Sep 18

5 Types of Online Harassment You May Encounter

With the advent of technology and social networking, the forms of harassment we experience offline have plagued us online. Harassment comes in many forms, but the core purpose is clear and simple: to cause distress. Usually, it’s just hateful words, but sometimes it could be as serious as physical threats. So, how do these harassers do their awful works? Here are the different types of harassments you may encounter online.

1. Cyberstalking and Sexual Predation
Online harassment can become really persistent. Online predators will force a communication with a victim. In many cases, the stalking includes sexual harassment, whether explicitly or implicitly. Regardless, it’s important to understand that harassment done online is not necessarily limited to bullying; it can also take place in the form of excessive, persistent and unwanted messaging.

2. Online Impersonation
Unfortunately, it’s very easy to create an online account under someone else’s name—simply by signing up for a new account. The problem is that many of these accounts are created for not-so-nice intentions. The name used in the account can now be used to do ill-reputed online activities, like Photoshopping nude photos and then publishing it, brag about abusive drug use or wrongly impersonating the person they are trying to be, causing trouble to the real person. Most of the victims are public figures and celebrities, because of their fame and their name they are trying to protect.

3. Intimidation and Humiliation
Aggressive harassment done online includes bullying, hostile action, forcing the victim to execute specific actions and humiliating the person. This online attack is executed with the intention of shaming the person and damaging his self-esteem and emotional state.

4. Hate Speech
Anyone using his online identity to make hate speeches against a person, race, gender, certain religion and political beliefs is considered a cyber-bully. Remember that there is a thin line between expressing your thoughts about a certain idea and giving a hate speech towards certain group of people, an individual or an idea. Any opinion that promotes hate should be reported right away.

5. Threats of Violence
The extreme type of online harassment includes threats of violence against a person or group of people. The threats can be direct or indirect and specific or vague. But in any case, they represent looming danger and may need legal intervention to ensure the safety of the victim and protect him or her from potential harm.
These harassments can cause serious effects emotionally—and even physically—to victims, but we do not have to wait to become victims. If you encounter any of these cyber harassments, report the post to the website immediately.

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