Due to the prevalence of social media platforms and the constant availability of the Internet, bullying now takes on a somewhat different form than before such technologies. Many different behaviors now fall under the umbrella term “cyberbullying,” such as “cyberstalking,” “impersonation,” and “doxxing,” among others.
Bullying in its various manifestations can be hazardous to the psychological, physiological, and emotional health of its victims. In today’s technologically advanced culture, bullying increasingly forms online harassment rather than direct physical contact.
Younger children and teenagers are increasingly targeted by cyber bullies who use text messages, emails, and various forms of online communication to harass them. Given the severity of the problem, it is not surprising that legislators have been trying to make cyberbullying a crime.
Impersonation at a Glance
There are multiple applications for impersonation. A cyberbully might hide their traces by impersonating their victim while harassing them online using a phony identity. Or, a cyberbully might assume the identity of a person the target knows to do damage to relationships or coerce the target into disclosing information. Either that or the cyberbully could pretend to be the victim to destroy their reputation.
If you cause injury to another person while impersonating them, you have committed a crime. Someone is engaging in false impersonation when attempting to deceive others by passing themselves off as someone else. However, the essential factor in determining guilt for this crime in the vast majority of instances is whether or not, in addition to the dishonest representation, additional conduct was carried out that:
● Impersonating someone else might put that individual in a vulnerable position legally or financially.
● Helps the impersonator in some way.
The Present Legal Framework Regarding Cyberbullying.
At some point or another, everyone finds themselves in an awkward circumstance. To avoid being embarrassed or punished for their actions, they may at least entertain the idea of pretending to be someone else.
Although pretending to be someone else might not appear like a serious offense at first glance, the law does not always look favorably on conduct of this nature. Even if you aren’t impersonating a public figure or a member of the law enforcement community, you could face criminal penalties for pretending to be someone else, depending on the circumstances surrounding the impersonation.
Calling an experienced criminal defense attorney should be the first thing a person does when they become aware of the possibility of facing criminal charges. This should be done to safeguard their legal rights and to immediately begin taking steps to lessen the impact of any investigation.
Even if there isn’t any physical damage, assuming the identity of a public servant, particularly a law enforcement officer, can get you in trouble with the law and lead to criminal prosecution.
Cyberbullying is a growing problem with dangerous consequences. This is why it’s so crucial for parents to be deliberate teachers of internet safety and good manners. Kids, meanwhile, need to learn that they shouldn’t share their negative emotions online. Similarly, if you need to blow off steam, it’s best to do so in private, to a close friend, or in a journal. Children should exercise caution in what they share online regardless of their parents’ or teachers’ preferences for privacy settings.