sep 2012 (#)

Taking an argument to the level of a death threat shows nothing but intellectual bankruptcy.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
5th Sep 2012 (#)

What death threat, GV? Was there one simply because she said there was one?

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author avatar chrysolite
5th Sep 2012 (#)

LOL! Well put! I see a lot of this intellectual bankruptcy happening these days. Sad, but that's how it is. Great comment! Thank you!

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
5th Sep 2012 (#)

Why should be a threat of any kind?
We can talk-
I don't believe dying before the time fixed for me by the Creator-
You can't die before or after-
No once second late-
No staying a second more-
Than you are allotted to.
Let the threat come and
Let be prepared for it to fight-
If that's the destiny-
Let it be-
When you are killed in a sense you are lucky-
The sins and all the bad deeds of the victims will be borne by the miscreants-
Nothing will be un-judged-
The Creator is not forgetful-
Sky to earth -
Nucleus to tangibles-
Nothing is beyond His knowledge and accounts.
No worry-
Stick to the right path -
Everything will be fine-
In end -
the Truth will prevail and reign.
Believe it or not.

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author avatar Retired
5th Sep 2012 (#)

oh this is so informative yet disturbing

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author avatar chrysolite
5th Sep 2012 (#)

Thank you Mark for this great article. Yes, we have to be aware on the internet just the same as in real life. Internet IS real life!

As you wrote: ...taken too far in a heated disagreement ...

We all want to be right, we all want a pat on the shoulder and that opens the door wide for bullies and ex-partners etc.

I do not ever enter into a heated argument online. I state my case which is sometimes unpopular also on Wikinut, but if somebody disagrees, that's fine with me, we are all entitled to our own opinion. To get into a heated argument about anything is childish and immature, throwing about with four letter words and hurling nasty words at others is equally immature. It's up to us to take the bait or not!

I personally disagree with not using real name, real picture and real location on the internet. I always use them, it's the real me, I have nothing to hide and I feel totally safe doing so.

Hiding behind false names, false locations and avatars is equally childish and immature, because anybody who knows anything about the internet knows that you can't hide. Your IP address will always show who you are and where you are and like my netbook, it beeps constantly a message into the sky on my whereabouts. That is facts and real life, everything else is hysterics.

As a writer and blogger I have to use my real name to be credible, so that is what I do and I have found nothing wrong with it so far.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
5th Sep 2012 (#)

Jerry I think GV Rama was just responding to the idea of making death threats in general, responding to the article, not accusing you (or anyone) of making an actual death threat.

to chrysolite - that is the right attitude in regards to not taking things personally.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
6th Sep 2012 (#)

I do wonder at times about some of the comments on Wikinut. How on earth can something not be taken personally if the remark is addressed to you and about you. How can that not be taken personally?

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
6th Sep 2012 (#)

Yes, GV Rama, there was a death threat addressed to me by Jerry Walch.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
6th Sep 2012 (#)

Really Bitch? I'm still waiting for my day in court with you? Why not put my so-called death threat before a judge and jury and let them decide?

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
6th Sep 2012 (#)

For the record I have seen Jerry call you (Ivy) names, which I am not saying I support, but I have never seen an actual death threat, or anything even remotely close to it.

It is really easy not to take comments on the Internet personally, it is much harder not to take negative comments made in person personally, but a truly great person can do this too.

Far better to rise above it than let it pull you down, we all have the choice to let something affect us personally or not.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
6th Sep 2012 (#)

Also what a shame that this article should get so much attention, and my positive article challenge article fades into memory.

If you want a fight, keep fighting, if you want sunshine and rainbows, change what you do!

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
7th Sep 2012 (#)

Insipid comments like this are ridiculous. I AM NOT FIGHTING, I AM BEING INSULTED AND THREATENED. WIKINUT HAS LOST ITS BEST WRITERS. PETER NEEDS TO TAKE A LEADING ROLE AND MAYBE YOU WILL SURVIVE.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
7th Sep 2012 (#)

You really are a piece of work, witchevelyn. Now you are trying to turn the moderators against each other.

Oh, my...the poor witch isn't fighting, she's just throwing another one of her immature temper tantrums. Maybe she needs her pull-ups changed again.

As for being insulted...stop acting like a tight-ass bitch and you wont get insulted.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
7th Sep 2012 (#)

You, Ivy, are being insulted, not threatened.

Jerry himself has been a very good writer, his factual articles on home repair are great.
I know you also have been a good writer too Ivy.

Why you both continue this fight I have no idea, it's giving me great views, but it would be better to agree to disagree, move on, and write something brilliant.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
7th Sep 2012 (#)

Mark, I have tried backing off of her, but she keeps reigniting the flames after a few days pass. She doesn't want peace. She seems to thrive on discord. When she leaves my name out of her comments and out of her articles, I will stop insulting her. The ball is in her court.

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author avatar JR
6th Feb 2013 (#)

Mark, I'm so grateful for your article. I recently received a death threat via youtube email. I suspect it may be my ex husband cyberstalking me (he has hacked into my facebook previously and has pulled "pranks" using my personal information). The threat he used was just like in your example..."I will cut your windpipe open with a box cutter." (yes, the person actually said that! among other gruesome things). I will take the advice in your article and contact the police. I am so grateful for the information. God bless. -JR

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author avatar Joy
29th Aug 2014 (#)

I am in need of some advice.. Last year i had a semi indescretion online.. I was playing an online game and my irl relationship was pretty much non existing. I met a man from egypt and i fell for his charm and i sent him semi intimate pictures,, later i regretted and he told me that he had deleted the pictures and we soon after drifted apart. He then came back and wanted a second chance. I ignored it and went online one day and he got mad at me for not telling him hi or answering on skype. I didn´t speak to him for a very long time and i was happy. I then found out he was also playing a game i was playing and he had met another girl that also live in the same country as me and then he started threatning me with exposing my pictures on FB and to my irl boyfriend because apparently i called her ugly. He even gave the pictures to other players! (I learned my lesson) I have blocked him everywhere and i have created new accounts. A few weeks back, after being blissfully happy with my bf (we sorted things out and he knows of this indescretion) i log on to skype and i can see that a person has tried to add me several times and due to the name i thought it was a relative and i ask to be sure who it is and i can see his picture and all he said was ´´Add me´´ I of course immediatedly blocked him and i made a new skype account. With everything going on and with him already threatening me in the past, should i be scared of him? Should i be scared that he might try to come here to find me and assault/murder me? I made a huge mistake and i will never forgive my self for what happened but i am also tired of living a life in fear.. especially with everything that is going on in the world today.. and please don´t try to lecture me on my indescretion as i have learned my lesson. I almost lost the love of my life because of my own stupidity.. I am not willing to make that mistake twice.

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