I know I’ve been poor at regularly posting on my website. I have a good excuse – when I posted I tended to get new enquiries and I became overwhelmed with these, so I stopped posting. BUT, I still wanted to talk about my cases so I posted it elsewhere. Yes, I deliberately posted somewhere so I wouldn’t get more patients (I’m just one person with a finite amount of energy). This perverse strategy turned out to be useful after I got hacked.
I posted about a lovely result of one of my prescriptions on Twitter and I got attacked by A LOT of trolls. Between 400 and 600 Twitter accounts attacked me. It was an onslaught. Doctors, academics, well-respected writers and producers of comedy TV shows that I liked all attacked. I was called ever single awful thing that you can think of, I was accused of the worst things humans are capable of.
I was reported to the police (for what, I’m not sure), the ASA (advertising standards authority), my local politician, local papers, Trading Standards, fake negative reviews were posted on Google and Facebook, I got fake enquiries … and I’m sure a few other things that I’ve forgotten. The lady who designed my website was harassed, then my home address was posted with suggestions that people ‘pay me a visit’. It was a stressful few days.
I discovered that Twitter is a swamp. When you can start anonymous accounts easily + there’s no effective ‘policing’ = rampant abuse. I reported the worst abuse (imagine the worst things you could say to someone), most of the time Twitter replied that ‘we investigated and this is not abuse’. A surreal situation, especially when you read these stories of prominent people being banned from the platform for saying very innocuous things.
Then my website went down. My hosting company reported suspicious activity and locked the site. Later it turned out that someone had ‘brute force’ attacked my site. They had used a program to guess the password to my website over and over again until they broke in. (I naively assumed that the hosting company would detect and block such activity, but unfortunately not). I got my tech guy on the case, but unfortunately the hackers had inserted malicious code all over the site. Luckily we had an older version of the site saved offline. Which bring me back to my comment earlier about posting about cases elsewhere.
The website you see here is the 2015 version. Things had evolved since then. We’ve lost all of the last 3 years of testimonials…what a tragedy. Except, we haven’t. So….for the next 40 days I’ll post a new blog post to bring this website back up to date.