Mob Harassment

Mob Harassment

This occurs when you receive communication at a large volume that is threatening and/or overwhelming. The communication may often be intended to distress or discredit you.

It's also known as "mob attacks" or "cybermobs," and can be from multiple individuals, accounts, or bots. It's usually coordinated and may include a special interest group.

  • You are notified that someone has attempted to reset the password for your social media, shopping, and/or email accounts. (This may also happen if you're experiencing doxxing and/or cyberharassment).
  • Someone makes Youtube videos about you and shares them widely, with messages encouraging others to harass you
  • Hundreds or even thousands of accounts try to friend you or send you messages on Facebook, or tweet at or about you using harassing language
  • Multiple users say defamatory and/or threatening statements about you in a Reddit thread after you publish an article on a controversial topic
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NOW

First, make sure you:

  • Secure your physical safety
    -- Consider: Call 911, move location if feel unsafe, tell a friend
    -- Consider: Turn off location sharing and tracking if concerned about stalking
  • Consider telling someone you trust for help
  • File an evidence preservation request if you are thinking of taking legal action
  • Review and adjust privacy & security settings if harassed via social media
    -- Options: Block, filter, mute and/or turn off notifications
NEXT

Then, choose what to do:

Identify key online accounts for digital security precautions
-- Basic steps: List accounts (email, social, financial, shopping) and confirm passwords
-- Then set up two-factor authentication, unique passwords and password manager

Conduct a threat assessment
-- Tip: Talk through what's happening with someone or aloud by yourself

Choose if, and how, to respond (to perpetrators and/or publicly)

Reach out to your communities--online, in person-- for help

Consider turning off social media notifications

ALSO

Consider doing the following:

Find and document post or posts that incited harassment and one that concerns you most
-- Tip: Have a trusted party help you with this

Decide how to monitor online communication about you

Report incident to platform

Decide how to manage your social media
-- Tip: Consider taking a break and for how long, having a friend manage, etc.

CONSIDER
  • Review any information or photos stored on dormant or alias accounts
  • If harassment is related to something you've produced for work, tell your employer
  • Take down your contact information online
    -- From social media platforms (your posts, your friends or colleagues' posts, etc)
    -- From data broker websites like Spokeo, InstantPeopleFinder
  • Think and consider possible outcomes before posting any information that may spark attacks or threats

Read

-- Harassment Through Impersonation: The Creation of a Cyber Mob by Anita Sarkeesian

-- Anti-Doxing Strategy- or How to Avoid 50 Qurans and $287 of Chick-Fil-A by Nate Matisse

Visit

Use these additional checklists if harassment includes:
-- Threats of violence
-- Gender-specific threats
-- Publishing of your personal information online