From our reading about Online Harassment we discovered that people are getting harassed frequently online.  The article gives a stat that 73% of online users have reported seeing someone being harassed; this could be anywhere from just name-calling to someone being stalked.

In my opinion there are certain types of harassment that can be avoided or ignored.  Such as simply name-calling where the internet user can just move along and ignore the other person and avoid contact with them.  I think the majority of online harassment can be avoided; however, I think the lines of harassment are crossed when someone gets a hold of someone else’s personal information.  When someone gets another person’s personal email or address, they can continuously contact and threaten that person to the point where they become scared for their own safety.  I think a good example of this is from when we talked about revenge porn in class.  If someone has explicit photos of another person and wishes to blackmail them, they can potentially ruin their life by posting their naked photos online for anyone to see.  This could affect potential employment and other friendships.  In the video we watched in class the one woman said she was pushed to the point of wanting to end her life because the images that were put online were ruining her life.

Another example of severe harassment can occur in sports.  A recent example is the punter for Michigan.  He dropped a snap on a punt and Michigan State recovered it for a game winning touchdown.  Michigan fans put full blame for the loss on the punter and let him have it on social media. This article shows some of the “nicer” tweets that were said about the punter, but there were others giving him death threats and telling him that he should commit suicide.  Another article shows a video on how to handle a situation like this in a civil manner.  They talk about in the video that the player is just a kid and it is not like he wanted to do it or he did it on purpose.  The first article also shows tweets that are in the punter’s favor that say he is just a kid, he is trying his best, and he does not deserve anything that he is getting.  Even I, as an Ohio State fan who loves to see Michigan lose, do not think this kid deserves anything he is getting on social media.

What do you think?  Where should we draw the line when it comes to online harassment?

Advertisements