I am researching a novella which will be set in Shenzhen but will have a similar plot to that of "Viral" by Helen Fitzgerald. A major character in the story will be a cyberbully, someone who torments the central character.
I need to make this person somehow relatable if not likable or heroic. A famous example of cyberbullying was when from about 2004 till about 2011, when his career was in the stratosphere, British journalist Johann Hari used anonymous Wikipedia accounts to attack all of his political enemies.
This is something that did him no good, even if he had never been caught. Any idea why otherwise successful people become cyberbullies? It seems to harm them as much as the people they target. I find it a difficult subject to research because most cyberbullies don't consider themselves bullies.
The problem from my point of view is that the people I might think of as cyberbullies do not seem to be "otherwise successful".
Well, as people may have noticed, I am kind of obsessed with the phenomenon. A story is only as strong as its villain, and cyberbullying can and has been fodder for great fiction. "Viral" is a brilliant page-turner.
I've definitely met successful people who were cyberbullies, eg Fred.