In this post I would like to talk about a major issue that has become more of an issue as the internet improves and that is cyber harassment.
As many of you may know, there have been an astonishing number of people online who have began to target people and subject them to an amount of abuse that would make anyone fearful of their safety.
These abuses include but are not limited to online threats, stealing of personal/financial information and “revenge porn”.
In Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, Danielle Keats Citron describes these unspeakable acts and what you can do in order to prevent or stop such abuses from happening.
She describes how dangerous these abuses are and how illegal they are, even though most people are ignorant to the laws against such acts.
One story in particular that she described was the story of Anna Mayer, a graduate student who was attacked online for months by someone unknown and vicious. She was a blogger who spent months talking about her weight problems, body acceptance and some other personal issues she had going on. She then decided one day to google her name to see what she could find. What she found, however, was something very disturbing and frightening.
Mayer found posts describing her as “stupid, ugly fat whore” and posts exposing her dating profiles and other personal things. The abuse began to get worse over the next few months of her life and even went as far as them telling people not to sleep with her because of an STD that she had, and also telling people not to hire her.
The main thing that I liked about this book was the fact that she exposed her readers to facts that many do not even know exist. One thing that I learned was that there are people online who actually recruit other people to join in, in harassing people online. I was completely taken back by that because I did not know that people actually turn this sickening act into a job.
The main thing that I thought she could have added was more examples and stories of cyber abuse that could better map out what cyber abuse is. Some people may not know that their content is considered abusive.
The people who do these things have a lot of time on their hands and in most cases, they do not realize just how illegal it is to stalk/harass a person the way they do even online.
In the past few years the amount of suicides in result to online harassment have went up especially in youths and young adults.
I myself have seen an astonishing amount of online abuse towards other people online and it amazes me how much some people online have no regard for other people and their lives.
My main advice to avoid being apart of the problem is to think about your post and if you would approve of someone saying the content of your post to your child.