The Aussie woman who exposed a man for sending her abusive and downright disgusting messages has revealed exactly how she did it, and it’s a little more complicated than you might first think.

Ebonie Sanderson, 26, matched with Thomas McGuirk, 28, on Tinder last week. They had a short chat, but it wasn’t going anywhere, so Ebonie unmatched with him. McGuirk then found her on Hinge, another dating app which doesn’t require both parties to ‘say yes’ before you can send the other person a message. They chatted, he added her on Snapchat and Instagram, and then he started to get… pushy.

“It didn’t take long to turn,” Ebonie told PEDESTRIAN.TV.

“I was at uni studying, and when I got home he began asking me, ‘Oh, you’re home, are you going to come round? When are you coming?’ He was very persistent.”

She was feeling a bit uncomfortable, and declined McGuirk’s invitation.

Thomas McGuirk tinder Ebonie Sanderson
The Tinder profile Ebonie matched with. Photo via Instagram.

“That’s where he started to get aggressive,” Ebonie said. “He was like, ‘Who else are you sleeping with? Who else is over tonight? Why wouldn’t you come over?”

If you’ve read our earlier story, you’ll know that this is where things started to get nasty. McGuirk sent her voice memos via Instagram calling her a “fat fucking pig” and a “time wasting whore”.

“I was shocked with what he said,” Ebonie said. “That night I was really upset.”

What happened next has made headlines: Ebonie posted his voice messages to Instagram, her post was shared by author Clementine Ford to her own 115,000 Instagram followers, and by the following morning, McGuirk had been fired from his job at Sydney logistics firm Invenco. (His boss, Dave Scott, told News.com.au he was “shocked and disgusted” by Thomas’ behaviour.)

Ebonie had only hoped to warn other women in the Bondi area, where both she and McGuirk lived. Instead, Ebonie woke up to thousands of supportive messages and her story going viral.

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“I knew that the power of social media is incredible, but to wake up the next morning to see that multiple girls had written up emails, gotten all the information, and sent it through to the CEO – these girls had taken action before I’d even taken action,” Ebonie said.

Dozens of women have since gotten in touch with Ebonie to tell her that they, too, had an unpleasant encounter with McGuirk.

It’s the rare story of social media being used for good. So how did Ebonie utilise that power the first place? She’d never met the guy, she’d blocked him on everything, and Australia’s defamation laws are wired so that if she pinged the wrong guy, she could be up for a lot of money.

Ebonie told P.TV it was a combination of iPhone features and old-fashioned sleuthing.

First of all, she’d screen-recorded his Instagram voice memos on the night he sent them, just in case. “I think that’s why he sent the memos, so I couldn’t screenshot his comments,” Ebonie said. (For the record,  screen recording is very simple and instructions are here.)

The next step was reporting him. She wasn’t able to report him on Tinder, as she’d already unmatched with him, but was able to report him on Hinge. (Both platforms have since removed his profile.)

Before she posted her recordings on Instagram, she hit a snag. What if it wasn’t McGuirk sending her those abusive IG messages? “It seemed so dodgy, it was almost like he was impersonating someone,” she said.

She needed evidence. Ebonie unblocked him from Snapchat and accepted his friend request, which prompted a new flood of abuse. (“He was talking about my greasy skin, my fat rolls, eating Macca’s and KFC for breakfast… it was so petty.”)

The Aussie Woman Who Exposed That Bondi Creep Went Full Internet Sleuth To Do It – Here’s How
Photo: Ebonie Sanderson.

She ignored the abuse and called him over the app, covering her camera so as not to show her own face. He answered the call – and bingo.

“I had proof that was him in the [Instagram] photo,” she said. “As soon as I saw his face, I was like, this is him.”

She told him: “Perfect, that’s all I need. Have a nice day, you won’t hear from me again.”

Then she hung up, blocked him again, posted her evidence, and the story exploded.

Worth keeping in mind if you come across any abusive creeps on social media, no?

Anything to add to this story? Get in touch: alex.bruce-smith@pedestriangroup.com.au.

Image: Instagram / Ebonie Sanderson