London

Twitch trans activist in London, Ont., says she's still getting harassed as her new location was posted online

A London, Ont.-based transgender activist and Twitch broadcaster who police say was the victim of a swatting attack this month says she's still getting harassed after internet trolls traced her new location and sent her a string of unexpected deliveries.

Clara Sorrenti, 28, says she had 5 different pizza orders sent to her hotel room under her birth name

London, Ont.-based Clara Sorrenti, known as Keffals on the online platform Twitch, says she's being harassed yet again after people were able to track down the hotel where she's staying. (Michelle Both/CBC)

A London, Ont.-based transgender activist and Twitch broadcaster who police say was the victim of a swatting attack earlier this month says she's still getting harassed after internet trolls traced her new location and sent her a string of unexpected deliveries.

Clara Sorrenti, 28, temporarily moved to a hotel due to safety concerns following the incident on Aug. 5. 

Sorrenti said she tweeted a photo of her fiancé's cat on a bed to let her followers know she's safe, and all of a sudden, she started getting pizza deliveries sent to her room from five different companies under her birth name, which she legally changed more than a decade ago. 

"I'm actually quite concerned for my safety," she said. "I've had to basically go into hiding to make sure no one finds out where I am because I don't want anything bad to happen to me." 

Sorrenti believes her harassers cross-referenced the bed sheets in the photo to every local hotel until they figured out where she was staying, and posted the information to a website called KiwiFarms, an American forum dedicated to the doxxing (searching and publishing private information usually with malicious intent), harassment and trolling of online figures.

"They collect information on the people they target, they dox them, their families and anyone associated with them," Sorrenti said, adding her apartment was initially doxxed through the same website, in an attempt to get Toronto police's attention. 

The forum's website describes itself as "a community dedicated to discussing eccentric people who voluntarily make fools of themselves."

Sorrenti received an email from an unknown sender that attempted to warn her that her hotel got doxxed. She admits she didn't think too much of the note, until she started getting pizza order confirmations on her email. 

Police making good faith

Sorrenti said she received a call from London police's hate crime division on Aug. 14 after an employee at one of the pizza companies recognized her name and reported it to police, who are currently investigating the incident as criminal harassment, she said.

"While I have my misgivings about what happened [on Aug. 5], they seem to be making a good-faith effort at keeping me safe, and I appreciate that," Sorrenti said. 

Last week, London police's Deputy Chief Trish Mcintyre told CBC's London Morning that her team has learned from the incident and is expediting changes to ensure this never happens again. 

Deputy Police Chief Trish Mcintyre joins London Morning to address concerns around the swatting arrest and a system that failed Clara Sorrenti and officers.

London police declined to comment on the matter, saying this is an open and ongoing investigation, and said any offences disclosed to them will be investigated thoroughly. 

Sorrenti said she doesn't know how the situation will progress, but feels things will escalate because many of her harassers live in London. She's taking things day by day, she said. 

"I don't know how I'm still going. I really just want to live a normal life again, and I don't want people to bully me out of doing the work that I do," she said.

"A lot of people have thanked me for having a presence as a trans person. I've had dozens of people tell me they came out because of me and no matter what happens, I don't think I'm ever going to back down."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Isha Bhargava is a multiplatform reporter for CBC News. She's worked for Ontario newsrooms in Toronto and London. She loves telling current affairs and human interest stories. You can reach her at isha.bhargava@cbc.ca or on Twitter @isha__bhargava

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