The close-range technologies of mobbing

Proximity can be said to be the platform of mobbing. Whether actual or simulated, mobbing is all about constructing for the victim, the phenomenology of never being alone, and always being watched. This requires, in the manner of stalking, constant intrusion into the world of the victim.

This is where mobbing comes into its own.

On being mobbed introduces a series of entries describing the close-range methods of harassment that real estate mobbers use to force legal residents from their homes and to make them available for speculation. The first of these, soon to be posted, will talk about femtocells and other devices mobbers use to intercept your phone calls and break into your communications with harassment.

On the day that you were born the angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair
Of gold and starlight in your eyes of blue

That is why all the girls in town
Follow you
All around
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

—(They Long to be) Close To  You (1970), The Carpenters

Mobbers stalk you to monitor you.

The physical closeness of mobbers to their victim, feigned or otherwise, is crucial for the success of the mob. It is only through proximity that continual access to the victim is assured. Technology alone cannot guarantee the access required for continual monitoring and harassment of the victim. A victim who refuses to accept monitoring or does not understand its meaning may shut down a network connection, she may put a sticker over the camera on her laptop or keep her smartphone in a signal-blocking pocket. Wireless networks may be unreliable and, to the likely dismay of the mobbers, there are still a lot of people who live much of their lives offline. What’s more, though it’s debatable whether it’s more terrifying to be cyber-stalked by shadowy criminals or those you know, it’s probably easier to intimidate your victim out of reporting when she knows from your presence around her that she’ll be threatened for every report she makes.

To be complete, to assure an experience of end-to-end (and endless) harassment for the victim from the start of the mob ‘til the victim is expelled from the property the mobbers wish to acquire, the ideal is for the mobbers to surround the victim in his or her home.

Encirclement makes certain that regardless of the nature of the harassment—whether it is delivered over wi-fi or over the public address system at Whole Foods, the victim will come to understand that until she leaves her home, there is no chance that the mobbing will end. To flush out the victim of the mob, encirclement of the property to be acquired is the best strategy.

This is tenant clearing by mobbing.

The physical closeness has benefits for the mobbers. Besides benefitting from the inability of the victim to “escape,” the victim is forced every day to see those who are criminally harassing her pretending to be good people living normal lives while she must witness the public ridicule of those criminally harassing her as the “village idiot.”

Within easy range, the mobbers are also free to use a variety of close-range methods of harassing the victim. And within easy range, mobbers can use felony methods of harassment that may be less detectable because of their limited range.




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