#WHY is the abbreviation of a stalker’s name. A blogger’s stalker, to be exact.
The stalker problem turned into a cyber crime when a Malaysian female blogger Cindy Tey addressed her stalker problem that has been bothering her for years.
Best known for her fashion sense and beauty tutorials, the 28-year-old blogger has been blogging for years. She has thousands of followers on her social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The cyberstalking went on for so long for Cindy, so much so that it drove her to a boiling point. In the past week, she finally decided to write about the reccurring incident after receiving a death threat from the fan-turned-stalker, Wan Hoong Yeap aka #WHY.
A sincere form of flattery?
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and most fashion/lifestyle bloggers would often come across followers or readers who copy them. As a lifestyle blogger, Cindy constantly updates her blog and Instagram about general lifestyle things such as fashion and beauty to serve as an inspiration for her followers and readers.
Just like every other blogger, Cindy has a loyal following who’d read her blog on a daily basis. And of course, this includes one of her biggest fans, #WHY, who’d later turn out to be a stalker.
Sure, the readers can try and copy the bloggers’ outfits to upgrade their style but #WHY is different from other readers. Cindy only knew about her stalker after her friends showed her the stalker’s Instagram. Not only did she copy Cindy’s outfits, the stalker copied her life! It may be a “compliment” to have people start to religiously follow the way you post your Instagram photos but evidently, overdoing it can make someone uncomfortable.
The stalking begins
With an increasing number of bloggers, cyberstalking is nothing new in the blogosphere as bloggers allow just about anyone to get a sneak peek into their daily lives. But stalking knows no bounds and #WHY has certainly invaded Cindy’s personal life.
With a mass following on Cindy’s site, she would have readers who’d approach her to greet her or take pictures with her. So it didn’t occur to her as a problem when she met #WHY in real life during an event. However, that’s where the stalking began – after she approved #WHY’s friend request on Facebook. Cindy said it was the biggest mistake she has ever made as the stalker began following everyone she knows on Facebook including her relatives, friends, friends’ boyfriends, and colleagues.
It was so creepy to the extent that Cindy’s personal friends (who have never seen #WHY in real life) started asking her about Wan Hoong Yeap. As the stalking got worse, Cindy ditched the “ignorance is bliss” approach and decided to delete her from her Facebook account.
Stalking gone horribly wrong
The stalking went wrong-er when #WHY decided to take her stalking offline!
After Cindy deleted her from her Facebook account, #WHY posted a series of hateful tweets towards Cindy. On top of that, she even went around asking random people about Cindy and eventually called her at her office one day.
According to Cindy, a phone call was made from someone from “human resource” to offer her a job at her current office. She suspected the phone call was made by #WHY as the said caller struggled when Cindy questioned about the company she’s calling from. Infuriated Cindy later filed a police report against the stalker and asked the police to look into the case.
As it turns out, the stalker found out the police report as well and posted a series of tweets again to apologise:
#WHY’s husband also made a few calls to Cindy’s office begging her to retract the report and further confirming it was his wife who made that false call the day before. Even though her husband promised that it won’t happen again, the husband didn’t manage to control his wife as #WHY struck once again.
Lovin’ to hatin’
After the incident, #WHY began to follow Cindy on bloglovin and used various pseudonyms to threaten Cindy on various social media sites.
First #WHY used a fake name, “Sheryl”, to compliment her and talked about how she has the same dress as Cindy.
With the same IP address, she then changed her name to “Christina” and sent her a rather disturbing death threat.
Although it’s a mild threat, to Cindy, this has become a cause for concern and thus, leading her to sharing her experience with others, in hopes of warning others. However, the incident didn’t stop her from quitting the blogosphere as she wrote about the incident to warn her followers about cyber crimes and also wrote about a post on how to prevent cyberstalking.
In many cases of cyber harassment, the threats may not be taken seriously by the authorities until the blogger’s safety is in jeopardy. In this case, Cindy vowed that she’ll never repeat the same mistake again due to her recklessness. The blogger is currently compiling all stalking evidences and will bring them to the right authorities to handle the case.