'Swatting' suspect was linked to many other hoax calls in L.A. and elsewhere before Kansas tragedy

"Danielle Citron, a professor of law at the University of Maryland who specializes in privacy and cyberstalking, said the use of swatting as a form of payback gained more traction during the 2014 Gamergate controversy. Hoax phone calls against female members of the gaming industry and journalists were among many forms of harassment that exposed an ugly, misogynistic segment of the online gaming population.

Those who engage in swatting often feel empowered by the anonymity provided by launching attacks from behind a computer screen, Citron said.

“You’ll have a user name and a voice, but you feel anonymous,” she said. “So you do and say things you would never do.”"