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dating coach for smart, strong, successful women Evan Marc Katz
Should I be worried about a guy that messaged my boyfriend on Facebook? A guy that I may have met in college around 2008 or earlier messaged my boyfriend on Facebook. I have been with my boyfriend for three years, but we do not have the relationship listed on Facebook. It was kind of weird that this guy would have had to go through my page to find my boyfriend to warn him that I dated someone from another race in college. He also mentioned that I was slutty and could have STDs. He even said there was a video of me. I am not aware of any videos. My boyfriend told me about it and is choosing to ignore the message. I deleted the guy on Facebook and will not contact him. I just find it weird that I may have only met that guy once 9 years ago and do not remember him. Back then, I accepted anyone I met once. Should I be worried about my safety? What do you think this guy’s motive is?

Em

Thanks, Em, for the freakiest email of the month.

As a guy who’s experienced his share of cyberbullying, I’m really sorry you’re going through this.

And although you asked a very specific question (which I’ll get back to), I’m going to give you my own personal guide to handling haters.

Don’t feed your troll and hopefully, he’ll go away without further escalation.

I’ve tried them all:

1. Fight back.

An anti-Semitic man in Virginia wrote me some really nasty stuff on my blog. I escalated things with him, because he was, objectively, a fucking prick who defaced my (internet) home with his graffiti. My counter-attack didn’t go well for one obvious reason: fighting with an anti-Semite is like negotiating with a terrorist. Anyone who’d say such vile things is actually looking for a fight. There’s no point in adding fuel to the fire or bringing a pen to a nuclear war.

2. Be ultra-reasonable. I thought this would work for the intelligent, radical left. I was wrong. After some folks at Jezebel thought it would be funny to create Facebook and Twitter accounts mocking me as a mansplainer, I wrote a long-thought out email, acknowledging their feelings, countering them with facts, offering to talk on the phone, and trying to appeal to the better angels of their nature. I got another year worth of mockery in return and radio silence towards my diplomatic pleas.

3. Ignore. Unfortunately, this is the final resort after burning through options 1 and 2. I’ve approved over 100,000 comments on this blog, many of which disagree with my advice. I let them all through. The only time I ever delete a comment or block a commenter is when:

a. The comment is no longer about the topic itself but a personal attack on me (or another commenter).

b. The commenter has proven to be so unreasonable and impervious to warnings to be more civil that there is no point in giving him/her more oxygen to rant about how men/women/EMK are universally awful and unfair.

Freedom of speech means you’re free to say whatever you want; it doesn’t mean you’re free to rip me a new asshole on my own website. 🙂

Back to you, my dear, Em:

Your college acquaintance is clearly crazy. After dealing with many years of crazy on this blog, the best course of action is to block him on all social media and ignore him unless he pushes even further.

Then it’s time to call the authorities to look into his cyberstalking.

As to his motives? Frankly, it doesn’t matter. Like wondering why men disappear, wondering why some stranger is acting like a scary tool doesn’t change the fact that he’s acting like a scary tool.

Don’t feed your troll and hopefully, he’ll go away without further escalation.