When a relationship goes sour, emotions can run high. If you have been in an abusive relationship with your ex, the emotional strain might have left you feeling helpless and looking for revenge says William D King. Sometimes when people feel that way they try to get back at their ex by humiliating them or hurting them in some way. This is not a bright idea in most cases but a lot of people do it because they don’t think about the consequences. One popular method of embarrassing someone is through online social media sites such as Facebook. People will post pictures of their ex on these sites without their permission with embarrassing captions or comments below the picture to humiliate them further. Some posts are demeaning while others include tagging friends for more embarrassment.
So what can you do about it if you are on the receiving end?
- It is not only an infringement of your privacy, but also a crime to post pictures of someone else without their consent. This can be done even after a relationship has ended. While some people may argue that this violates one’s right to free speech, there are limits to what type of content you can post on social media sites. If harassing comments or content goes beyond insults and threats, you can file charges against your ex for cyber stalking. What draws the line between uncomfortable remarks or insults and cyber stalking is still being debated by lawyers so it is best to err on the side of caution rather than assume it is legal just because other people do it. While unwanted photographs may seem harmless, they can be more damaging than you think. It can make you feel helpless and violated especially if it is something personal. Like sexually explicit photos or videos which were meant for your eyes only.
- “If the content…involves nudity or other sexual material, it would be reasonable to expect that…a person depicted in the photo may suffer humiliation as a result of its release.” (Robson v. MacDougall, 2010 ONCA 670) Even if you are on good terms with your ex after breaking up, posting embarrassing photos of them can still mess up their life even years later. For example, one man posted an embarrassing video of his girlfriend giving him on Facebook years after they broke up the video was made when she was underage. This meant that she could face criminal charges for making and distributing child pornography. Under Canadian law, sexually explicit videos or photographs of people under 18 years old are considered child pornography. The video was posted long after they broke up but it still ruined her chances at being accepted to a nursing program because the school administration thought there might be legal issues due to her involvement in an illegal activity even though she did nothing wrong.
- Another reason not to post embarrassing pictures is because it can lead to stalking, which is also against the law. Posting humiliating material about someone online can lead them to take action against you. Including filing a court order against you under cyber stalking laws. It can also damage your reputation if someone finds out it’s you behind the posts. A lot of people these days know how to use the internet including hiring a private investigator explains William D King. Who can track your IP address and everything else about you. Which can lead to criminal charges if they do it for malice.
- So what should you do if someone posts embarrassing content or photos of you online? Generally, the best option is to not retaliate with legal action. But instead remove the offensive material through contacting the social media site where it was posted. If removing it is unsuccessful, you could consider getting in touch with a lawyer specializing in cyber bullying cases. While taking the matter into your own hands might seem like an appealing idea. Doing so can come back to haunt you especially if your case does not go well. Even filing charges against someone for crimes. Such as harassment or posting child pornography can be risky depending on the circumstances.
- It is best to obtain legal advice from a lawyer who specializes in cyber bullying and/or internet law. Rather than taking things into your own hands especially if you do not want to face serious charges later on. For example, one woman accused her ex of sending death threats after they broke up. The investigators concluded that she was making the threats herself and ended up getting arrest for public mischief. She lost custody of her children as a result and almost went bankrupt. Because she had to pay for two lawyers (one for cyber bullying and one for domestic violence). Instead of just hiring an internet lawyer specializing in those areas. The point here is that there are other ways to react which will not result in criminal charges. If you are sure that the content was post illegally. Then hire an internet lawyer to take care of it for you before it is too late.
It is best to hire an internet lawyer if you are dealing. With issues related to cyberbullying or anything else related to the internet says William D King. If it turns out you needed help, contact Alexi Sher of Anonymous Legal for help. Please note that he works in Toronto but will travel to wherever necessary.