So here’s a thing that happened: Congresswoman Katherine Clark, one of the leading legislators fighting the good fight against cyber abuse, was targeted in a shooting hoax Sunday night at her own home. While she was with her family. The perpetrators? A report from the Boston Globe points the finger at swatters who are likely in support of Gamergate. Yes, we’re talking about Gamergate again. Let us all let out one huge groan before moving forward.
Since arriving in Congress in 2013, Rep. Clark has been working hard to ensure that the Department of Justice treats online harassment and abuse with the same severity as harassing and abusing people in person. People these days would rather shout their obscenities behind the safety of their own computer screens rather than confront someone face to face. I believe there’s a word for such people… It’s another name for felines. Oh yes. Pu**ies.
For her efforts, swatters targeted her by calling in a false shooting incident at Rep. Clark’s home. “Swatting” is one of the more dangerous forms of harassment and abuse. The perpetrators anonymously call in false reports of, let’s say a shooting going on right now, which then prompts armed police to rush to the victim’s home. This sort of tactic has been used by, among others, some in the online video gaming community.
According to the Boston Globe, Melrose police spokesman John Guilfoil said that the department received a call at 9:57 p.m. on its business line. It was a computer-generated voice saying that there is an active shooter at the Clark residence. They even provided Rep. Clark’s address.
Guilfoil said that the Melrose police officers, but not a SWAT team, responded to the call, spoke with Rep. Clark and her family, and determined that the call was a hoax and there was no danger. The Melrose Department is currently investigating.