Dealing With Online Harassment

The internet has revolutionized our lives in a number of ways. Unfortunately, there is also a downside to this wonderful technology: it can take bullying and harassment to a new level. Online bullies can often quite effectively hide their identities while saying terrible things about you with impunity, or posting private, intimate photos they have dishonestly acquired.

This activity can damage one’s self-esteem and reputation, both of which can be devastating. The shame and stress that’s resulted has even led some victims to take their own lives. If you find yourself the victim of online harassment, here are some tips to help resolve the situation:

Contact the Platform Being Used

For example, if you are being harassed on Facebook, try contacting them and asking for the removal of the offending content and banning of the account responsible. Do the same for any other platforms where this slanderous content appears.

It also helps for family and friends to report the content. The more complaints the platform receives, the faster they will likely act.

Document the Abuse

If you decide to contact the authorities, it is important to have documented the abuse to show to them as evidence. Take screenshots and print out all material that you can find. If you find it overly unpleasant to do this, ask friends to assist you.

Talk to Someone

If you have not already shared this with your friends and loved ones, do so. It may be embarrassing and quite difficult for you, but consoling words may mean a lot during times like this. It can help to know that you have a sympathetic ear available when you feel especially down.

Contact the Police

If the problem continues, escalates, or results in you feeling physically threatened, it’s best to get the police involved. Provide as much information as you can about whomever you think is responsible.