Online Harassment Is A Tough Crime To Solve

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The Guardian put out a great article about several different women who have been harassed, abused and threatened online.

Online crime is harder for police to follow, and many victims end up having to do most of the criminal investigations own work to uncover their abusers.

“The police kept saying to me: ‘Oh, just delete your account.’ But most people my age will live most of their life online. It should not be my responsibility to remove myself, it’s like I am being blamed.”

The Guardian wrote about a woman in England named Chlo Winfield. She met a guy online when she was a teen, and over the years he continued to watch her every move and send her hundreds of messages a day. He called her abusive names, threatened her, and would get even more upset if she would ignore him.

She reported it to the police. Winfield said: “The police kept saying to me: ‘Oh, just delete your account.’ But most people my age will live most of their life online. It should not be my responsibility to remove myself, it’s like I am being blamed.”

The police also said it was not a crime because she would respond to him. Finally, in 2014, Shaun Peace, her abuser was found guilty and sentenced to 6 months in prison.

 

San Fransisco Resident Malkia Cyril

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Malkia Cyril. Photograph: Center for Media Justice

In San Fransisco, a woman named Malkia Cyril manages the Facebook page for the local and national Black Lives Matter group. Cyril works for The Center of Media Justice. Every morning, Cyril gets up and goes online only to see large amounts of hate statements aimed at her and other black people. Cyril said: “It’s hate speech in droves. The number of horrific, threatening and just awful statements that are being made about black people is out of control,” Cyril said. “I spend hours every day deleting, banning and blocking the hate from our pages.”

“It’s hate speech in droves. The number of horrific, threatening and just awful statements that are being made about black people is out of control,” Cyril said. “I spend hours every day deleting, banning and blocking the hate from our pages.”

 It is awful to hear about this and other online crimes that take place. But so often, the abuser can live anonymously online, and get away with it.

This type crime is haunting our young people too, in their early years of their online experiences. Cyber bullying is the term that has been giving to some of this crime, which really “decrminilaizes” what is going on. If people said some of this stuff to someone face to face, it would be a crime of harassment.

Looks like we have a lot to figure out in the world of cyber criminology. Please go over to The Guardian and read the entire article. It’s good information.

 

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