Six eBay employees mounted a cyberstalking campaign including sending boxes of live spiders and cockroaches and a Halloween mask of a bloody pig’s face —followed by a threatening Twitter message— against a Natick, Mass. couple who ran an online e-commerce newsletter, according to charges filed by federal prosecutors yesterday.
I’ve never heard of anything like this, except perhaps in one of the cheesy horror movies I watch late at night to anesthetize my brain.
The employees, all of whom have now left the company, engineered a campaign against the couple that included ominous emails and deliveries on unordered products obvious chosen to terrify, such as a bloody pig mask, a funeral wreath and a book about how to surviving grief after the death of a spouse. Just to enrich your nightmares, here are the mask and the book:
Some of the employees even drove to the couple’s home to spy on them.
One of the involved eBay executives texted a fellow executive involved in the plot, saying that he wanted to “crush” the female member of the couple. Andrew E. Lelling, the United States attorney for Massachusetts, said that what the employees launched was ” a systematic campaign, fueled by the resources of a Fortune 500 company, to emotionally and psychologically terrorize this middle-aged couple in Natick with the goal of deterring them from writing bad things online about eBay.”
Wow. First it’s dangerous to criticize Black Lives Matter, and now this. You can’t even criticize eBay without wondering what’s coming in retaliation.
The six ex-employees were charges with conspiracy to commit cyber-stalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses. Among them are two former high-ranking eBay officers, now in custody: James Baugh, the company’s former senior director of safety and security, and David Harville, the company’s former director of global resiliency.
To be fair to eBay, it did issue the mandatory message in support of the protests/riots, noting that “there is no place for hate or violence in our community,” except, apparently, in the executive suites of the company itself.