Monday, April 30, 2007

Online Slander & Threats

Much easier to intimidate and slander behind a computer screen.

More and more people are becoming targets of harassments. Although far more women are targets of sexual harassment and threats, men are becoming the targets of jaded and misguided women. For middle and high school (mostly females) students, online social networking Web sites such as MySpace have become the new venue for school bullying.

Arianna Huffington, operats Huffington Post which is among the most prominent of blogs founded by women. Huffington said online anonymity has allowed "a lot of dark prejudices towards women to surface."

Men Harassed By Women Online

Most of the results for online harassment found online will be for women harassed by men. However, women are finding it much easier to go online and accuse men of wrong doing in the emotionless electronic communication system. Once a women is “wronged” some women may go in search of restoring her pride by lashing out at male who wrong her by extending the truth of a occurrence.

Someone may become furious when their attraction is not returned. Other times, what should have remained a disagreement between two people can easily turn into an vicious battle of “Who’s telling the truth” where both parties and supposed eye witnesses state they saw the whole thing. Yet some people may simply be an online bully, who likes to push people around by posting slanderous forum messages and or enjoys terrorizing anther from behind a computer screen.

Too often, people and especially supportive women are willing to assume any man is capable and willing of commenting sexual harassment. The problem with the “I saw it all” kind of thinking is that there is almost always one person who will stretch the truth in order to ensure the accused victimizer will receive his (or her) due punishment.

Cyberspace Is The Place of Lowered Inhibitions.

Forums, social networking sites and instant messaging encourages people to say things they might not have said if they were face to face because people talking to one another online are far away from physically contact. Anonymity and physical distance mean that people online are protected from the immediate consequences of their actions. A person can type words that if they had been said face to face might have provoke a physical argument.

Face to face, people are careful how they talk to strangers because they don't know what offends them, online the majority of people do not care. Online people are often very direct with strangers regardless, because after all, "so what if I make a mistake and offend the other person? What is that person going to do?"

The New High School Bully

Many high school students don't see any difference with the online environment and joking around, and what amounts to idle threats. To most kids online postings is just the new way to joke around. Many school districts have blocked MySpace type web sites from use on school computers. But students often upload the threats at home or in neighborhood libraries -- which is outside the district's jurisdiction.

Two Bullitt County (Kentucky) teens were charged and convicted of terrorist threatening when they posted a MySpace comment threatening to put a bullet through a middle school student's head. The court system placed them under home incarceration and on Monday after the court decision, they were back in school because the juveniles didn't violate any school policies.

Cyber harassment is gaining more attention and as the more serious individuals become more daring, laws are being created to silence them. WHOA (Working to Halt Online Abuse) is at the forefront of information to educate what is online harassment and empower victims of harassment. In addition, they continually work to articulate voluntary policies that network administrators can implement in hopes of lessen potential abuse.

Police Officials - New Crime Detection & Prevention Technology

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