Every situation is different so by far the best way to find out how to respond to a social media legal issue is to speak to those who are most likely to have dealt with a situation similar to yours.
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Harassment on social media
How to stop harassment on social media
Harassment on social media could land, unexpectedly, on the unsuspected victim, regardless of whether the victim is a regular user of social media user
There is no single role as to how many posts on social media are considered harassment. Harassment on social media may take different shapes and forms. The harassing posts might not necessarily be frequent. They could be sporadic. In one case that this firm has successfully handled, the posting of the harassing posts took place only once a year, very close to a significant date to the victim.
In many other cases the harasser has only made a single post, which then simply stayed on the internet for many years. Whilst the legal definition of harassment requires the harasser to harass the victim on more than one occasion, the courts have accepted that a single post on social media could would fit with the legal definition of harassment because the viewing of it by members of the public and/or by the victim is likely to be recurring. A single post on social media can, therefore, be enough to substantiate a legal case for harassment.
There are many different types of posts that may be considered harassing. These may include images, text, videos, names of URLs and pay per click advertising. The types of posts on social media that might be considered harassment is unlimited. By way of example, a case for harassment on social media could be made in the following circumstances:
- where the harasser publishes images or videos of the victim, or make threats to publish
- where the harasser is blackmailing the victim on social media where the harasser posts false allegations on social media in order to cause the victim to feel harassed and distressed
- where the harasser posts true information about the victim on social media in a way, or for the purpose of causing the victim to feel harassed and distressed
- where the harasser doxes the victim or participates in doxing activities against the victim, often on gossip websites. Read more about what to do if you have become victim of doxing
- where the harasser begins to harass people who are close to the victim, such as members of family, friends, business associates or employers. Read more about indirect harassment
- where the harasser posts personal data about the victim or private information or information to which the victim had an expectation to remain private. You can read more on harassment and breach of privacy
- where the harasser directs their harassing posts towards a director or another officer of a company in order to cause the victim distress
- where the harasser repeatedly posts true or untrue information which is concerning the victim, and which is intending to harass the victim, either on a single social media platform or on multiple platforms.
Because there are different types of harassment on social media, and because each victim of harassment experiences the harassment in a different way, there is no one answer to the question of how to deal with harassment on social media. Different circumstances would require different approach towards social media harassment.
It is helpful to understand who the harasser is and what is their motivation in harassing their victim. In some cases, reporting harassment to the police could resolve the matter, but those cases, unfortunately, are very rare and they often depend on the police force and how helpful the police are in handling social media harassment.
Before forming a strategy on how to deal with harassment on social media, many victims of harassment choose to first speak to someone independent who is not emotionally involved with their harassing experience, and who will listen to the victim, objectively assess the evidence and use a wealth of experience to advise on the best strategy to bring the harassment on social media to an end.
This could be a charitable organisation who supports victims of harassment or a solicitor who is specialising in successfully making heavy campaigns of harassment go way. We offer a fixed fee consultation, which may last for as long as you need, to give you the initial advice that you may need, and which often signals the beginning of the end of the harassment campaign against you.
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