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Richmond cyber-stalking victim fights back

Power of the written word heals wounds for blogger Andrea Ng
Andrea Ng
Kwantlen public relations student Andrea Ng feels her tormentor is someone she knows

Andrea Ng got a call from her boyfriend. It had happened again — and this time, it reduced her to tears.

On and off for the last two years, Ng, 21, has been the victim of a cyber-stalker.

Using various social media platforms, such as Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, Ng’s stalker, or stalkers, has manipulated and posted a high school picture of her from Palmer secondary, photoshopping naked breasts onto the innocent shot.

On several occasions, the perpetrator pretended to be Kwantlen Polytechnic public relations student Ng herself, and “followed” and “liked” the same friends, classmates and people as Ng on social media, as well as organizations she has applied to for employment and internships.

She’s been to the RCMP over the two years, but both times the Mounties say they’ve been unable to help, simply advising her to have the sites in question shut down.

Ng said police suspect someone overseas is randomly setting up the online pages, however, she is adamant — given that the photo was cropped from her private, 2010 high school Facebook album — the stalking and harassment is coming from a place much closer to home.

And when the offending photo surfaced online once more a few weeks ago, she decided attack was the best form of defense and used her own blog to publicly decry the stalker.

Read Ng's blog here

“I’ve had enough; they were following my life and I came to the conclusion that this person is hiding behind a screen and is a coward,” Ng told the News.

“More than 16,000 people have read the blog, with more than 100 comments — mostly positive. There were some cruel comments, but I realized I had to stop reading them.

“Then I really started to feel free and felt really good about doing it. I’m feeling OK right now; it feels good to tell people what is going on.”

During her most recent conversation with police, Ng referred to the tragic Amanda Todd case — Todd, of Port Coquitlam, committed suicide at 15 after being blackmailed on the Internet. Ng noted to police that they were able to track Todd’s harasser all the way to Europe. But the officer said she was confident Ng was not going to harm herself and, unless the situation became more serious, the case couldn’t be taken any further.

The latest Twitter account was suspended a couple of weeks ago and Ng has changed her social media settings once more in a bid to block the stalker from following her life.

Asked why she thinks someone is taking the time to create hassle and embarrassment in her life, Ng said, “Who knows? I have a very strong personality and I may have rubbed someone up the wrong way.

“I tend to say what I think, and I’m a very honest person. Sometimes, people don’t like that.

“I have no idea who this is. Lawyers have emailed me, but they’re not prepared to do it pro bono, and I’m not going to spend money to find out who this is.”

Richmond RCMP cited privacy concerns for not being able to comment on the case, saying only that the “RCMP treats all cases of bullying very seriously. It is a national concern. Each case is unique and will be examined as such by the investigator.”

According to the RCMP website; “Cyber-bullying involves the use of communication technologies such as the Internet, social networking sites, websites, email, text messaging and instant messaging to repeatedly intimidate or harass others.

Cyber-bullying includes:

•  Sending mean or threatening emails or text/instant


• Posting embarrassing photos of someone online.

•  Creating a website to make fun of others.

• Pretending to be someone by using their name.

• Tricking someone into revealing personal or embarrassing information and sending it to others.

The same site also has advice on what to do if you are a victim, including how to have certain sites shut down.

In terms of the law, police say the line is drawn at:

“Threats of death or serious bodily harm — whether done face to face, online, over the phone or through text messaging.

“Criminal Harassment - repeated tormenting online, with texts, phone calls and/or emails causing the other person to fear for their safety;

“Distribution of intimate images without consent – sharing naked or sexual pictures of another person without their consent (also known as “revenge porn”;

“Assaults - including pushing, tripping, slapping, hitting or spitting.”

For such offences, victims are asked to contact their police detachment or report it to “Based on the available information, police will decide if an investigation is warranted and whether charges may be laid.”