This is a great read by a writer who tracked down a guy who was harassing him and his family on Twitter. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I found it entirely believable.
It reminded me of my own experiences in a couple ways. For example, one of the most interesting — and disturbing — phenomena I encountered when I first started my syndicated column involved a subset of hate mail. I got e-mail from readers who wrote to tell me how much better the world would be if my family had been killed in the Holocaust ovens. They would go on and on sometimes, spewing all of the usual epithets — kike, filthy Jew etc. I still get that sort of thing from time to time.
Two things made these instances different. First, being new to the web, which itself was quite new back then, I responded. Usually, I would try to shame them. “Shame on you” or “You know, God is watching you” were some of my favorites. Most of the time the response to my response was more bile. But the amazing thing was that in a half dozen or so instances, I would get a reply along the lines of “Oh my God, I am so ashamed. I had no idea you’d actually read that. I’m so sorry please forgive me.”
To this day, I have trouble getting my head around this view into human nature.