A journalist writes about being savagely cybersmeared

by VanessaVaile

ICYMI ~ Precarious Faculty on Facebook subscribed to Minding the Workplace after this post appeared. Although not specifically about bullying in the higher ed workplace, this post goes to online group dynamics and mobbing there. David Yamada writes, “We often think of cyberbullying and related behaviors in the context of school kids, but they are hardly limited to such settings. Furthermore, they are often very destructive[, a]s I wrote in 2012.

These posts also resonate strongly with my own personal experience.

Minding the Workplace


Folks who work in the public eye — writers, creative types, media personalities, public officials, etc. — face the special risk of bullying, mobbing, harassment, defamation, violence, and stalking from members of the public, who may include readers, customers, and others affected by their work.

If you’d like to understand more about the impact of these behaviors, then journalist Dune Lawrence’s (Bloomberg Businessweek) bracing first-person account is worth your while. Lawrence experienced a two-year ordeal of defamatory trolling at the hands of a man named Benjamin Wey, who currently awaits trial on federal securities fraud charges. Here is Lawrence’s lede:

I saw the photo first, me in a bloody wash of red with “RACIST” pulsing over my face. A couple of clicks brought me to this:

“In the darkest shadow of Bloomberg’s glossy office building in Manhattan, you may find a woman by the name of Dune Lawrence—a ‘journalist’…

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