Overview

Stopping cybermobbing

Those affected are bullied, threatened or humiliated. Ioannis Martinis is a legal specialist in the digital sphere and explains possible courses of action.

Mr Martinis, what is the definition of cybermobbing?

Threats, harassment and slander that someone spreads via electronic means of communication over an extended period of time. This can occur via e-mail, messenger services such as Whatsapp or social media networks, and it involves defamatory language in addition to images and videos.

How can I protect myself?

Only make your profile on social media networks accessible to friends. Check friend requests carefully. If you grant too many casual friends or strangers access to your personal profile, it’s easy to lose your overview. The number of fake profiles has increased dramatically. These are seemingly real profiles with stolen photos that are used for the purpose of deceit.

Only post personal images, including those of your children, very conservatively. If you are harassed, you can report people, their profiles or posts to Facebook, for example. Phone numbers can also be blocked from smartphones.

How can victims of cybermobbing defend themselves?

Take a “PrintScreen” image of insults and defamation for proof. Then, the most effective defence is still to block the offender’s profile. Never allow yourself to be blackmailed and under no circumstances should you ever transfer money. Victims should turn to a trusted person such as a parent. Teachers can also help.

There is also the legal route. How do you support those affected?

We advise them and discuss next steps. In cases of cybermobbing, we must proceed carefully and deliberately so as not to make the situation worse. If the perpetrator is known, it is often enough to issue a warning and threaten legal measures. If this does not help, we can pursue litigation. If the offender is anonymous, we need the police’s support. Our first priority is always to protect the victim, not to punish the perpetrator.

Ioannis Martinis is a lawyer at Helsana Rechtsschutz AG. His areas of speciality include cases related to IT and communication technology as well as contract law and intellectual property rights.

Defend yourself against cybermobbing

Are you insured with Advocare Extra? Then fill out the ”Notification of legal protection claim” form and send it to: Helsana Rechtsschutz AG, Entfelderstrasse 2, 5001 Aarau, Switzerland. Once we receive your notification, a lawyer will contact you within one to two working days.

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