Parry Aftab is a cyber-bullying expert often called in by the media to speak on major cases. And that hasn’t left her in good stead with the guys who do the bullying. She’s been a particularly loathed target of the users of 4chan, where geek culture meets internet mayhem…
It began last year, when the New Jersey lawyer began speaking out against the internet harassment of Jessi Slaughter, an 11-year-old Florida girl who made herself a 4chan target with her grating behavior online.
Aftab went on Good Morning America to discuss the case. But her appearance quickly made her Public Enemy No. 1 among 4chan users. They shut down her websites — wiredsafety.org and aftab.com — prank called her, made unflattering changes to her wikipedia entry and began searching en mass for “Parry Aftab Arrested for Child Molestation” so the false info would become a leading search on Google.
Her scheduled second appearance on the show was suddenly dropped.
A year later, 4chan users haven’t forgotten about their arch-villain. On Saturday afternoon, police in affluent Wyckoff, New Jersey received an anonymous call from a man who claimed he’d killed four people and was now holding two others hostage at Aftab’s home.
The supposed killer demanded $10,000 and a police car to make his getaway.
SWAT team members surrounded the home. They spent hours outside in a futile attempt to make contact with the killer.
When they saw what they thought was suspicious movement inside the house, they shot tear gas through the windows. But that didn’t send anyone out the doors.
Police finally raided the home, only to find no one there. Aftab was on vacation.
The call came from an internet phone with a fake out-of-state number. Police are still trying to trace the caller.
See our last story from the Bullying file: Shacara McLaurin, 17, Beaten By Rival Girls to Keep Her Out of School Talent Show.