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How does this relate to startups, software dev or anything remotely related to what HN stands for?

From the guidelines: "On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity."

It appears many people in this thread find this interesting (particularly in the ways technology interacts with stalking) so it is on topic.

Then again:

Off-Topic: Most stories about politics, or crime, or sports, unless they're evidence of some interesting new phenomenon. Videos of pratfalls or disasters, or cute animal pictures. If they'd cover it on TV news, it's probably off-topic.

I find this article to be in the "crime without any interesting new perspective" category, since the phenomenon of Internet stalking is old news by now, even for mainstream media.

Then again, lots of politics and crime stories seem to be making their way to the front page nowadays and there's no way to vote against them except to flag. So maybe I should just hope we at least stay clear of sports articles, or switch news sources ;).

I was thinking about that as I was posting that, but I thought this was generating an in-depth discussion beyond "crime without a new perspective" so it was okay with me.

It touches on issues of anonymity and reputation on on the internet, as well as highlighting how non-obvious the flaws are in our identity systems to people who are non-technical.

I think it's reasonably on topic.

Given that:

1) Startups (some anyway) tend to get a lot of media attention

2) Startups have fragile reputations while they are making a name for themselves

3) Startups tend to have more personal relationships with their customers than more established companies

It follows that startup personalities will encounter stalkers of various sorts. Articles about a potential consequence of this, discussions of how to deal with it and so on seem as on topic as "tips for personal productivity", "how to deal with office politics", "Prosecutorial overzealousness", "copyright" and other recurring themes here.

Further, speaking a bit more generally: People here are pretty prone to living huge amounts of their lives online. One of the dark sides of the internet is that it has been a great stalking enabler, and those of us who spend a lot of time online in forums, etc, can be at greater risk for general muck-raking, since the volume of stuff known about us "on the internet" is larger.

It's useful advice if you discuss any topic or are a part of any community on the internet. There are a lot of people on the internet who are not capable of interacting in "proper" society,. Sometimes this provides a useful outlet to allow socialization, sometimes providing the opportunity to hurt others in ways that they might not do in person. These people are rare, but with enough of an audience, common. I helped run a fairly large (~200k member) private community forum and encountered these persons regularly, friends who did the same and had their personal information online for their freelance careers were not so lucky, threats were made, etc.

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