(34 minutes listening time)
The Netflix documentary, ‘Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel’ features an interview with musician and film-maker Pablo Camilo Vergara, aka Morbid.
Morbid, a death metal musician, was falsely accused by amateur internet sleuths as being responsible for the death of 21-year-old Elisa Lam at the notorious Cecil Hotel, Los Angeles - despite evidence that he was in a completely different country (Mexico) at the time.
Accusations were based on his gothic appearance and having visited the Cecil Hotel previously.
Relentless allegations led to Morbid’s social media and financial accounts suspension, countless death threats, and eventually attempting to take his own life.
In this candid interview with Jonathan Gabay of Thought and Leaders, Morbid discusses how people are quick to make assumptions in our web-connected world. Sometimes, such beliefs can lead to horrendous consequences.
Pablo (Morbid) has since created multi-award-winning films, including Necromurder.
Facebook and YouTube have over 1 billion users. Examples of abuse can go viral quickly.
These trigger a mob-like pursuit of victims. Perpetrators use anonymity.
Cyberbullying is a global contagion.
Irish children experienced one of the highest rates of cyberbullying in Europe during the Covid-19, followed by Germany and Italy.
The highest instance of cyberbullying in the world occurs in India, where 37 per cent of parents report their child encountering online bullying. 1/5 of young people in the UK have been victims.
Many assume Cyber-bullying is aimed only at children. It affects people of all ages, races, and faiths.
(UK Gov and BBC figures).
Its forms include:
Fraping - Accessing social media accounts and impersonating victims to be ‘funny’ or ruin reputations.
Dissing – Sharing or posting cruel information online to ruin reputations and relationships.
Trolling - Online insults and offensive criticism to provoke a response.
Catfishing – Stealing an online identity to re-create social networking profiles for deceptive purposes.
Phishing - Manipulating the target into revealing personal and financial information.
Stalking – Using personal information on social media to gain access to private home addresses and more.
Blackmail – Anonymous extortion by e-mails, phone calls and text.
Photographs & video - Threats to publicly share private media.
Sexting – Divulging sexually explicit photographs or messages via mobile phone.
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