Someone mentally ill has been harrassing our staff and users for over a year now

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Costello

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As someone who has been running a relatively large video game site for the past two decades, I can say that it isn't unusual to have to deal with idiots who think they rule the world. We ban dozens of people every day: spambots mostly, but also people who post threats, who post atrocities, and whatnot.

But there's been one single guy that has been continuously harrassing us for over a year now. That guy is known on the internet as "Clancy" or "clancydaenlightened" on Twitter.

You may think I am exaggerating, because this sounds unbelievable, but truly there hasn't been a single day over the past year where this guy hasn't created dupe accounts, flooded our mailboxes, mass PMed our staff or members, posted threats on twitter, facebook and all that. He keeps creating dupe accounts here through Tor, proxies, VPNs, and our staff continues to block him every day. We have a team of 30+ staff members so it only takes us a second to wipe out his dupe accounts (whereas from our estimate it takes several minutes to create a dupe on our site) so we can literally do this all day.

We have had our lot of persistent assholes in the 20 years this site has existed, but none of them had been at it for more than a week or two. This guy has been at it EVERY DAY for over a year now.
Some of our moderators, having had enough with the guy, started investigating him personally to see what the deal was. Turns out this guy has got all his data out there in the open, he literally doxes himself everywhere and shows the drugs he's under, on social media. His real name, address, phone number, family members, are all easy to find or identify.

He seems to be a legitimately, severely mentally ill person, and I say this not just because of his year-long harrassment but also based on the things he posts on social media. He was recently banned from Twitter and subsequently posted this:

1653528875147.png


There is a hall of shame that exists in our collective memory at the GBAtemp mod team, and, through this thread, I wanted to share with you that we have a winner with this guy. None of us have ever had to deal with someone this deranged and bizarre.

He spends entire nights flooding our mailboxes with shit like this:

1653529642120.png


In light of what's happening in the USA lately with the mass shootings and killings, I am truly wondering if we should probably do something more practical about his behavior -- I'm talking about reporting him to the police, but certainly not doing ourselves justice. Inbetween the flood of insults there's also been threats of mass slaughter and crazy shit like that, that you wouldn't normally take seriously on the Internet. But the recent events make me wonder if not reporting him may put us, or someone else, at risk.

A member who was frequently harrassed by Clancy has told us that they reported him to the local police already, but it doesn't look like they did anything about it -- even though the police was given a name, an address, and a phone number. Now if you have any recommendations on how to handle this properly and avoid what could be another true, real life disaster, we're all ears.
 

Coto

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Report him to police. Remember a mentally ill subject can lead another one into suicide. This forum is excellent, mods, and admins cooperate really well with their audience. Proof enough we have a healthy forum environment, but sometimes things need to be taken further, in order to secure the rest of the users.
 

soup1

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i dont think that would be a good move like op stated he want to go the legit way

it would be easy to get some tempers pentesting the hell out of him but then we go down on his level
ah yeah i understand, but i didnt mean it to make him mad, i meant it more as a peaceful solution but yeah it wouldnt be permanent
 

soup1

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So it would kinda be a situation where to him his posts are showing but everyone else does not see them. This would be very difficult to implement but could work as he would end up thinking nobody is replying to his shit and he might then eventually get bored and fuck off to another site as nobody is giving him the attention he clearly needs.
i agree but idk bout being rude to the guy cause he is very clearly an addict and mentally ill and there is a good chance he'll read this we don't need to feed him more
 

Mario_hat_with_eyes

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Something like this should absolutely be reported to officials. If not for the convenience of the community, then for his own safety. It always makes me sad to see things like this. If he is truly this mentally ill, then he needs to be put in an environment where he can remain safe. My prayers for all involved in this.
 

JuanBaNaNa

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Just thought: Do you guys can implement a Proxy/VPN/IP address check on every log-in?

Here's an idea, users using a Proxy, VPN or different IP address will not be able to log in.

In order to use the site as a member, the site will check if you're either using a Proxy, VPN or an IP address different from your last log-in.

The site registers the info with a first log-in... if the site can't match the Proxy/VPN/IP info with subsequent log-ins, you're automatically restrained from logging in.

Think about it like a reverse Two-Step verification.
 
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Just thought: Do you guys can implement a VPN/IP address check on every log-in?

Here's an idea, users using VPN or different IP address will not be able to log in.

In order to use the site as a member, the site will check if you're either using a VPN or an IP address different from your last log-in.

The site registers the info with a first log-in... if the site can't match the IP info with subsequent log-ins, you're automatically restrained from logging in.

Think about it like a reverse Two-Step verification.

Oh don't start with the 2 step thing. I fuqing hate those! :angry:
 

Elodain

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Just thought: Do you guys can implement a VPN/IP address check on every log-in?

Here's an idea, users using VPN or different IP address will not be able to log in.

In order to use the site as a member, the site will check if you're either using a VPN or an IP address different from your last log-in.

The site registers the info with a first log-in... if the site can't match the IP info with subsequent log-ins, you're automatically restrained from logging in.

Think about it like a reverse Two-Step verification.
Not sure how well that would work out.

It punishes legit users. For instance if I go to my mother's house (she invited me over for dinner lets say) and I want to use her wifi browse the Temp while she cooks, I'm SOL.

If I want to browse the Temp on my phone while I'm laid out at the Plasma Center doing a donation, I'm SOL.

If I'm seeding a torrent and have Nord connected, I'm SOL.

It's kind of hard to justify excluding all the people that use different IP's or VPN's for non ban evasion/harassment purposes because one bad apple is exploiting such things.
 

JuanBaNaNa

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Not sure how well that would work out.

It punishes legit users. For instance if I go to my mother's house (she invited me over for dinner lets say) and I want to use her wifi browse the Temp while she cooks, I'm SOL.

If I want to browse the Temp on my phone while I'm laid out at the Plasma Center doing a donation, I'm SOL.

If I'm seeding a torrent and have Nord connected, I'm SOL.

It's kind of hard to justify excluding all the people that use different IP's or VPN's for non ban evasion/harassment purposes because one bad apple is exploiting such things.
Just a possible solution/random thought.

Find someone with a lot of free time and a fucked up moral compass and make them harass him right back
Sounds like me.
:grog:
 

Tomato123

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Just thought: Do you guys can implement a Proxy/VPN/IP address check on every log-in?

Here's an idea, users using a Proxy, VPN or different IP address will not be able to log in.

In order to use the site as a member, the site will check if you're either using a Proxy, VPN or an IP address different from your last log-in.

The site registers the info with a first log-in... if the site can't match the Proxy/VPN/IP info with subsequent log-ins, you're automatically restrained from logging in.

Think about it like a reverse Two-Step verification.
Not sure how well that would work out.

It punishes legit users. For instance if I go to my mother's house (she invited me over for dinner lets say) and I want to use her wifi browse the Temp while she cooks, I'm SOL.

If I want to browse the Temp on my phone while I'm laid out at the Plasma Center doing a donation, I'm SOL.

If I'm seeding a torrent and have Nord connected, I'm SOL.

It's kind of hard to justify excluding all the people that use different IP's or VPN's for non ban evasion/harassment purposes because one bad apple is exploiting such things.
And not to mention, dynamic IPs are pretty common.

Personally, I just forget to turn off my VPN half the time so it'd be really annoying to suddenly get logged out all the time. IPs are not really a good way to ban people. All that happens is you ban a bunch of random IPs the guy will never use again, but someone else might use.

The guy needs mental help, not prison. But police might be the only option to have him end up getting that mental help.
 

djpannda

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its will punish legit users ......but ph# verification for new users might stop or at least slow it down the ill-intent ( as getting new ph# will be heavily costly)
 

Elodain

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its will punish legit users ......but ph# verification for new users might stop or at least slow it down the ill-intent ( as getting new ph# will be heavily costly)
Phone numbers are ridiculously easy to come by with the existence of apps like Text Now, which gives you an actual valid phone number to text and call from. The app itself is ad supported and gives you unlimited texting and incoming calls free. The only thing you have to pay for on the ad supported version is minutes for outgoing calls, last I knew.
 
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Foxi4

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As @Costello already mentioned, we’re quite used to this. We have a lot of tools that allow us to identify dupe accounts and other some such shenanigans - we don’t need tech tips. :P Detecting and neutralising malicious accounts isn’t really an issue for us, they can be deleted in mere moments, and posts can be purged in entire batches. It takes seconds, and zero effort on our part. The problem is that there’s an oddball on the loose who’s harassing forum users and who will not stop. There’s no magical shield against someone starting a new account, not in this day and age. People like that *always* trip eventually, they *always* let the mask slip and we *always* get them, we’ve all got years of experience under our belts. The main worry here is that this guy is potentially dangerous, and we don’t want him hanging out around you guys. We’re at the limit of what technological means can do, but that doesn’t mean there’s no solution - it’s just a solution we wouldn’t normally use.
 

CoolMe

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I think if there's a way to either allow or stop new accounts when they're first created, it can be used to stop his instantaneously. One way to check it's him regardless of changing his IP, is that he keeps using the same name or a similar sounding one each time he creates a new account, also same "age" and "location"..
He doesn't even try to blend in or change who he's or whatever, he's just does the same predictable behavior each time. He's making it too easy. The way he speaks is also very obvious. 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

Foxi4

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I think if there's a way to either allow or stop new accounts when they're first created, it can be used to stop his instantaneously. One way to check it's him regardless of changing his IP, is that he keeps using the same name or a similar sounding one each time he creates a new account, also same "age" and "location"..
He doesn't even try to blend in or change who he's or whatever, he's just does the same predictable behavior each time. He's making it too easy. The way he speaks is also very obvious. 🤷🏻‍♂️
Of course - why would he try to hide? That’d go against his objective - being found out. He doesn’t want to hide, he wants us to know he’s back, that’s the whole point. :P Trust me, you’re not giving us enough credit on the tech side of things. Usually we know he’s made a new account before he even types his first post.
 
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