Have you ever witnessed this? Been subject to it or perhaps engaged in it yourself?
My curiousity about it was prompted on another forum in which someone posted a thread about a member of that forum having passed away, it was your standard RIP and commiserations thread, the thing is that I remember this individual visiting that forum and the person posting the RIP thread was nothing but unpleasant, at times vicious, about and towards that individual.
The poster in question eventually left the forum as they were subject to just so much of that sort of negative attention, the majority of other posters on that forum did the usual blaming the victim thing (this is a UK forum, frequented from what I can tell mainly by english posters, so I wonder if that has something to do with it) or suggest "a curse on all your houses", as a kind of cop out, I saw this poster attempt to quit the forum a couple of times but they were provoked back into posting again or enticed to do so. It was all pretty nasty. Eventually, as at the time there was no way of preventing it I believe on that forum, one of the people trolling this poster just changed their identity to that poster's name and started to post all this nonsense before they were detected (they did the same with me but I reported it right away). I dont know if it was the same individual who posted the RIP thread.
Anyway, I saw A LOT of the usual commiserations in that thread from people who were pretty nasty to this individual (which I think is a bizarre thing, that you would say anything different to someone when dead as you would when alive) but was surprised that the author would have kept track of this individual or discovered their demise at all. It seemed like some sort of cyberstalking or at least "following" of the same individual, which I wonder about, its something the internet has made possible, its something some social media encourages but its something which could also prove pretty unhealthy for the person who is the target or the person behaving that way too. What do you think?
When I've talked to people about this in the past they've fallen into a number of camps but one which recurs is the, so long as its all online its fine isnt it? I'm not so sure about that, I see that as within the same ball park as the "so long as its fantasy its fine right", that could fit into the prism of an obsession or something liable to escalate to something harmful. The internet is new but as time passes its not the jungle it once was.
I've noticed posters who pop up in forums which I know I recognise from elsewhere, on occasion I've been mistaken and its just common personality traits, and I know that I make this more likely with reference to myself because I am pretty consistent and use the same username across different forums. I'm not talking about people who use multiple forums here either, I do that myself, but people who deliberately decide to join a forum because they see someone there and wish to follow them and its their only purpose in doing so. What do you think about that sort of thing?