What are the types of online abuse?
Your Essential Guide to Deal With Online Harassment
In a book about educating children for a sustainable world, Professor David W. Orr wrote: “The planet doesn’t need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind.”
Now, if we look at the increased severity of online harassment, as per a recent report by Pew Research Center, we find that such a quote equally applies to our virtual world and is more relevant than ever in the era of cyberbullying.
What Is Cyber Bullying?
In general, bullying is any aggressive and mean behavior repeatedly directed on its victim over a period of time to bring them feelings of hurt and discomfort.
As its name suggests, cyberbullying is bullying that happens in cyberspace; this includes your smartphones, tablets, computers, and any other Internet-connecting devices. In contrast to traditional bullying, cyberbullying can occur anytime and anywhere, whether you are in your safe home space or freely enjoying vacation time.
In the guide below, we discuss online Harassment, a common method used by cyberbullies.
Tell Me About Online Harassment
- Online Harassment occurs when someone repeatedly uses one of the offenses below to hurt you or any other victim.
- Making mean or insulting comments on your posts
- Verbally abusing you in the chatbox of multiplayer online games
- Spreading gossip, lies, and rumors online to damage your reputation
- Pushing people in your circle towards offending you
- Stealing your online identity to send hateful messages on your behalf
- Creating a website or social media page targeted at you
- Posting private and embarrassing content about you or sending it to others
- Excluding you from a group or hiding your comments if they are admins
- Sending you harmful and threatening messages via email or social media
Why Stand Up Against Online Harassment
- You deserve respect & a safe online experience: You have the right to privacy and a good online reputation and it can be violated in just a few clicks where someone can share humiliating rumors and lies about you with thousands of people.
- Your well-being matters: Cyberbullying can go as far as technology is developing, and this creates unimaginable ways to harm victims with stress, shame, and a weight of negative feelings.
- You can make a difference: Cyberbullies are less likely to stop by themselves, while they can anonymously carry their attacks. However, by standing up against them, you are doing your responsibility as a good and positive digital citizenship and put an end to their harmful activities.
How To Deal with Online Harassment
1) Don’t Reply – at least try to
The behavior of online harassers is provocative by nature, where getting you to engage in their toxic game is part of the plan. Don’t respond and give them the satisfaction.
2) Document Everything
Although they are unpleasant messages and content, it’s a good idea to document incidents of your Online Harassment. Take screenshots and save the links, for these can be powerful evidence when reporting your case later.
3) Prevent the Communication
You can mute your online harassers to stop viewing their online activities. You can also block their email address and accounts on social media to end any kind of unwanted interaction.
4) REPORT – all caps
Use your collected evidence to report the activities of online harassers on the social media platforms and websites they target you and even others through. Their accounts can get suspended if they violate any terms of service.
5) Contact Qatar’s Cyber Crime Combating Centre
The law protects you against any kind of cybercrime. It also stipulates the punishment of perpetrators with a prison sentence and a fine penalty. MOI's Cybercrime Combating Centre provides data and security intelligence to roving security patrols to interdict and investigate criminal acts. To report cybercrimes to the MOI, contact the Cybercrime Combating Centre at (+974) 2347444 or (+974) 66815757,
6) Talk It Out
Online harassers like it when they succeed in isolating you or making you feel rejected. For that, it’s helpful to share incidents of Online Harassment with people you trust. By doing so, you don’t only enjoy support and guidance. You also spread awareness to save others from similar events.
Just by being online users, we are all potential victims of cyberbullying. But now that you know more about Online Harassment, you have the power to protect yourself and others. Share the message. No more silent victims!