Cyber Harassment Survivor’s Kit – STORIES OF SURVIVORS
How One Woman Received Death Threats Online
In 2010, Aminah co-created a blog that promoted discussions on religion in Malaysia. The blog attracted many anonymous users, especially one who persistently left comments insulting Islam, which became viral.
This said user then hacked into Aminah’s Facebook account and stole her identity to trick the public into thinking that she was the real person behind the comments.
Since then, she received waves of harassments, threats and insults online, including the creation of a Facebook page that called for her killing. An online group who identified themselves as hackers upholding Islam and social justice fed information onto the page. The page purportedly gained 20,000 likes within a day.
Aminah also received a message from someone who claimed to be a doctor that said, “If you were my patient, I’ll inject you with poison.” She reported the incidents to Facebook but did not receive any feedback.
She believed she was stalked online after she received multiple messages on her Facebook from strangers who claimed they knew where she lived, worked and parked her car (they knew her car plate number). By then, she felt genuinely afraid for her life and lodged a police report.
In 2013, an anonymous letter detailing her online history was sent to her supervisor, asking whether someone as Islamophobic as her should be employed. Several anonymous emails were also sent to her workplace, containing screenshots of anti-Islamic comments made by the user who impersonated her and a sex video claiming to be her.
Aminah suffered rigorous interrogations by the religious authorities and Special Branch. It was the result of the Special Branch’s investigations that she was finally cleared of all allegations linking her to the actual offender.
What would you do if you were in Aminah’s place? Write to us at [email protected]
*Inspired by a real survivor’s account