With the online forums and communities rising up, harassment has become a common part of the life of online users. The Pew Research Center made an astonishing report on the same subject and found out that about three-quarters of American adults have seen online harassment. Of them, forty percent have themselves faced harassment online.
There is a diverse range of harassments that encircle the online users and most of them are in the form of physical threats, sexual harassment and stalking. The most intriguing part about online harassment is that people don’t know the identity of the person who harassed them.
Adults in the age range of 18-29 were most prone to online harassment, according to the survey. Women between the age group of 18 to 24 were also the victims of sexual harassment and stalking. The survey concluded that the people who posted a lot of information about themselves on the internet, including their work profile, address, etc. were more likely to get harassed.
It happens to the celebrities too. The recent example in the context is of Jennifer Lawrence, whose nude pictures were leaked and posted online. This created a disturbing situation for the actress and she calls it no less than a sex crime.
For the Police, it is relatively harder to chase these online maniacs because the legal system is not par with the technology used by these bunch of criminals. It was resounded by Elizabeth Dowdell, she said, “our legal system hasn’t quite caught up with technology,” said Elizabeth Dowdell, a nursing professor at Villanova University who studies online aggression. On top of that, adults are generally hesitant to report harassment because they might view it as a “child or teenage problem.”
Dodwell also added that the internet does not have any age limits and it makes the situation even worse. The fact that people can remain anonymous while committing a mischief can encourage them more. The social networking websites have strict policies pertaining to online harassment, but they have not done enough to culminate it. However, Twitter amended its policy after some users posted crude images of Robin Williams to his daughter Zelda after the actor committed suicide in the month of August this year.
Online harassment is not a new subject of concern; it has prevailed for years and the authorities are unable to control them. The victims of online harassment are unaware of the person who did it. Hence, there shall be immediate control policies in place that can help improve the existing situation.
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