The term online harassment refers to the utilisation of information and communication technologies by an individual or a group to repeatedly inflict harm upon another person. This may encompass issuing threats, causing embarrassment, or inducing humiliation in a virtual environment. 

Such behaviour extends to the expression of discriminatory attitudes and beliefs, such as sexism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, or ableist prejudices. IT can also involve instances of online sexual harassment, cyberstalking, and the perpetration of image-based sexual abuse or other forms of unwarranted online behaviour of a sexual nature. To find out more information about what is legally defined as online harassment you can visit the Government’s website here.

Online harassment can be called cyberaggression, cyberbullying, cyber-harassment, cyberhate, cybervictimization, and deviant online conduct. 

This phenomenon occurs across various online platforms, including but not limited to social media (such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter), SMS, instant messaging (via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features), and email. 

Online harassment, or even dealing with negative content online, can be distressing. It threatens the wellbeing of our community, our freedom of expression and the ability to participate fully in conversation and community. 

The University of Oxford does not tolerate the abuse or harassment of members of its community, online or otherwise.

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