Author was threatened with castration, illegal imprisonment and murder. New book, Internet Hell, published on anniversary of attack, tells the story and provides advice for other victims of online harassment.
Milford, CT– Early on a Saturday morning in the summer of 2010, Michael N. Marcus received an alarming call from an old friend. The friend said that she had received a Facebook message saying that Marcus was a convicted child rapist, published child pornography, burned his wife, was in prison for four years, drove drunk, used the Internet to find children to have sex with, was part of an international pedophile ring, was a threat to his neighbors, and had even raped his dog.
As shocking as these false accusations were, things rapidly got worse. The anonymous accuser sent similar emails to Marcus's friends, relatives and business associates and members of the media, wrote accusatory letters to newspapers, set up online petitions to have him put on a list of sex offenders, and established a libelous blog with a huge number of false accusations. He even published pictures of Michael and his house—and directions to get there.
The attacker created multiple false identities to join in the attack, formed a phony organization to add credibility, and tried to halt printing and sale of books Michael wrote. People called for Michael's imprisonment, castration and execution. From the very beginning, there was only one obvious suspect, but police and the FBI could not prove who the perpetrator was. Marcus was able to get some lies removed from the web, but some are still there—and may remain there for as long as the Internet exists. Under the protective umbrella of the First Amendment, companies that host websites allow anyone to say anything about anyone... and some people will believe the most absurd accusations without any effort to verify them.
The book includes a fictionalized back story about the likely attacker, the truthful story of the attacks (with screen shots), the aftermath, recommendations for those who are similarly attacked, and an appropriate joke.
WHODUNNIT? The author says, "It's extremely likely that my attacker is a man who had a relationship with a relative of a relative. His attack was revenge. I reported him for neglecting his son who had an Autism Spectrum Disorder."
Michael N. Marcus is a journalist, editor, bestselling author of more than 40 books, award-winning advertising copywriter, publisher and mostly successful amateur attorney.
Internet HELL is published by Silver Sands Books. It quickly reached the "top ten" on two Amazon.com bestseller lists and is available as a $2.99 Kindle ebook and a $9.95 paperback. The paperback is more up-to-date and has additional material not in the ebook.