Usually found on internet forums or reddit-style threads, flaming refers to the use of offensive language, swearing and other methods of provocation for the purpose of eliciting a response from or engagement with the target. The ultimate goal is to inflict humiliation, shame, and ruin the target’s credibility.
There are a number of methods this type of assault can be carried out, so several corresponding criminal acts could be considered as mechanisms for protection.
In the case of flaming that includes threats, in which art. 138 of the Criminal Code- Endangering safety could offer protection. In this case, public prosecutors and police are mandated to follow up, investigate and responsible for protection. As the filing party, you are responsible for collecting evidence needed for filing the criminal charges. This charge provides stricter sanctions if the target is a (female) journalist.
ADVICE: Explain in detail how, why and when you feel unsafe, and detail your concern for the safety of your family and loved ones. These details could be the key to success when it comes to court proceedings.
If flaming is offensive and disrespectful in nature, court proceedings can be initiated via private lawsuit, requiring the identity of the perpetrator.
Flaming is often accompanied by a high volume of anonymous messages and comments, further complicating the process of pursuing legal protection.
Your physical safety is your highest priority! Make sure you are in a safe place. Turn off the location tracking options on your devices, including Google Maps and other apps.
In addition to documenting evidence , reach out to your family, friends and partners for support. If the flaming is connected to your work, talk to your colleagues and employer to come up with a response that works best for you.
Flaming usually comes with a high volume of messaging and can be quite intense, so consider taking a break from the platforms or websites where the abuse is occuring.