Online Harassment…What are the laws?

This week I was able to watch a few videos and read a couple articles. The theme that stuck out to me was the violence and harassment against women online.  After reading Online harassment of women at risk of becoming ‘established norm’, study finds, I was much more aware of how many women experience this. As a women I have been harassed online when I was younger. When this happened I pulled away from using social media. I didn’t want to deal with it, so I figured best to ignore it. I later found out that this is exactly what so many other people are being told. It is frightening to see that women who do come forward to lawyers and authorities that they are told nothing can be done. John Oliver is great for raising awareness on the issue.

I think our society is often blaming victims because the do not know what to do. I was curious about our laws in Canada  regarding online harassment, revenge porn, or sextortion. The RCMP place this under Cyber bullying

“Cyberbullying includes:

  • Sending mean or threatening emails or text/instant messages.
  • Posting embarrassing photos of someone online.
  • Creating a website to make fun of others.
  • Pretending to be someone by using their name.
  • Tricking someone into revealing personal or embarrassing information and sending it to others.”

I always assumed cyber bullying was something kids or teens experience. I never attributed it to adults. I feel the RCMP think the same way because in the adult section all they talk about is what to do if you know or think you child is being bullied. Nothing about what happens if you are being bullied. They also mention things like kids help phone and telling a trusted adult. So what happens if you are the adult? Is this still illegal if it is happening to an adult?

I also looked at the Government of Canada Justice system website in hope this would give me a better look at the law. In section 1.6 it discusses using technology to harass. I like this layout of the law a bit better. It seemed to include all people and not just children.

What do you think about our laws? Are they set up well enough to protect the victims of harassment?

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2 Responses to Online Harassment…What are the laws?

  1. I believe our laws can always be adjusted, and I think that policy writers and politicians must be willing to remain flexible in legislation. Currently, I do not think that our policies do enough to aid victims. However, I think this is a result of under-funded research to combat “cyber-bullying” and harassment. Technology has come so far and way too fast. The internet police and advocates have yet to catch up. Unfortunately, perpetrators have.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mskbrodner says:

    I think you are right about our legislation needed to be flexible. This is the only way we continue to grow as a society. I also do not think our policies do enough to help the victims. all to often I feel the policies tell victims they are the ones who have to prove what has happened to them to be true. They need to do the research about the law, document and then bring a case forward to the authorities. Where as in other crime the authorities hear of an injustice and do the investigation themselves.


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