Any big blog that’s been around awhile — like Urban Semiotic — has its share of rejected sycophants who just won’t go away after violating our publication policy or for being a personal nuisance.

Where the sycophant was once a public purveyor of love and boot-licking, they now turn to spewing hatred, trying to hide their identity — but failing in the most obvious, and duplicitous manner imaginable — and then insulting everyone involved in our ongoing effort to bring context to our lives by tearing down beauty and goodness in the vain hope they can somehow fill the void inside them with the failures of others.

We know how to deal with rejected sycophants. We rejoice in their inability to destroy us and we mock their misery in our private staff portal. We also add their hateful messages to our searchable private database so we can track their trends and threats.

How do you deal with the rejected sycophant on your blog who goes beyond being merely annoying and who thinks every thought and comment posted is directed at them even though none of it has ever concerned them at all?

If there a difference between a rejected sycophant and a stalker? What do you do when the rejected sycophant turns from the merely ugly and personally insulting to the eminently dangerous by making Terroristic Threats suggesting death and the destruction of servers and lessons earned at the end of a gun?

A terroristic threat is a crime generally involving a threat to commit violence communicated with the intent to terrorize another, to cause evacuation of a building, or to cause serious public inconvenience, in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience. It may mean an offense against property or involving danger to another person that may include but is not limited to recklessly endangering another person, harassment, stalking, ethnic intimidation, and criminal mischief.

In our experience on this Urban Semiotic blog, here are the main article categories that get the most Terroristic Threats indicating personal harm, general destruction and purposeful mayhem:

What relationships do you see between those topics? It’s fascinating those who demand the right to handguns are so quick to threaten you with the end of their guns; and those who say they love Jesus hopes he condemns you; and those who are sworn to “protect and serve” will not hesitate for a second to tell you what they’d do to you alone in custody.

Dealing with these issues is the burdensome part of publishing an international blog that discusses hard issues that divide the world — it would be much simpler to write a mommy blog or a celebrity blog where no cultural values or political norms were put in the jeopardy of being examined here.

Now we have no idea if any of those who make Terroristic Threats will do what they claim or not — but we can’t worry about that — once the threat is made, and we have proof of it, we are mandated by the humanity of living in a righteous society to do something proactive about those Terroristic Threats and we do.

You can’t hide who you are on the internet. There are trails and tendrils that always lead back to you and, using special software, you can be tracked and then the next logical step is taken: We report you to the FBI.

Calling in the FBI may seem like an extreme step, but what else would you do as a blog owner and caring member of society when we live in a world where blood and dying are now the expectation of the everyday ordinary? If someone is claiming to intend harm — what other options are available?

We are forced by the context of the world in which we spin to take no threat lightly and thus, we submit a report. We have been doing that for a long time. If anything untoward happens, we are on-the-record with the FBI, and after-the-fact all facts and can be checked and analyzed for purpose and being.

Working with the FBI can be a complicated process and I won’t go into all the details here to preserve the integrity of the investigations, but I will warn you this is not a simple task or a matter for the weak-spirited. Not only must the threat be verified by the FBI, but the person doing the reporting — in this case, us — are also vetted and analyzed and put into the database along with the Terroristic Threat being made to promise the process isn’t being ginned up or played out for personal satisfaction or retribution.

We think that is a fair and proper part of the process and we have nothing to hide. Terroristic Threats made over the Internet are a matter for the FBI and not the local police because those threats are being made across state lines along publicly owned and federally regulated pathways.

Local police aren’t really interested in crossing state lines to go after a Terroristic harasser in Florida, and the local police in Florida aren’t really interested in an internet threat delivered to another state… but the FBI can — and will — investigate and take on Terroristic Threats that cross state lines and regional boundaries.

Have you ever had anyone threaten you or your blog or your hosting service because of something you wrote or because of a comment someone posted on your blog? If yes, what did you do about it? Did you make a report to any agency or did you just let the threats stand in the wind?

We just keep adding everything to the database here and reporting what needs to be investigated and so far it is working great wonders for us — and for you in association with us — because you are a cogent and valued reader who prefers freedom of speech over intimidation as well as the unbridled want to publicly discuss difficult topics in a friendly and respectful manner against those who seek to dampen us with threats against our will, our shared body, our community of mind and our common human joy.


  1. Ha! Thanks, Karvain! It is sort of sad that some people just can’t let go. If it’s over, it’s over.
    Can you imagine them in real life in person? Jinkers! 😆
    For some reason they feel the need to stick around and stab and read every single word that’s posted. I guess we should be honored they’re so obsessed. 😉

  2. Karvain —
    The FBI reporting is going remarkably well. There’s great satisfaction in fighting those kind of online threats that have no excuse or purpose in society except to hurt other people and cause terrible things to happen and I don’t care if the people are joking or making idle chatter. There are some things you don’t kind around about online.

  3. With a domain name like mine you can only imagine the threats I get. What I don’t get is why they drag my family into it. Like,”I’m going to rape your mother and shoot your father and your kids.” I mean it’s one thing to call me a Chimpy McHitlerburton disciple, another to threaten death to my family.
    I mean I can’t stand lefties, and wouldn’t mind if all of the ones who promised to move to a foreign country afetr the 2004 election would do just that. But hey, they are my fellow Americans, sorta, and I certainly wouldn’t wish them dead.
    Some people need to step away from the keyboard and take some percocet.

  4. Hi Jenn!
    It’s super to hear from you again even though it’s on such an awful and ugly and lousy topic like the one today. 😀
    Yes, bringing family into it — and cursing the current readership and staff in the process — is just petty and uncurious and sad.
    I’m all for disagreeing and not liking each other and staying away from those we do not want to be with — but why make threats that then need to be addressed? It wastes time and energy and it never turns out well for the hateful threatmaker.
    I like your philosophy about stepping back and disconnecting for a bit.
    Have you ever had to report a harasser or a threatmaker?

  5. I think the FBI route is an excellent way to go. At least they take the matter seriously and investigate it and back track etc.
    Have you tried tackling the ISP’s involved?
    I had a minor problem some years ago – not a threat but some rather libellous comments. I reported them to the ISP ( yahoo in this instance) – and their account was suspended and they were blacklisted and banned.
    I appreciate that this is not an option if the persons concerned ISP hop.
    I hope this is not a continuation of the problem we discussed several months ago – I sadly suspect it might be.
    The reason they do it – because they have lost the battle of words, the battle of reason and have nothing left in their armoury except the threat of violence in some form or another.

  6. Hiya Nicola!
    Yes, the FBI are actually quite receptive and responsive to these sorts of internet matters discussed in the article.
    I don’t want to get too specific about our tracking and methodology but once these messages come in a thorough process is set in motion of “go on the record” with all the appropriate authorities and process bearers.
    I like your style of handling your former problem! I know a lot of people when faced with these sycophant/stalkers go into hiding and let them win instead of “outing” them and their bad behavior.
    Yes, the “rejected sycophant” syndrome is a continuation of the problem we discussed earlier whereas the FBI thing has been quietly going on for a long while now.
    I think you’re right about the reason. I just wish they’d go tend their own blogs and curry their own readers and stop pretending to know what’s going on here privately — and elsewhere — because their paranoia and conclusion-jumping is ridiculous even if it is privately entertaining. 😀

  7. My former problem made the mistake of attacking my family and my business – cardinal sins in my book.
    I am sorry to hear that you are still having problems with the “rejected sycophant” – I love that phrase I may have to pinch it!

  8. You did the right thing, Nicola! Some bullies deserve ignoring while others need a hard punch in the nose!
    Pinch the phrase! Make it a common household term! 😀

  9. I’m glad that you all are taking these things seriously. It saddens me when i see someone threatening with a gun or through religion, or any of those other methods. I support free gun ownership, but those irresponsible people are the types that make gun ownership and Christians look bad. Those types of people don’t just hurt the person they are threatening. They are also hurting themselves and the rest of the community in which they claim to be a part of.

  10. i was just looking up online threats and punishment, and they say that some states punish it with jail time (up to around 5 years). maybe that’s what some of these people deserve.

  11. Web Cruelty 2.0

    I’ve written a lot about how cruelty has ruined Web 2.0: Hate Mail and SpamWhy Do You Hide Your Identity?Impulsive Web RageAnti-Social NetworkingSycophants in Rejection: Making Terroristic Threats Is the legacy of Web 2.0 destined to be the marker of

  12. You Know You Are Famous When

    You know you’ve hit the Big Time on the Internet when people start clinging to you by writing about you on their blogs, sending you email and talking about you on other people’s websites without your direct intervention or knowledge.

  13. This has never happened to me – thank the gods. However, I feel safer knowing that I know someone online who is successfully tackling the miscreants. Hopefully I never have to pick your brains on this topic.

  14. The fact that you’re funny and female makes you especially attractive as a sycophantic target. Don’t let that scare you! You know that’s the way of the real world and you have to deal with and, so too, will you have to cope with it online as well.

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