Thursday, June 04, 2020
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Ask your internet law question

If you have found yourself as being a target of online abuse, there is no doubt that you are feeling distraught, frustrated and worried, as well as not knowing where to go for help.

You want the harassment to go away as soon as possible but it may be escalating and it is consuming your every day thoughts; affecting your whole life. You may know the abusers and are worried about what will happen if you are seen to be getting help. We want you to know that we are discreet and confidential and it is most likely that we will know exactly what to do.

Just because you are on the internet and/or are an active social media platform or forum user, it doesn't mean that you should accept any kind of harassment and online abuse. You do not sign up for harassment when you open up any online account and you do not sign up for your speech freedom, privacy and security, reputation and feelings of safety being threatened. Freedom of speech does not mean anything if individuals do not feel safe and are not free from abuse and harassment. Although the line between hate speech and free speech is a difficult one to draw, people should be held accountable for what they say and do on the internet.

Cohen Davis have heard all sorts of advice given to our clients that have become targets of online abuse before they came to us and it is astounding that people that they have gone to for help, are still suggesting that they switch off their computer and walk away. If only it was that easy! The ubiquity of the world wide web does not allow for any 'switching off and walking away' and certainly not from a mental aspect. The harassment never goes away if it is online and it very often isn't isolated, as it so often escalates and if not by the perpetrator but by sharing and linking and that spreads information like wildfire on the internet. 

We have also heard from our clients that people are still saying that you have to accept online abuse as a price you have to pay for being on the internet. We cannot become complacent and accept online abuse as a regular and acceptable occurence. Any type of online harassment that is directed at you or about you, via images, impersonation or words are not more defensible on the internet than they are if it was offline. 

The police cannot keep up with the challenge of policing in the digital age and they need new skills, capabilities, training and funding to deal with online abuse cases. Until the networked world has its own policing, cyberstalking, online abuse, online trolling and harassment is only going to become more complex to investigate and the police do not have the expertise, time or the tools. Knowing this does not help because if you are a victim of online abuse in any form, where do you go?

We recommend that you go to a law firm that is dedicated entirely to internet law and who know the complexities of the internet, how it works and the links and the comprehensive loops and also, of course the legal side. Once they have helped you clear up the internet of any harassing posts, defamation and images, they can work on making the perpetrator accountable and securing legally-binding, long term solutions so that they do not repeat the conduct. Cohen Davis are such a law firm. We have been collectively assisting people that have suffered online abuse for over 20 years. 

We are aware that obtaining legal representation can be daunting for many, for various reasons. Needless to say, we feel that when you call us, you will feel such relief. Talking about your online abuse with someone that understands and knows what to do to help you, is the start of your journey to freedom.

We would advise you to call us for a confidential consultation where we can discuss the various options as well as the route we can take in getting your freedom back. Read about why our legal advice consultations about online abuse are extremely popular. 

Cohen Davis are passionate about helping victims of online harassment. 0800 612 7211.

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