What is a cyberstalker, a troll, a kook? What, if any difference remains between the three?
According to this site, there is a fine line of distinction between them and the definition is as follows:
- What is "Cyberstalking?"
Because cyberstalking is often viewed as simply a cyberspace version of "stalking," it may be helpful to start by defining "stalking." While there have been a number of definitions offered in the literature, the common elements of the definitions seem to be:
(1) repeated and unwanted behaviors whereby one individual attempts to contact another individual, and
(2) the behavior causes the victim to feel threatened or to feel some sense of fear or dread.
Most definitions do not require explicit threats of harm or violence. Nor is there any requirement that the stalker intends to cause the victim to feel threatened (even though some laws do require intent for criminalization of the behavior).
And of trolls:
- But what about "trolls" and "net kooks?" How do those terms relate to "cyberstalking?" Within the commonly accepted jargon, a "troll" is a person who baits a group, trying to get a response or to start a "flame war." The troll's behavior is not targeted to a specific individual but to a "general audience" of anyone the troll can snare with the bait. Unlike a stalker who pursues an individual, a troll shows up and tries to get others to respond to him or her.
[Usenet; originally and more formally, `net.kook'] Term used to describe a regular poster who continually posts messages with no apparent grounding in reality. Different from a troll, which implies a sort of sly wink on the part of a poster who knows better, kooks really believe what they write, to the extent that they believe anything.
The kook trademark is paranoia and grandiosity. Kooks will often build up elaborate imaginary support structures, fake corporations and the like, and continue to act as if those things are real even after their falsity has been documented in public.
So that is the distinction, a wink on the part of the troll diffentiates them from a stalker or a kook. Okay, so if I were a victim of any of these types of harassment, what tools are at my disposal to decide what action to take?