You need to understand your rights when faced with Cyberbullying
Online bullying is harassment. This may involve the use of social media, email or text messages to abuse an individual and/or group. The way in which posts can be shared quickly to a large audience makes online bullying not only malicious but highly effective and dangerous.
The intention of technology, specifically social media, is to connect friends and family to the world. Despite the myriad of benefits derived from social media, it has also become a platform for malice. Examples of online bullying can include; defamation, threats and/or intimidation, creating fake profiles to cause harm and menacing posts.
It is important to note that online bullying is prohibited on social networking sites and online defamation is illegal. Despite the Terms and Conditions on each respective platform, cyber bullying is rising in prevalence and impact on society.
Cyberbullying and the Law
Online bullying is a crime when it includes:
- Threatening content
- Acquiring internet accounts without permission
- Encouragement of suicide
There are laws in Australia which are concerned with online bullying and harassment. Criminal Code Act 1995 states it is a felony to use social media, telephones and the internet to harass others or cause menace. The maximum penalty for these offences is a fine greater than $30 000 or three years imprisonment.
If you have been a victim of the aforementioned, you are well within your right to take action against the culprits.
What Actions can you take against Cyberbullying
There are important steps you should take when faced with online bullying. The following will ensure action will be taken against any perpetrators.
Communicating with a family-member or friend about the problem at hand is the first step to take when cyberbullying has occurred. You shouldn’t feel ashamed or be alone during this difficult time. Seeking advice will help ensure you feel calm in the immediate and long term.
Taking a screenshot and noting the website/URL from where the bullying has taken place will provide essential evidence, particularly when seeking legal advice. Defamation2GO can assist you in these difficult circumstances, supporting you and leading you in the right direction.
Report the offender to the website on which the bullying occurred. Violation of a website’s terms and conditions will may in turn result in action against the post/offender. Posts should be removed and in most cases, the offending account can be suspended or terminated.
Issuing a concerns notice will likely be your first step in your battle dealing with defaming online posts. Offenders will be informed of the severity of their actions, highlighting that if posts or threats are not ceased, legal action will be undertaken.
It is important to remember that no one should be the victim of online bullying. You should not have to stand for malicious behaviour and protecting your reputation and wellbeing is of paramount importance.
Defamation2GO assists those that have been the victim of Cyber-Bullying, Verbal, Email or Written Defamation and/or Slander, at an affordable price. To issue a Concerns Notice and fight for your reputation, you can do so here.