Every day, social media continue to grow and has a lot more to offer. However, this creates a double-edged sword environment for people who uses it. More we immerse ourselves in social media, we become vulnerable and in some cases, victims. Social media often associate with threats in our lives without us knowing.
This has surely become a global problem, social media harassment.
Defining Social Media Harassment
Nowadays, a lot of young adults have been exposed to social media. Alongside with that exposure, we see the increase of online bullying or social media harassment.
But what does it mean?
According to an article published by Business News Daily, social media harassment means attacking a person using one to several media platforms causing negative reactions. Cyberbullying may sound familiar, which is also the same. But social media harassment covers more people or business entities. This also causes consequences if not handled properly.
Since the prevalence of social media become a trend, it gives people freedom and entitlement. This results in people oversharing and overposting, without them knowing they are crossing the line.
Consequently, the social media platforms have been limited to enforce their policies towards the users if they have committed violated such policies.
Prevalence of bullying online among youngsters
Along with the evolution of technology each day, possible dangers arise.
It is also possible that harassers evolve since the availability of technology, such as smartphones, becomes prominent.
Some research also suggests that social media triggers suicidal tendencies among teenagers. The harassment caused by people through social media
According to an article published by CBS News, social media and bullying both contributed to the increase of suicide rates in the United States. It is also the second leading cause of death among youngsters in the US.
Business as a target of social media harassment
Aside from teenagers, businesses are also vulnerable to this threat.
The marketing strategy among businesses has evolved through social media sites. This gives them the ability to engage with its customers through social media platforms and can provide solutions according to their concerns. It also gives them the advantage to reach a wider set of audience for advertisement and marketing purposes.
Back then, companies only interact with their customers through their phones. They are only reachable in limited means of communication. But with the help of social media, they are just one click away to be reached.
However, the problem arises when people use social media differently towards companies. Business entities hold both responsibilities among customers and vulnerability from their social media abuses. This might destroy their image and their company as well.
A lot of people who use social media daily can be victims of false news and misinformation about a certain company or entity. In contrast, some social media users also help spread false news about entities for their good.
Protect yourself from these online perpetrators: a guide for social media harassment victims
If you felt your rights are being violated, don’t be scared to speak up. This is also to protect yourself and potential others against online bullies and harassers.
- Collect and record: This includes a picture of the profile, conversation (if you have been harassed through private messages), comments that violates your right/s.
- Report button. Social media platforms have a report button that allows you to report offensive remarks towards you. You may also report profiles that use your name for illegal purposes (such as scam, etcetera).
- File a police report. If there is no action taken by the social media site, report the incident to the police with your gathered evidence and documents.
- Restraining order. In an instance that you cannot handle the abuse anymore, file a restraining order before a court. This will help you to get distance from your perpetrators. You might not know what your perpetrators can do to you outside social media.
- Get help from authorities. You may report this to the FBI for further legal aid. It will also help you and the other potential victims since the perpetrator/s will have their record in the authorities.
How to save your company away from image destruction
If you are just being picked out by these online bullies, be prepared and follow these guidelines.
- Don’t engage with them. It may be natural to you to defend yourself if you know you did not do anything wrong or malicious. However, it is different in the online world. Your bullies may not be alone in picking a battle with you. So, do not engage with them as much as possible.
- Control the situation. In fighting these battles, it is hard for you not to counteract. However, if keeping silent does not make the situation any better, you need to take action in a positive approach. Keep that smile from your face, and ask how can you make them better to improve your services.
- Call a cop. If the situation is out of control, do not hesitate. You need to control the authorities and contain and neutralize the situation. They certainly know how to manage situations like this.
Are there anyways to get back to my court using legal action?
Yes. If the damage caused by the situation has affected you a lot, this is the time where you need to take legal action.
What can be charged to my perpetrators for posting malicious comments online?
Defamation. As per definition, it is a violation in which a person destroys a good reputation of another person. Meaning, any person who is defaming you can be jailed for doing such a crime.
According to an article published by Investopedia, defamation has two forms. One is Libel, which involves writing and publishing malicious content that has no truth behind it. Another is Slander, which involves spoken or oral defamation.
In this situation, however, it may take a tedious process whether the remarks are proven to be true or not.