Times-Herald (Vallejo)

New relationsh­ip not ready for old harassment

- Amy Dickinson Ask Amy

DEAR AMY >> I've met a great guy. We've gone out on six dates, and I am taking things very slowly.

This is my first time going out with someone in the seven years since my ex-husband and I divorced.

The real reason I'm taking things slowly is because a person who has a vendetta against me has made fake social media accounts to harass me.

It's all over the internet, but all of these postings and references are under my old married name.

I am working to officially change my name back to my pre-married name, and have tried to contact the internet sites, to no avail.

I'd love it if my `new guy' never found out about it, and so far I don't think he has.

Getting my birth surname back should solve some of my problems, as you have to dig deeper to uncover slanderous informatio­n. It won't surface in a quick search.

Should I tell him about this, or wait until we are in an exclusive and monogamous relationsh­ip?

I am afraid to tell him now, as the relationsh­ip is still new.

I hope that once he knows me better, it will have less of an impact.

What do you think? — On the Fence

DEAR ON THE FENCE >> I suggest waiting until you are more confident about burying this online harassment. One reason you should wait is — if you disclose this now, the man you're dating might (out of curiosity) look up these fake accounts and inadverten­tly make things worse for you by sharing, commenting, or attempting to fix this for you.

As you know, any traction at all on social media accounts can kick start the algorithm and push the material out to more readers.

The person who created these accounts could also become aware of any traction and renew this vendetta.

I hope you are seeking legal and law-enforcemen­t advice about what further action you can take.

DEAR AMY >> Your response to “Distracted Concertgoe­r” about fussy babies in the audience of a concert was so off base! In addition to insulting audience members who want to be able to hear the music, you described community bands as organizati­ons where amateur musicians “dust off instrument­s from the back of their coat closet.”

How insulting! — Upset

DEAR UPSET >> I suppose I was really describing my own long history performing with a local community band and chorus, which truly is an experience straight out of “The Music Man.”

I meant no insult to my fellow musicians.

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