The Rock Star and the Cyberstalker

From The Daily Beast:

Shirley Manson, frontwoman for the rock band Garbage, is being barraged with death threats and hate tweets by a fan on Twitter. Christine Pelisek and Chris Lee examine the phenomenon of celebrity cyberstalking.

The furious outpouring of Twitter venom first appeared on an account belonging to someone operating under the name @Gunn2urhead on May 16, just one day after the multiplatinum-selling alterna-rock group Garbage released its new album, Not Your Kind of People.

Of the 273 tweets @Gunn2urhead posted that day, the overwhelming majority were diatribes directed at Garbage’s official Twitter account, a timeline shared by all four band mates. And almost every posting takes issue in some ugly way with the group’s lead singer Shirley Manson, a flame-haired Valkyrie ranked on VH1’s “30 Sexiest Rock Frontwomen” list. Among the Scottish vocalist’s perceived trespasses: cheating on her husband, being “evil,” lying and exerting some kind of mental stranglehold over @Gunn2urhead by using “brain frequencies” and telepathy.

“EVERY NIGHT AND DAY SHE’S MESSING WITH ME!!! CAN’T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!!!” @Gunn2urhead tweeted. “SO YOU WANT ME TO KILL YOU OR MYSELF?”

Later, the individual behind the account tweeted: “IM GONNA KILL U BITCH!!!!!!!”

Days later, Garbage’s manager Paul Kremen contacted police, prompting an investigation by detectives in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood division. On May 30 a Los Angeles Superior Court judge signed a search warrant—obtained by The Daily Beast—compelling Twitter executives to surrender information to the LAPD revealing @Gunn2urhead’s identity and location.

The warrant shines a spotlight on the new rules of engagement for both celebrities and their stalkers in the Information Age. Nowadays, law-enforcement officials are scrambling to keep up with the quickly evolving threat at a time when the personal barrier between famous people and their sometimes fanatical followers becomes ever more porous, and the sheer number of celebrity cyberstalking cases has skyrocketed.

Continue reading the rest of the story on The Daily Beast