Stalkers, impersonators and trolls are all part of the day-to-day life of content creators and influencers, says Amy Pond of LoveAmyPond
As one of the rising content creators in Melbourne, Amy Pond of LoveAmyPond is no stranger to the dangerous side of popularity. For as long as she can remember, she's had to deal with stalkers, impersonators and trolls on an almost daily basis. Most members of law enforcement rarely grant such situations the weight they deserve, even when cases of stalking and harassment have become rampant.
Statistics show that one in three women have experienced sexual harassment online at one point in their lives. This pervasiveness might be one of the reasons why stalking and harassment are given little attention until the situation becomes dire. There have been cases that led to violence and sexual assault, sparking outrage in the online community. Yet, the problem remains unsolved.
The dangers content creators face
If stalking and online harassment are pervasive for average individuals, the case is much worse for influencers and known persons as they have broader exposure. Online influencer, content creator and Twitch streamer Amy Pond (@loveamypond) of LoveAmyPond shares, "I have had stalkers come to my home and threaten me. They have varied from proposals of love to threatening to kill me. Obviously, I got the police involved."
Several trolls have ramped up their abusive acts as the world continues to go digital. Offenders revel in the fact that people are constantly online and are spending too much time on social media platforms. It doesn't help that influencers and content creators have public profiles, which makes it easier for stalkers to target them.
Many personalities have feared for their lives because of unwanted messages and comments. Some have developed paranoia, making connecting with fans and followers difficult since stalkers hide behind troll accounts and fake profiles.
It's all part of the job
Like many others, Pond has also tried to block the trolls and offenders, in an effort to keep them at bay. She has reached out to law enforcers but felt they could only do so much.
Pond believes these countermeasures against stalkers and trolls aren't enough as they keep sprouting left and right. She's also now become used to reporting accounts on social media, which implies the problem has become a norm for her and many others like her. "I constantly report imposter accounts on both Instagram and Twitter," shares Pond.
Despite the prevalence of stalking and harassment, influencers and content creators like Pond are still putting up a fight. They constantly call on developers to create more sophisticated systems to track and ban offenders so that they won't be able to re-emerge with new profiles. So far, there's been little response to this call.
The lack of preventative measures and protection against offenders has led Pond to accept that dealing with trolls and stalkers is just part of the business. "Listening to and reading disgusting comments from trolls is just part of the job. I let it roll off me like water," concludes Pond.
Pond has been a blogger and producer of online content since 2020 on several social media platforms using her signature LoveAmyPond handle. To date, she has close to 100,000 social media followers and fans, who seek her out for her visual content and her professional cosplayer modelling career.
During the COVID-19 restrictions, her business became 100% online, changing the trajectory of her career. This spring, Pond will also relaunch her Twitch account and focus on streaming online.
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