Advice on dealing with online abuse

Harassment is behaviour that makes you feel distressed and/or threatened. It is a criminal offence.

First and foremost, if you are being harassed, you can create documentation and send it to the police. Save evidence of all abuse by creating screenshots in case things escalate and the comments are deleted. If you don’t want to contact the police directly, an online self-reporting form can be found here.

Facebook has a ‘Report Abuse’ function, which can be accessed by pulling down the drop-down menu on comments and selecting ‘Report Post’ – or, in the case of private messages, by going to the Actions menu.

Twitter has also introduced an in-Tweet ‘Report Abuse’ button across all app platforms and its website.

Users of Facebook and Twitter might consider making their accounts private, at least for the time being. Refraining from using the UoYMensDay hashtag will avoid drawing attention to your profile.

University of York students can: talk to the Open Door team; call, instant message, or visit York Nightline; seek information from Mind Your Head; or speak to their college welfare team.

If none of these options are available to you, please don’t suffer in silence, and consider calling SupportLine or speaking to supportive friends and/or family members.

Legal advice concerning the UK Harassment Act is available from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

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