When is Social Media Harassment a Crime?

Harassment, which occurs when a person intentionally annoys, threatens or provokes another person – or causes them to feel emotional distress – can take many forms. Workplace sexual harassment, for example, may include everything from making inappropriate jokes of a sexual nature in the presence of a co-worker to outright sexual assault. Whether or not harassment is a crime, however, depends on multiple factors. More serious types of harassment, such as stalking and hate crimes, are generally considered to be criminal in nature. But what about social media harassment? Harassment doesn’t always occur in the physical realm. In fact, more and more often, people are using the anonymity of the internet to wreak havoc on their victims. From making online threats to cyberbullying, online harassment via email and social media networks has become disturbingly common. As with all types of harassment, however, the punishment – or lack thereof – depends more…

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