The process of diligently and continually following someone’s activity online. The designation of stalking can be applied whether or not the stalker or target knows one another in person.
Digital traces, data and other markers of our participation that show up on social media platforms and other websites have made stalking in the digital space a much easier task. As much as in the physical world, consequences on the targeted individual can vary, but could include an increased sense of insecurity, fear and the perception of an invasion of privacy.
Many women and LGBTQI folks are targeted with this kind of emotional and mental violence online. Even if it never leaves the digital space, stalking can cause feelings of helplessness and the loss of control in one’s private life. More serious cases can result in an overwhelming feeling that the stalker is ever present: everywhere at every moment.
It is of utmost importance to recognize that a person targeted with online abuse is in no way to blame: there is no excuse for violence. If you are targeted with any type of digital violence, we urge you to seek support from your support networks - primarily friends, family, that can understand you and your feelings. Take time away from spaces where you’re experiencing the harassment, and ask people you trust to check on your accounts, emails and update you about the status of attack, or help you collect digital evidence .
The most important thing is to take care of yourself, and acknowledge your feelings, even if it means allowing yourself a few days to lie in bed under the blankets, doing nothing. There is always the option of abstaining from social media for a certain period of time, but given our reliance on these platforms, this is a strategy that is much easier said than done. Try instead to limit the time you spend on these platforms and interact with people you trust in closed group settings.Digital evidence Digital hygiene Safety Sexual Harassment Fear