So yesterday I received a death threat.

Not just a death threat, but a graphic, detailed account of how this person would like to brutally rape and then kill me. 

I cried. Then I felt like crawling under my desk and hiding for the rest of the day. Then I became angry. And then sad. And then scared. And then I cried again. And then I called the police, went down to the police station and filed a report.

I hesitate to write about it. To give this person any semblance of satisfaction for writing such horrific things. 

But you know what? Screw it. There should be no pride in being a disgusting human being.

I’m not even sure how everything turned so ugly. I blogged about a Foursquare creeper incident. Some people tweeted it. It was a cautionary tale (hence the title) about what can happen when you aren’t careful (because, admittedly, I wasn’t careful enough). And then mainstream media picked up on it. And then bloggers. And that apparently opened up the floodgates for everyone to chime in with their two cents. 

I had to turn off blog comments because reading insults all day long gets old really fast. Call me crazy, but I’d rather not read about how I am an idiot and deserved what happened to me and how I must really suck at my profession. Since comments were removed, I started receiving emails. Most were harmless. Hateful at best. And then it turned really ugly and really scary.

This has certainly made me think about what life must be like for people who actually live the spotlight for more than, say, two weeks. I’m just a random girl from Kansas City who had an unsavory experience and tried to warn other people about the dangers. But somehow my attempt at doing what I thought was the right thing backfired. 

When there is a comment thread on a website that actually asks the question, “If Shea had been raped, was it her fault?”, hasn’t this gone too far?

Somehow the whole message that I’d hoped would get across is lost. Be careful. Pay attention to who you let into your online world. Don’t assume you’re immune to danger. 

And don’t let the bad guys win.

  1. literalka reblogged this from sheasylvia and added:
    boo fucking hoo
  2. jeffesposito reblogged this from sheasylvia
  3. nimmykins reblogged this from sheasylvia and added:
    Internet trolling saddens me because it shows...be. My boyfriend emailed
  4. mylowercase reblogged this from sheasylvia and added:
    Ha, this is a wake up call. Evil people also live on the internet. Below, via @shea sylvia
  5. avantpost said: sorry to hear about all these crazy people. you have a lot of support from friends tho. maybe u could remove ur blog email button for a couple weeks, till these asshats go back to their regular hobby of typing ‘first’ and ‘gay’ in comments sections.
  6. allnightdiner said: Damn, I don’t get why people would give you a hard time over this. Really sorry you have to deal with this- I thought your story was a relevant, cautionary tale. I can’t believe people would turn it into a death threat situation!
  7. absquatulate reblogged this from sheasylvia and added:
    rape threats are...bullshit. She didn’t deserve any of that. Some ribbing? Maybe?...
  8. thelyingdays said: That’s awful and scary.. I’m so sorry. Personally, I took a lot from your original post about being super careful about posting certain things on the internet. Hopefully the attention will blow over soon and what will remain is your original message.
  9. reallykatie said: holy shit. what is WRONG with people? i’m so sorry you’re going through all this and wish i could come give you a big hug and a margarita right now.
  10. playwithdinos reblogged this from mustamuseme and added:
    What the fuck is wrong with the world that all we’re concerned with is threatening people to teach them a lesson? I just...
  11. caraobrien reblogged this from mustamuseme and added:
    OMFG, that’s horrible! “If Shea had been raped, was it her fault?” THERE IS NOTHING A WOMAN CAN DO THAT JUSTIFIES RAPE....
  12. bourbonandabrunette said: I’m so sorry people are idiots. :(
  13. thekeevster said: I’m so sorry!
  14. kristenfromkansas said: this makes me lose faith in humanity.
  15. forinstance said: ignorance being acted out at best. best thing to do is NOT read into what is said. that’s terrible, and no one ever deserves to be talked to/about in that manner. everyone has a right to feel safe regardless of the circumstances. keep standing tall.
  16. jamiek said: My God. I don’t even have the words. I’m so sorry you’re being put through this.
  17. matthewknell reblogged this from sheasylvia and added:
    presented her story...Foursquare experience got a death threat. How effed up are people?
  18. irish-mexi said: <333333
  19. pearapple said: it’s really disgusting that people would chastise you for documenting your experience and trying to help others. what makes you any different from ANY OTHER person with a twitter/4sq ANY form of social networking?! i’m on your side entirely
  20. receiver said: Start thinking lawsuit, so when you identify this person, you can make it happen.
  21. ontreadinapoli reblogged this from sheasylvia and added:
    I feel for you sugar and am sending you big hugz from New Jersey. :(