What is cyberstalking and online hate crime?

Learn about cyberstalking and online hate crime, and what you can do if you're a victim.

What is cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking is the repeated and persistent use of digital communication to scare or harass a person. It can take place over email, text or through social media. This can include repeated malicious communications, attempts at public humiliation, false accusations, or the hacking of an individual’s online accounts.
Here are some examples of cyberstalking and cyber harassment:

  • Finding someone’s private or personal details and using these to scare the person.
  • Repeatedly texting or messaging a person an unacceptable number of times a day.
  • Using a person's social media accounts to track their location and show up uninvited.
  • Repeatedly posting about a person without their permission, especially when trying to damage their reputation.

What is online hate crime?

Online hate speech is a form of cyberbullying that stirs up hatred, discrimination or violence against a person or group because of a protected characteristic, such as gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. It covers any form of digital communication, including written social media posts, images and memes, videos and even music.

In cases that are serious enough, online hate speech can break the law, in which case it becomes online hate crime.

How to deal with cyberstalking and online hate crime

If you feel you have been a victim of cyberstalking or online hate crime, there are a number of actions you can take.

If you or someone else is in immediate danger - Call 999

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