CYBERSTALKING – its meaning, effects, etc.

CYBERSTALKING - its meaning, effects, etc.

CYBERSTALKING – its meaning, effects, etc.

1. What is Cyberstalking with example?

Section 67 of the Information Technology Act(2000) states that anybody who publishes or sends inappropriate content via electronic media will be prosecuted. This does not include determining the extent to which ISPs (internet service providers) and their directors are accountable. Communication through social networks and other online public platforms can be helpful both socially and professionally when done sensibly and safely. However, if you are not cautious, it may lead to a variety of negative outcomes, one of which is cyberstalking.

Cyberstalking refers to stalking or bullying that occurs over the internet. It can be directed at people, parties, or even organisations, and can take various forms such as slander, defamation, and intimidation. Motives may include attempting to influence or harass the victim, as well as gathering evidence for use in other offences such as identity fraud or offline stalking.

Though victims of cyberstalking should not be criticized, the existing online world encourages the development of “accessible targets.” For eg, many social media users nowadays have no hesitation about openly disclosing personal information, expressing their thoughts and wishes, publishing family images, and so on.

However, when you start getting inappropriate and irritating texts on a regular basis and feel harassed, the line has most definitely been crossed. Cyberstalkers can terrorise victims by sending irritating messages on a regular basis, perhaps several times per day. It’s much scarier when the messages come from separate accounts run by the same guy. It’s also a smart idea to alert both the website’s operators and law enforcement.

Cyberstalking does not often require personal contact, and certain people may be unaware that they are being stalked online. Perpetrators can track victims using a variety of techniques and use the information collected to commit crimes such as identity fraud. The distinction between cyberspace and real-life can become blurred in some situations.

Example :

1) In 2012 a woman reported to police that someone had sent her private details, including her location and description, to men via a dating service. The woman became aware of the act after being approached by two separate men, one of whom claimed that they had already spoken with her and had scheduled a personal meeting.

2) Nancy started getting harassment from strangers after someone posted a sexual services ad in her name on the Internet. The post included personal details, such as her phone number and home address.

2. What is Stalking?

In today’s world, the term “stalking” is widely used. It’s heard everywhere, from news channels to daily language; particularly among young people (they use the word while looking at people’s internet profiles), and in a variety of contexts.

To stalk is to “pursue or approach stealthily”; to “harass or persecute another with inappropriate and obsessive attention,” according to the Oxford dictionary.

Stalking frequently intensifies into violence, as in the case of Priyadarshini Mattoo, who was raped and murdered by her stalker in 1996, when she was just 25. People between the ages of 18 and 24 are thought to be the most vulnerable to being stalked, and they have the highest rates of stalking, particularly when it comes to cyberstalking.

According to the late network operator, Uninor on average 30% of the students of access to the internet, and mostly all of them have encountered Cyber Harm (Cyberstalking). Divorced or split people are more likely to be stalked in certain countries (including India). However, it is also true that many people nowadays, especially young people, stalk their “crushes” on the Internet on a daily basis, and that this stalking is “accepted” by those around them.

So, would you mind if you discovered that someone you have a crush on has been stalking your Instagram for quite some time? All would respond differently to this; some would be fine with it, while others would totally freak out. And this form of stalking is known as “casual stalking,” since the stalker does not seem to intend any harm. The majority of casual stalking stops before the crush disappears, and it normally has no negative effects, although there are exceptions. Casual stalking will progress to formal stalking. For a clearer explanation, consider the following definition of casual stalking for teenagers.

Stalking is not only a “third-world problem”; it occurs all over the world. Stalking has many negative effects for both the perpetrator and the stalker, which impact society as a whole. It makes the victims fearful all of the time and they don’t know what the stalker will do, and they are afraid that the harassing will never end. This induces fear, insomnia, social instability, and extreme depression, which has also resulted in individuals injuring themselves. After a while, the stalker gets much worse and more threatening, making society much more dangerous to live in. Such was the case of two Rohtak teenage girls who were stalked by a group of men for an extended period of time, and in the end, after all the threats from the men and insults from society, the two of them committed suicide on August 26, 2014.

There is so much guilt and helplessness felt by the victim, particularly because they can’t tell someone about the stalking because they know they will be punished in the end, that they see no other way out other than suicide. If this is what the 13-year-old girl was saying when she set herself on fire in April of this year. The surprising thing is that there was no clear anti-stalking legislation in our country, India, until the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2013, which was enacted in the aftermath of the heinous 16 December gang rape in New Delhi. Despite these rules, the number of cases of stalking has clearly increased, with at least four cases registered every day in our national capital, New Delhi. And, in just 9 months since the legislation went into effect, 916 cases of stalking have been registered to the Delhi Police; we don’t even know how many go unreported, and these are just the numbers for New Delhi.

Remember how high the figures would be if we had the whole country of India. Stalking became an explicit crime in the Indian Penal Code as a result of this Act, with the penalty of up to three years in jail and a fine under Section 354D. This is a huge step forward for women’s safety, but only for women’s safety.

Stalking, a very dangerous and gender-neutral offence, should be criminalised in the Indian Penal Code for men and the third gender accompanying women. All Indians have the right to feel protected, and their safety and health must be assured by laws, which are obviously lacking in this situation. And it is also our responsibility as a society to ensure that our society remains secure for everyone and to do so, we must come forward and engage if we see such a thing happening, as our nation’s father once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

3. Can you go to Jail for Cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking is a form of a criminal offence. In cyberstalking, two people are engaged: the stalker, also identified as the perpetrator who conducts the assault, and the victim who is targeted by the stalker.

Cyberstalking is often referred to as cybercrime. Stalking is described as browsing someone’s online history with the aid of some social media or other websites in order to learn more about that person.

Cyberstalking is a violent crime, a form of offence committed by people known as stalkers. Every year, several lawsuits are filed against such individuals by victims in India. In India, the majority of lawsuits brought against stalkers are filed by females; about 60% of victims are females. The stalking is most prominent in two Indian states: Maharashtra, which had the highest number of stalking cases (1,399). Second, approximately 1130 cases of stalking have been filed in Delhi.

Laws are updated regularly to keep up with changes in crime-commitment methods. Following the Delhi Gang Rape case in 2012, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, modified the Indian Penal Code by adding Section 354D to the IPC. Sections 353-357 of the Indian Penal Code outline stalking rules in India and the penalties for committing the offence. However, there are no rules in Indian criminal laws that expressly criminalise cyberstalking.

According to Section 66A of the Information Technology Act of 2000, a person who uses a computer resource or communication system to transmit any information that is terribly offensive or has a threatening character will face imprisonment for up to three years and a fine.

The Cyberstalking cases in India are mostly dealt with :

1) Information technology act 2000.

2) The criminal law (Amendment) act 2013.

1) Information Technology Act 2000 :

Section 67 of the Act states that anybody who publishes or sends obscene content via electronic media will be prosecuted. This does not include determining the extent to which ISPs (internet service providers) and their directors are liable.

The security of data, which is easily leaked by hackers, is critical for the prevention of cyberstalking. Section 43 A of the amended IT Act is included for the inclusion of a Body corporate, the enabling of reimbursement in the case of a corporation or a corporation that causes any undue damages or gain to another entity by way of transmitting any confidential details and the maintenance of certain sort of protection, then such entity corporate shall be obligated to pay restitution in the event of harm.

When a cyberstalker shares or sends pornographic material to the user, the Information Technology Act of 2000 also comes into play. According to Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, it is an offence of obscenity to print, distribute, or allow to be published pornographic content in any electronic medium. Punishments include up to five years in prison and a fine of up to one lakh rupees. A second or subsequent arrest will result in a ten-year jail term and an Rs. two-lakh fine.

If the stalker builds the victim’s personal details to publish an indecent message or statement on any social network, Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with defamation, may be applied in the case of cyberstalking in India. Section 500 makes it a crime to make misleading statements about another person or to damage another person’s reputation online, and it punishes those acts by up to two years in prison, a fine, or both.

Cyber stalking is becoming more common in India, with new cases on the internet being recorded every day. Cybercriminals can quickly target and annoy an individual due to the ease with which they can access a person’s personal information online.

2) The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2013 is a law that amends criminal law.

Section 35D of the Indian Penal Code defines stalking as an offence (Indian penal code).

According to this act, any man who-

a) Following clear signs of disinterest by a woman, contacts and follows her or attempts to reach her on a regular basis in order to evangelize through personal correspondence.

b) Observe a woman’s usage of the phone, text messaging, e-mail, or some other mode of electronic contact is stalking

Stalking is a federal offence that can be committed either physically or electronically and is punishable by up to three years in prison.

CYBERSTALKING - its meaning, effects, etc.

4. How old are most cyberstalking victims?

Communication through social networks and other online public media can be helpful to one socially and professionally both when used carefully and safely. However, if you are not careful, it can result in a number of negative consequences, which result in cyberstalking.

The online questionnaire was filled by 169 people. One collection of responses from this data had to be excluded because the survey had undoubtedly been completed with the intent of contaminating the test. Although the second collection of data was discovered to be unreliable, all available responses were used in the study. Given that the sample request checks that all questions have been answered, it’s ambiguous how the respondent was only able to complete a subset of the questionnaire.

Females constitute the vast majority of the population, amounting to 56.3 percent of the study, while males made up 43.7 percent.

The majority of respondents (44.6 percent) were married or lived with a family, while the rest were single (41.1 percent). A limited number of respondents said that they were separating or separated/divorced (10.8 percent). Just 3% of those interviewed identified themselves as widows or widowers.

The oldest respondent was 87, although the youngest was just 12 years old. The average age of respondents was 30.97, with a standard deviation of 19.29.

The United Kingdom (45.5 percent) and the United States (45.5 percent) have the highest populations of respondents (39.5 percent). Canada (7.2 percent) and Australia (7.2 percent) had smaller populations (2.4 percent). In terms of race, roughly one-third of the sample (31.7 percent) identified as African-American or African-Caribbean. A little more than a third (36.5 percent) of the sample identified as being of British ancestry.

The majority of respondents had completed an ‘A’ Level or higher education. The data considers gaps in professional credentials used around the world. This was established by telling respondents to choose things from a list of educational credentials from the United Kingdom and the United States. The HNC/D qualification in the United Kingdom, for example, is approximately equivalent to the Associate Degree in the United States.

Students (26.9 percent), those engaged in production or manufacturing (10.7 percent), The largest occupational classes were those engaged in computer-related jobs (8.4%) and those who were self-employed (7.1 percent). There were smaller groups of contractors (3.6%), educators (4.2%), and customer support representatives (3.0 percent). Homemakers made up 4.8 percent of voters, while retirees made up 4.8 percent for 3.6 percent, and only 1.8 percent of people reported being unemployed or in between occupations.

All over the world mostly right now the people on average who indulges into cyber stalking is at the age of 30

5. What are the Effects of CyberStalking?

Victims of cyberstalking have become a rich source of research, not only adding to our understanding of the experience of ongoing violence, but also to our understanding of stalking in general. We also started to consider the negative and potentially destructive consequences of stalking victimisation through large-scale population surveys and smaller analyses of individual victim groups. Aside from the common legal requirement of intimidation and the risk of physical harm as a result of stalking, research has found that victims experience a wide variety of psychological, physical, occupational, social, and general lifestyle repercussions of being stalked. As in so many forms of harassment, the interaction and effects can differ considerably between victims, with behaviors that might be irritating to one survivor having a devastating effect on another.

The effect of cyberstalking varies depending on the victim’s characteristics, previous experience, current circumstances, and what they do or may not know about the stalker. How people respond to the victim’s case, and how police handle the cyberstalking, may have an impact on the overall impact of the stalking episode on the victim. Regardless of the reasons that may influence a person’s perception and reaction to being stalked, research has shown common patterns of behavior. While female victims often show higher levels of anxiety, studies have shown that male victims of stalking suffer symptoms equivalent to those experienced by female victims.

This isn’t the thorough list but the following are some of the most common signs of Stalking Victims :

1) Effects on Physical Health

a) Tiredness as a result of trouble sleeping, being constantly on watch, and depressive symptoms

b) Chronic stress can cause headaches and hypertension.

c) Problems with the gastrointestinal tract

d) Weight fluctuations as a result of not eating or eating for pleasure

e) Pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, gastric ulcers, and dermatitis, can develop or worsen.

2) Effects on Mental Health

a) Guilt, humiliation, and self-blame

b) Isolated and unable to avoid the harassment

c) Difficulties focusing, paying attention, and recalling

d) Irritation, anger, and homicidal thoughts

e) As a result of being more paranoid, introverted, or violent, one’s personality changes.

3) ) Social Consequences

a) Isolation from others due to a need to shield them, a sense of being mistaken, or psychiatric symptoms.

b) Others are separating from the victim because they don’t trust the victim, cause they can’t deal with the victim’s emotional state, or as a direct result of third-party victimisation.

c) Victims can relocate, change their phone number, name, or even presence.

d) Issues of physical and mental intimacy.

4) Effects on Finances

a) Wage loss as a result of illness, losing a job, or shifting careers.

b) Expenses associated with raising home and personal protection.

c) Seeking social and psychiatric assistance.

d) Breaking leases on leased properties comes at a cost.

e) The cost of relocating.

6. What is the meaning of Cyberbullying?

The Internet has been a dominant feature of contemporary education. Indeed, the Internet has made schooling more affordable and widespread than ever before. More classroom activities and student encounters are expanding into cyberspace, including, sadly, bullying, from using automated textbooks to earning a degree online. Despite all of the benefits that the Internet has provided to schools, parents, and teachers, certain people use it maliciously. And, just as bullying has occurred since the beginning of time, so has cyberbullying since the beginning of the Internet.

The term “cyberbullying” first appeared in 1998. They describe it as “the anonymous electronic posting of mean-spirited comments about an individual (such as a student).” However, as time has passed and the Internet has changed, so has the concept of cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is defined as “bullying that occurs over digital media such as mobile phones, laptops, and tablets”, while the Cyberbullying Research Center defines it as “willful and repeated psychological damage done by the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.” Essentially, it is the use of electronic media to mimic how an individual will be harassed in real life, usually by sending intimidating or threatening messages.

As technology has evolved over the last two decades, cyberbullying has become more widespread. The enormous rise of smartphones, numerous instant messaging applications, and the rise of social media have provided cyberbullies with an ever-increasing amount of ways to damage their targets.

There are two major types of Cyberbullying explained further:

1) Harassment.

Online harassment, as offline harassment, means sending abusive or insulting messages to a person or group. Harassment necessitates a significant amount of work on the part of the bully in order to cause harm to the victim. Furthermore, it is deliberate, repetitive, and consistent. The survivor is always without recourse from the bully. These tweets can have a negative impact on the victim’s personality, particularly over time.

2) Cyberstalking

Abuse in the form of cyberstalking is a type of harassment. These comments are always no longer just insulting or disrespectful, but also intimidating. Messages can intensify to the point of endangering the victim’s physical protection. Physical oppression or stalking can arise from cyberstalking.


Article by – Sahil Madan Mate.

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