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My ex is harassing me online. What can I do?

Digital development has provided us with many benefits including the ability to keep in touch with our family and friends. However, there are also many problematic implications that have come with the rise of digital. This has included the fact that people are often able to get in touch with us, even if we do not want them to.

How is online harassment defined?

Cyber harassment, otherwise known as online harassment, can come in many forms. It could be threatening language, persistent communication or a person posting publicly about you. No matter the way that it is done, it is always a form of unwelcome communication that can put you as the victim under a lot of stress and upset. It will likely make you fearful as a result.

What can be done?

Online harassment is considered a form of stalking, and anti-stalking laws are held in all states. However, some states require that in order for the communication to be considered as stalking, there must be some violent threat used.

What if my ex is posting as an anonymous user?

The problem with online harassment is that it can be difficult to trace the true perpetrator of the crime. For example, the perpetrator might be posting abusive messages from an anonymous Instagram account. Based on the content and nature of the abuse, you might be convinced that the harassment is being done by your ex, but it might be hard to make a conviction based on this.

If you are being harassed online, it is important not to underestimate your struggles. You should conduct adequate research and consider your legal options.

Source: Privacy rights, "Online harassment," Oct. 20, 2017

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