“Fatal Attraction” dramatized the pre-Internet perils of an obsessed ex-lover — and a recent case out of Vancouver crystallizes the dangers of a Digital Age stalker. A Canadian teacher is embroiled in a scary international stalking situation. His lover-turned-stalker is hiding from authorities in real life, but is ever-present online — where she perpetually bad-mouths her former beau. The worst part: all the trash talk is costing him a job!
Paradise Found Leads To International Stalking Situation
In 2010, Canadian Lee David Clayworth was teaching in Malaysia. Back then, Clayworth ostensibly lived an exciting life. After all, teaching in the tropical paradise of Malaysia certainly seemed like the idyllic situation for an adventurous twenty-something. Heck, he even had a girlfriend in his adopted new country.
But since impermanence is a universal fundamental, Clayworth’s romantic bliss didn’t last forever, and after the pair parted ways, his lady fair, Lee Ching Yan, stole his laptop, hacked into his email and started a multi-year-long digital onslaught against Clayworth. Yan assailed his contacts with salacious, untrue stories of pedophilia and other crimes; she posted nude pictures of him online and littered dozens of social media sites with the vitriol of a scorned lover.
Malaysian Court Agrees With Lee David, But Nobody Can Find Lee Ching
Lee David Clayworth’s online reputation took an international beating, so he sued Lee Ching Yan in Malaysian court. Clayworth won and the court ordered Yan to pay $66,000 in damages. But sometimes even a judge’s ruling won’t thwart a revengeful online stalker. Despite the ruling, Yan kept posting defamatory material with a vengeance. She even skipped town to avoid a contempt of court jail sentence – but kept the online hits coming.
U.S. Search Engines Ignore International Stalking Court Order
In addition to the defamation damages and sanctions, the Malaysian court also ordered Google, Yahoo and Bing to block Clayworth’s name in their databases. None of the search engines, however, are paying attention to the order. Google was the only company to respond to the request, saying only that “users who want content removed from the Internet should contact the webmaster of the page directly.” Google clarified their stance by explaining that they “do not remove content from [their] search results, except in very limited cases such as illegal content and violations of…webmaster guidelines.”
Clayworth has had mixed results with getting material removed from various sites. More than that, Lee Ching is one persistent person – every time Lee David convinces a site to take down a statement, she just posts it somewhere else.
For International Stalking Situations, Get A U.S. Court Order Instead
One of the reasons Clayworth is having a hard time getting Google and the other search engines to listen to him is because a Malaysian court order is not going to make U.S.-based megacorps to jump through hoops – but a U.S. court order might do the trick. Kelly Warner has helped many clients obtain effective court orders that compel Google and other search engines to de-index certain information. We’ve also had great success uncovering anonymous defamers. If you need help getting defamatory material removed from the Internet, get in touch with Kelly Warner law today.