An exploration of cyberstalking among social media users: Perceptions, prevalence and characteristics

Rebecca Gunn, Calli Tzani-Pepelasi, Maria Ioannou, John Synnott, Anita Fumagalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Online social media platforms are growing, enabling stalkers to find new methods to target victims, giving rise to cyberstalking. Literature defines the crime as the repeated use of the internet, email or alternate electronic communication devices to harass, threaten and generate fear in one or more individuals. Studies (Maple et al., 2011) exhibited behaviours typical of cyberstalking, such as computer monitoring, impersonation, trolling, posting false accusations, creating websites under the victim’s name, contacting others when posing as the victim, and most frequently, sending threatening emails. An exploration of cyberstalking among social media users 2 Moreover, the internet provides a level of anonymity for cyber-stalkers, in which they can communicate with anyone and at any time, without fear of being identified or taking responsibility for their actions (Synnott et al, 2017). Many of such cases have resulted to further threatening communication and victimisation such as sextortion and intimidation (see Gavrilović Nilsson, Tzani-Pepelasi, Ioannou & Lester, 2019).
Original languageEnglish
JournalAssessment & Development Matters
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Mar 2021

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