Black People : Understanding Online Sexual Harassment

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by MsInterpret, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. MsInterpret

    MsInterpret Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Understanding Online Sexual Harassment

    Harassment does not have to occur in a face-to-face confrontation between two people. Harassing behavior can occur over a telephone line, in writing, and, thanks to modern technology, over the Internet. The following is a primer on online harassment and steps that can be taken to avoid it.
    Some Facts
    • Online harassment can be divided into two large categories: materials received by a victim and materials posted about a victim.
    • While at work, only use your employer's computer system for appropriate purposes. While you may not be prevented from viewing on-line pornography while at home, your employer can insist that you do not carry that activity into the workplace. If you view pornographic or sexually offensive online sites while at work, or if you download materials from those sites, print off materials from those sites, or allow anyone else to see you viewing it, not only could you face severe disciplinary action, but you could also find yourself the target of a sexual harassment lawsuit.
      Note: Improper and unprofessional office Internet use is not limited merely to sexual or pornographic materials. If you use a work computer to access racially harassing materials, religiously harassing materials, or materials that are harassing to any other class or characteristic of individuals you can find yourself in similar hot water.
    • Offensive e-mails can also be harassing. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently sued an employer for, among other things, not taking prompt or remedial action after an employee sent a department-wide e-mail that contained racially offensive jokes about "Ebonics."
    What To Do if You are Being Harassed On-Line
    • Consider installing a filtering system on your computer that automatically screens and discards e-mail messages from identified individuals or subject matters. With this type of technology, you can effectively prevent your computer from "showing you" items sent from particular people or items concerning certain topics or subjects.
    • In real-time discussion forums, direct your computer to block messages being sent from any other user whom you find offensive or who you feel is harassing you.
    • If you are being harassed, report the behavior to the host of the website. You may be able to successfully have the harasser banned from that website.
    • Protect yourself from involuntarily having to view materials that you may find offensive when you are performing an on-line search for information. Many computers have Internet access controls that are designed primarily for parents to keep their children out of inappropriate sites. But who says you can't use those controls for yourself, so that you don't have to see offensive or "adult" on-ine material, either?
    • If you are an employer, consider putting into place a computer program that can perform a cursory examination of e-mails within your system and which can target and block e-mails that contain offensive or inappropriate "keywords."
    • Invest in an anti-"spam" program. Spam is another word for unsolicited on-line advertisements, many of which you may consider offensive or inappropriate. Programs are available that can read and interpret material as spam and prevent it from reaching you.
    • Exercise caution in deciding what type of information about yourself you put into cyberspace. Don't give on-line harassers a target! For example, if you have your own website which you have created so that family and friends can keep track of your hectic lifestyle, you may wish to either create a site that allows entry by only designated users, or you may wish to refrain from placing photographs of yourself on a website that any person can access. Unfortunately, there have been reported instances of on-line harassers creating "rating" systems based on looks or sex appeal and providing links to photographs of other individuals found on personal websites or homepages.
    - See more at: http://employment.findlaw.com/emplo...e-sexual-harassment.html#sthash.pnklk748.dpuf
     
  2. MsInterpret

    MsInterpret Well-Known Member MEMBER

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  3. MsInterpret

    MsInterpret Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    SEXUAL HARASSMENT ON THE INTERNET
    Sexual harassment has been a prevalent issue in our society and in the legal system for over fifty years. The ever-increasing use of the Internet in the past twenty to thirty years has served as a medium for sexual harassment that has, until recently, gone relatively unnoticed. While the Internet has provided an array of benefits and advantages for today's society, its darker side has substantially emerged as Internet users are being subjected to online discrimination, sexual harassment, identity theft, cyberstalking, and cyberbullying on a daily basis.

    Sexual harassment on the Internet can occur in a variety of ways and through a variety of mediums. Some of these mediums include, but are not limited to:
    (1) Chat rooms;
    (2) Internet forums/message boards;
    (3) Social networking sites;
    (4) Instant messaging;
    (5) E-mail;
    (6) Avatars;
    (7) Flame wars
    (8) Internet Advertising
    (9) Redirected/automatic linking
    (10) Spam
    (11) Pop-ups




    What are the main forms of sexual harassment encountered on the Internet?



    As mentioned above, sexual harassment on the Internet can occur in a number of ways. A common form of sexual harassment on the Internet occurs when a harasser sends unwanted, abusive, threatening, or obscene messages to a victim via e-mail or instant messaging. Another common form of Internet harassment occurs when a victim is subject to unwanted, abusive, threatening or obscene messages and/or comments on internet forums, blogs, and discussion boards.

    The majority of sexual harassment activity on the Internet can be categorized into one of the following:
    Gender Harassment
    Gender harassment can be communicated in both verbal and graphic forms. It is often described as "unwelcome verbal and visual comments and remarks that insult individuals because of their gender or that use stimuli known or intended to provide negative emotions." Azy Barak, Sexual Harassment on the Internet, 23 Soc. Sci. Comp. Rev. 1 (2005).

    Verbal gender harassment refers to offensive sexual messages aimed towards a victim that are initiated by a harasser. Such offensive messages include gender-humiliating comments, rape threats, and sexual remarks which are unwelcome, and are neither invited nor consensual. Verbal harassment can be either passive or active depending on whether the harasser targets a specific victim (active) or targets potential receivers (passive).

    Graphic gender harassment refers to the intentional sending of erotic, pornographic, lewd, and lascivious images and digital recordings by a harasser to specific or potential victims. Graphic harassment often occurs via email, instant messaging, redirected/automatic linking, and pop-ups.

    Unwanted Sexual Attention
    Unwanted sexual attention on the Internet occurs when a harasser uses direct personal communication to harass a victim. Additionally, the harasser uses personal communication to convey messages directly relating to sex and/or sexuality which are unwanted or unwelcome by the victim. Such messages often:
    (1) refer to the victim's sex organs;
    (2) refer to the victim's sex life;
    (3) refer to intimate subjects;
    (4) impose sex-related images or sounds; or
    (5) insinuate or offer sex-related activities.
    Furthermore, a harasser who uses unwanted sexual attention to harass a victim online, intends to solicit sexual cooperation from his/her victim either on the Internet or in person.

    Sexual Coercion
    Sexual coercion is the least common form of sexual harassment encountered on the Internet. Sexual coercion uses various means online to obtain sexual cooperation by placing pressure on a victim. This pressure is often achieved by the use of explicit threats of harm directed towards the victim or relatives and friends of the victim.

    Sexual coercion is substantially seen more in cyberstalking. For more information on cyberstalking, click here.

    MORE INFO: http://www.unc.edu/courses/2010spring/law/357c/001/internetharassment/internet-harassment.html
     
  4. butterfly#1

    butterfly#1 going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks, Msinterpret
    I appreciate you taking the time to thoroughly dot the i's and cross the t's. Now I know , and so does everyone else, what it entails and not to do it.
     
  5. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just a word about social networking sites. Some are more secure than others. If you primarily use a mobile device there are apps such as secure.me where you can not only use filters to protect yourself, but you can also check the security status of your friends, and the reputation of your favorite sites. This is where you need to be careful about your privacy settings and the information you share. I am sure many of us here have Facebook accounts. It has a very poor reputation and most of its users are extremely unprotected.

    In terms of informing law enforcement concerning violations to your privacy, the problem is law enforcement operatives may actually be conducting dirty tricks against you and invading your privacy.

    I will suggest a few things which may not have been mentioned by the articles. These are in reference to this site and others.

    Do NOT use your primary email address that you use on your job. The reasons for this should be obvious.

    Change your preferences. Turn your online status off. Only allow those who you follow to view your profile.

    Some may consider this "hiding" but your concern is not what others think about you but your own privacy and security. It's not only Big Brother watching you!

    If possible, turn your notifications off. Doing this can really save you a lot of stress.
     
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