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/online-harms/

This provides a full list and further information of the Online Harms that are known to exist on the internet. This is very important for Platform Providers and Social Media companies, especially in order to protect themselves and their users against these.

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Online Harms
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Online CSEA Image
Online CSEA
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Self Generate Indecent Imagery (SGII) Image
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Online dis-information Image
Online dis-information
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Harassment & cyberstalking Image
Harassment & cyberstalking
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Intimidation Image
Intimidation
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Extremist content and activity Image
Extremist content and activity
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Coercive behaviour Image
Coercive behaviour
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Violent Content Image
Violent Content
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Promotion of FGM Image
Promotion of FGM
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Children accessing pornography Image
Children accessing pornography
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Online manipulation Image
Online manipulation
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Sexting of indecent images by under 18s Image
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Encouraging or assisting suicide Image
Encouraging or assisting suicide
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Terrorist content Image
Terrorist content
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Illegal upload from prisons Image
Illegal upload from prisons
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Organised immigration crime Image
Organised immigration crime
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Modern slavery Image
Modern slavery
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Extreme pornography Image
Extreme pornography
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Revenge pornography Image
Revenge pornography
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Hate Crime Image
Hate Crime
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Cyber bullying and trolling Image
Cyber bullying and trolling
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Advocacy of self-harm Image
Advocacy of self-harm
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Interference with legal proceedings Image
Online Harms
Online CSEA
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Online CSEA Image
The UK Government defines Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (CSEA) as “a form of child sexual abuse [which] occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) for the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.” UK Government Publishing Service, 2017 This definition seems fairly well accomplished, even taking into account the elements of Technology.
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Self Generate Indecent Imagery (SGII)
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Self Generate Indecent Imagery (SGII) Image
Sexting means sending indecent images (pictures and/or videos) of yourself or others or sending sexually explicit messages. Sexting is commonly known as “trading nudes”, “dirties” or “pic for pic”. Sexting can happen on any electronic device that allows sharing of media and messages including smartphones, tablets, laptops or mobiles. Is this Self Generated Indecent Imagery (SGII)? Creating, possessing, copying or distributing indecent or sexual images of children and young people under the age of 18 is considered SGII. In the UK the age of consent for sexual intercourse is 16. However, it is an offence to make, distribute, possess or show any indecent images of anyone aged under 18, even if the content was created with the consent of that young person. The law is contained in section 1 Protection of Children Act 1978.
  • Examples include:
  • a child (under 18) sharing a sexual image with their peer (also under 18)
  • a child (under 18) sharing a sexual image created by another child with a peer or an adult
  • a child (under 18) in possession of a sexual image created by a child (under 18)
  • “Indecent” means, for example:
  • naked pictures
  • topless pictures of a girl
  • pictures of genitals
  • sex acts including masturbation
  • sexual pictures in underwear
The police have said that sexting by children will primarily be considered as a safeguarding issue. The police (in the UK) must, by law, record all sexting incidents on their crime system but as of January 2016, they can decide not to take further action against the young person if it is not in the public interest. This will be at the discretion of the police. ‘indecent’ is not defined in legislation but can include penetrative and non-penetrative sexual activity ‘making’ can include opening, accessing, downloading and storing online content ‘sharing’ includes sending on an email, offering on a file sharing platform, uploading to a site that other people have access to, and possessing with a view to distribute Please be aware this list is not exhaustive and other situations could also be covered by these offences.
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Online dis-information
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Online dis-information Image
The deliberate creation and sharing of false and/or manipulated information that is intended to deceive and mislead audiences, either for the purposes of causing harm, or for political, personal or financial gain. ‘Misinformation’ refers to the inadvertent sharing of false information. Fake news, also known as junk news or pseudo-news, is a type of journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate disinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional news media (print and broadcast) or online social media. The false information is often caused by reporters paying sources for stories, an unethical practice called checkbook journalism. Digital news has brought back and increased the usage of fake news, or ‘yellow journalism’. The news is then often reverberated as misinformation in social media but occasionally finds its way to the mainstream media as well. Fake news is written and published usually with the intent to mislead in order to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, often using sensationalist, dishonest, or outright fabricated headlines to increase readership. Similarly, clickbait stories and headlines earn advertising revenue from this activity. The relevance of fake news has increased in post-truth politics. For media outlets, the ability to attract viewers to their websites is necessary to generate online advertising revenue. Publishing a story with false content that attracts users benefits advertisers and improves ratings. Easy access to online advertisement revenue, increased political polarization, and the popularity of social media, primarily the Facebook News Feed, have all been implicated in the spread of fake news, which competes with legitimate news stories. Hostile government actors have also been implicated in generating and propagating fake news, particularly during elections. Confirmation bias and social media algorithms like those used on Facebook and Twitter further advance the spread of fake news. Modern impact is felt for example in vaccine hesitancy. Fake news undermines serious media coverage and makes it more difficult for journalists to cover significant news stories. An analysis by BuzzFeed found that the top 20 fake news stories about the 2016 U.S. presidential election received more engagement on Facebook than the top 20 election stories from 19 major media outlets. Anonymously-hosted fake news websites lacking known publishers have also been criticized, because they make it difficult to prosecute sources of fake news for libel. The term is also at times used to cast doubt upon legitimate news from an opposing political standpoint, a tactic known as the lying press. During and after his presidential campaign and election, Donald Trump popularized the term “fake news” in this sense when he used it to describe the negative press coverage of himself. In part as a result of Trump’s use of the term, the term has come under increasing criticism, and in October 2018 the British government decided that it will no longer use the term because it is “a poorly-defined and misleading term that conflates a variety of false information, from genuine error through to foreign interference in democratic processes”.
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Harassment & cyberstalking
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Harassment & cyberstalking Image
Cyber stalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, group, or organization. It may include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. It may also include monitoring, identity theft, threats, vandalism, solicitation for sex, or gathering information that may be used to threaten, embarrass or harass. Cyber stalking is often accompanied by realtime or offline stalking. In many jurisdictions, both are criminal offences. Both are motivated by a desire to control, intimidate or influence a victim. A stalker may be an online stranger or a person whom the target knows. They may be anonymous and solicit involvement of other people online who do not even know the target. There is clearly a degree of actual or potential overlap with this Harm definition and Intimidation, although intimidation differs slightly by its focus on aggressive, negative sentiment directed towards the victim. By allowing totally uncontrolled dialogue, Platforms and services may be allowing Harassment & Cyber Stalking to take place
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Intimidation
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Intimidation Image
Harassment or intimidation is a personalised form of anti-social behaviour, aimed at specific individuals. Perpetrators and victims would, until recently (i.e. the dawn of widespread internet access), have tended to live in the same community. However, with the increased use of, and access to, social media, perpetrators can now target victims who do not live nearby. Harassment and intimidation can involve some form of criminal activity by perpetrators against their victims. It can range from verbal or racist abuse (including online) to physical abuse and attacks on property. Platforms and Services that provide the ability for users to make public posts and invite comment are at risk of allowing intimidation to occur on their platform.
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Extremist content and activity
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Extremist content and activity Image
Terrorism is an action or threat designed to influence the government or intimidate the public. Its purpose is to advance a political, religious or ideological cause. The current UK definition of terrorism is given in the Terrorism Act 2006. In the UK terrorism is defined as as a violent action that:
  • Endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action
  • Involves serious violence against a person
  • Causes serious damage to property
  • Creates a serious risk to the public’s health and safety
  • Interferes with or seriously disrupts an electronic system
The UK Government’s Channel Duty Guidance, for example, defines extremism as the “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for deaths of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas”. There are a huge number of definitions of terrorism available as this is a highly contested term. One well-known definition is that contained in Title 22 of the United States Code, which states that terrorism is: “…premeditated, politically-motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.” Violent jihadism is an ideology that aims to reorder government or society through the implementation by violence and oftentimes terrorism of Islamic or Sharia law. Violent radicalisation (including online) is a process whereby individuals, through their online interactions and exposure to various types of internet content, come to view violence as a legitimate method of solving social and political conflicts. Some of those violently radicalised via the internet may go on to commit acts of terrorism. Does terrorism differ from extremism? The Counter Extremism Strategy 2015 says: “Extremism is the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and respect and tolerance for different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces as extremist.” It’s important to remember that not all extremist groups, whether Islamist, far-right or other, will commit terrorist or violent acts. However, some groups pose particular threats, both online and offline. Terrorist content can be described as material posted by or in support of organizations included on the Consolidated United Nations Security Council Sanctions List that depicts graphic violence, encourages violent action, endorses a terrorist organization or its acts, or encourages people to join such groups. The U.N. Sanctions List includes a list of groups that the U.N. Security Council considers to be terrorist organizations. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/11/contents
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Coercive behaviour
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Coercive behaviour Image
The cross-Government definition of domestic violence and abuse outlines controlling or coercive behaviour as follows: Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour. Coercive behaviour is:
“a continuing act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”
It is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group. Controlling or coercive behaviour does not only happen in the home, the victim can be monitored by phone or social media from a distance and can be made to fear violence on at least two occasions or adapt their everyday behaviour as a result of serious alarm or distress Platforms or services that do not protect their users against this, may be allowing this to take place on their Platforms or Services
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Violent Content
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Violent Content Image
The use of online digital devices or services to engage in activities that result in physical, psychological, emotional self-harm or cause harm to another person.
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Promotion of FGM
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Promotion of FGM Image
Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women but can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths. FGM is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15. FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women. Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice is mostly carried out by traditional circumcisers, who often play other central roles in communities, such as attending childbirths. In many settings, health care providers perform FGM due to the erroneous belief that the procedure is safer when medicalized1. WHO strongly urges health professionals not to perform such procedures. FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women. It is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children. The practice also violates a person’s rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death. The terminology used for this procedure has undergone various changes. During the first years in which the practice was discussed outside practising groups, it was generally referred to as ‘female circumcision’. This term, however, draws a parallel with male circumcision and, as a result, creates confusion between these two distinct practices. The expression ‘female genital mutilation’ gained growing support from the late 1970s. The word mutilation establishes a clear linguistic distinction from male circumcision, and emphasizes the gravity and harm of the act. Use of the word ‘mutilation’ reinforces the fact that the practice is a violation of girls’ and women’s rights, and thereby helps to promote national and international advocacy for its abandonment. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/female-genital-mutilation
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Children accessing pornography
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Children accessing pornography Image
The law applies to pornography (defined as an image “of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal”) Whether or not an image is “pornographic” is up to the magistrate (or jury) to determine by looking at the image. It is not a question of the intentions of those who produced the image. Age-verification was approved as part of the Digital Economy Bill in a bid to stop under 18s accessing inappropriate content and UK Government has designated the British Board of Film Classification as the age verification regulator. In January 2019, plans to age check all users of commercial porn sites were approved by the government body – the Regulatory Policy Committee – who dubbed them ‘fit for purpose’. Under the law, online commercial pornography must be placed behind robust age-verification barriers to prevent children from seeing content which isn’t appropriate for them. Also, it should not contain extreme pornography, as defined by the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. These changes will only affect commercial pornography websites. This means that pornography found elsewhere online, perhaps on a social media platform, will not be covered and therefore will not behind an age wall. The regulator, the BBFC, is required to report to Parliament annually on the effectiveness of the regulations and so there may be scope to change the regulations in the future.
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Children accessing inappropriate material
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Children accessing inappropriate material Image
This harm may be intended to be a slight extension to that of underage children accessing pornographic material.
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Online manipulation
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Online manipulation Image
This harm may be intended to be a slight extension to that of coercive behaviour
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Sexting of indecent images by under 18s
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Sexting of indecent images by under 18s Image
Sexting means sending indecent images (pictures and/or videos) of yourself or others or sending sexually explicit messages. Sexting is commonly known as “trading nudes”, “dirties” or “pic for pic”. Sexting can happen on any electronic device that allows sharing of media and messages including smartphones, tablets, laptops or mobiles. Is this Self Generated Indecent Imagery (SGII)? Creating, possessing, copying or distributing indecent or sexual images of children and young people under the age of 18 is considered SGII. In the UK the age of consent for sexual intercourse is 16. However, it is an offence to make, distribute, possess or show any indecent images of anyone aged under 18, even if the content was created with the consent of that young person. The law is contained in section 1 Protection of Children Act 1978. Examples include:
  • a child (under 18) sharing a sexual image with their peer (also under 18)
  • a child (under 18) sharing a sexual image created by another child with a peer or an adult
  • a child (under 18) in possession of a sexual image created by a child (under 18)
“Indecent” means, for example:
  • naked pictures
  • topless pictures of a girl
  • pictures of genitals
  • sex acts including masturbation
  • sexual pictures in underwear
The police have said that sexting by children will primarily be considered as a safeguarding issue. The police (in the UK) must, by law, record all sexting incidents on their crime system but as of January 2016, they can decide not to take further action against the young person if it is not in the public interest. This will be at the discretion of the police. ‘indecent’ is not defined in legislation but can include penetrative and non-penetrative sexual activity ‘making’ can include opening, accessing, downloading and storing online content ‘sharing’ includes sending on an email, offering on a file sharing platform, uploading to a site that other people have access to, and possessing with a view to distribute Please be aware this list is not exhaustive and other situations could also be covered by these offences.
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Encouraging or assisting suicide
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Encouraging or assisting suicide Image
It’s a criminal offence in the UK for someone to tell another person that they should kill themselves. The perpetrator can be jailed for up to three years for this or, if the victim does in fact try to kill themselves, for up to 14 years. Before July 2015, telling someone to commit suicide was a criminal offence only if the targeted person did in fact try to commit suicide. The use of the Platforms or Services to encourage, accelerate, or provide greater access for the advocate to the victim is considered and Online Harm.
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Terrorist content
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Terrorist content Image
Broadly speaking, Terrorist Content and Activity is the use the internet to spread propaganda designed to radicalise vulnerable people, and distribute material designed to aid or abet terrorist attacks, however, there are a huge number of definitions of terrorism available as this is a highly contested term. One well-known definition is that contained in Title 22 of the United States Code, which states that terrorism is:
“…premeditated, politically-motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.”
Violent radicalisation (including online) is a process whereby individuals, through their online interactions and exposure to various types of internet content, come to view violence as a legitimate method of solving social and political conflicts. Some of those violently radicalised via the internet may go on to commit acts of terrorism.
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Illegal upload from prisons
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Illegal upload from prisons Image
Online content originating from prisons is illegally uploaded by prisoners to social media. Some prisoners transmit videos, images and messages from prisons using prohibited devices such as mobile phones. They may use social media accounts to harass and intimidate their victims. This can lead to victims of crime feeling that they have no escape from their tormentors, even when they have been imprisoned. Prisoners openly uploading content from prisons can also undermine public confidence in the prison service.
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Gang culture and incitement to serious violence
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Gang culture and incitement to serious violence Image
Rival gangs use social media to promote gang culture, taunt each other and incite violence. Content can also either directly depict or incite real world violence or glamorise gang life and the use of weapons.
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Sale of illegal goods & services e.g. drugs & weapons
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Sale of illegal goods & services e.g. drugs & weapons Image
Goods and services that would be considered as illegal to sell in any means under normal physical circumstances are being sold in large quantities through the internet. In many respects, this could be considered as a “Cyber Enabled Crime” which would take the definition
“traditional crimes which can be increased in scale or reach by the use of computers, computer networks or other forms of ICT (such as cyber-enabled fraud and data theft).”
Indeed, the definition taken from the Uk Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) would include “Online marketplaces for illegal items”. https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/cybercrime-prosecution-guidance
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Organised immigration crime
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Organised immigration crime Image
The arrangement of illegal immigration activities through the use of the Internet. In many respects, this could be considered as a “Cyber Enabled Crime” which would take the definition
“traditional crimes which can be increased in scale or reach by the use of computers, computer networks or other forms of ICT (such as cyber-enabled fraud and data theft).”
Whilst current CPS guidance doesn’t call out immigration crime, it could easily be seen that a traditional crime such as organised immigration crime would fall into this category https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/cybercrime-prosecution-guidance
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Modern slavery
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Modern slavery Image
Modern Slavery includes the crimes of human trafficking, slavery and slavery like practices such as servitude, forced labour, forced or servile marriage, the sale and exploitation of children, and debt bondage. These are facilitated through online interactions.
  • Someone is in slavery if they are: forced to work through mental or physical threat owned or controlled by an ’employer’, usually through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as ‘property’ physically constrained or have restrictions placed on his/her freedom
Clearly these definitions relate more easily to the act of slavery or servitude, however, the internet enablement of this harm includes any element of facilitation, such as discussions, exchange of good or services or planning to enslave a person. https://www.unseenuk.org/modern-slavery/modern-slavery https://www.app.college.police.uk/app-content/major-investigation-and-public-protection/modern-slavery/definitions/
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Extreme pornography
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Extreme pornography Image
An image is pornographic if it is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal. Whether an image is pornographic or not is an issue for a Judge or jury to determine simply by looking at the image. It is not a question of the intentions of those who produced the image. Nor is it a question of the sexual arousal of the defendant. For an image to be considered ‘extreme’ it must be explicit and realistic; both those terms take their ordinary dictionary definition. Taking an example which was raised during parliamentary debates on the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, the anal sex scene in the movie “Last Tango in Paris”, even if it were to be considered pornographic and of an obscene nature, would not be caught by the new offence, because it is not explicit and does not portray an act resulting or likely to result in serious injury to a person’s anus. The painting “Leda and the Swan”, another example raised during debates in Parliament, would also not be caught by the new offence, because it would not meet the “explicit and realistic” test. Helpful definitions of acts include: a) An act which threatens a person’s life; b) An act which results in or is likely to result in serious injury to a person’s anus, breast or genitals; this could include the insertion of sharp objects (although in some circumstances this can be done in a way that is not likely to result in serious injury) or the mutilation of breasts or genitals. It is likely to be difficult to prove that cases of ‘fisting’ involve images that show activity that is likely to result in serious injury so these cases need to be handled with particular care.
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Revenge pornography
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Revenge pornography Image
Revenge Porn is the sharing of private, sexual materials, either photos or videos, of another person, without their consent and with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress. The offence applies both online and offline, and to images which are shared electronically or in a more traditional way so it includes the uploading of images on the internet, sharing by text and e-mail, or showing someone a physical or electronic image. ‘Private materials’ are those showing anything not usually seen in public. Sexual material not only covers images that show the pubic region, but anything that a reasonable person would consider to be sexual so this could be a picture of someone who is engaged in sexual behaviour or posing in a sexually provocative way. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/405286/revenge-porn-factsheet.pdf
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Hate Crime
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Hate Crime Image
Whilst many people will have a sense of what Hate Crime may be, it struggles to be tightly defined. It has been descibed as: “Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on a person’s disability or perceived disability; race or perceived race; or religion or perceived religion; or sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation or transgender identity or perceived transgender identity.” There is no legal definition of hostility so we use the everyday understanding of the word which includes ill-will, spite, contempt, prejudice, unfriendliness, antagonism, resentment and dislike.The term ‘hate crime’ can be used to describe a range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity. These aspects of a person’s identity are known as ‘protected characteristics’. A hate crime can include verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, harassment, assault and bullying, as well as damage to property. The perpetrator can also be a friend, carer or acquaintance who exploits their relationship with the victim for financial gain or some other criminal purpose. The ‘Protected Characteristics’ under the Equality act are:
  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
https://www.cps.gov.uk/hate-crime https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/equality-act/protected-characteristics
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Cyber bullying and trolling
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Cyber bullying and trolling Image
Cyber bullying is any form of bullying which takes place online or through smartphones and tablets. Social networking sites, messaging apps, gaming sites and chat rooms . Cyber bullying Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior. Types of cyberbullying There are many ways of bullying someone online and for some it can take shape in more ways than one. Some of the types of cyber bullying are: Harassment – This is the act of sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages and being abusive. Nasty or humiliating comments on posts, photos and in chat rooms. Being explicitly offensive on gaming sites. Denigration – This is when someone may send information about another person that is fake, damaging and untrue. Sharing photos of someone for the purpose to ridicule, spreading fake rumours and gossip. This can be on any site online or on apps. This would include altering photos of others and posting in online for the purpose of bullying. Flaming – This is when someone is purposely using really extreme and offensive language and getting into online arguments and fights. They do this to cause reactions and enjoy the fact it causes someone to get distressed. Impersonation – This is when someone will hack into someone’s email or social networking account and use the person’s online identity to send or post vicious or embarrassing material to/about others. The making up of fake profiles on social network sites, apps and online are common place and it can be difficult to get them closed down. Outing and Trickery – This is when someone may share personal information about another or trick someone into revealing secrets and forward it to others. They may also do this with private images and videos too. Cyber Stalking – This is the act of repeatedly sending messages that include threats of harm, harassment, intimidating messages, or engaging in other online activities that make a person afraid for his or her safety. The actions may be illegal too depending on what they are doing. Exclusion – This is when others intentionally leave someone out of a group such as group messages, online apps, gaming sites and other online engagement. This is also a form of social bullying and a very common. Bullying by spreading rumours and gossip Posting false and malicious things about people on the internet can be classed as harassment. Threatening behaviour Anyone who makes threats on the internet could be committing a criminal offence. It’s against the law in the UK to use the phone system, which includes the internet, to cause alarm or distress. It could also be against the 1997 Harassment Act.
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Advocacy of self-harm
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Advocacy of self-harm Image
“The encouragement or sanctioning of self harm. Self-harm is when a person hurts themselves as a way of dealing with very difficult feelings, painful memories or overwhelming situations and experiences. Some people have described self-harm as a way to:
  • express something that is hard to put into words
  • turn invisible thoughts or feelings into something visible
  • change emotional pain into physical pain
  • reduce overwhelming emotional feelings or thoughts
  • have a sense of being in control
  • escape traumatic memories
  • have something in life that they can rely on
  • punish themselves for your feelings and experiences
  • stop feeling numb, disconnected or dissociated (see dissociative disorders)
  • create a reason to physically care for themselves
  • express suicidal feelings and thoughts without taking their own life
The use of the Platforms or Services to encourage, accelerate, or provide greater access for the advocate to the self-harm victim is considered and Online Harm.”
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Interference with legal proceedings
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“Contempt of court is the established, if unfortunate, name given to the species of wrongful conduct which consists of interference with the administration of justice. It is an essential adjunct of the rule of law. Interference with the administration of justice can take many forms” – Att.-Gen. v Punch Ltd [2002] UKHL 50. There are two main forms of contempt – criminal and civil – but the burden of proof for both is to the criminal standard – Dean v Dean [1987] 1 FLR 517 CA. “The question whether contempt is a criminal contempt does not depend on the nature of the court to which the contempt was displayed; it depends on the nature of the conduct. To burst into a court room and disrupt a civil trial would be a criminal contempt just as much as if the court had been conducting a criminal trial. Conversely, disobedience to a procedural order of a court is not in itself a crime, just because the order was made in the course of criminal proceedings.” – R v O’Brien [2014] UKSC 23. Criminal Contempt A criminal contempt is conduct which goes beyond mere non-compliance with a court order and involves a serious interference with the administration of justice – Director of the Serious Fraud Office v B [2014] A.C. 1246. The general description of the nature of criminal contempt in Robertson and Gough [2007] HCJAC 63 is “conduct that denotes wilful defiance of, or disrespect towards the court, or that wilfully challenges or affronts the authority of the court or the supremacy of the law itself”. In short, it is behaviour which so threatens the administration of justice that it requires punishment from a public point of view. The main types of criminal contempt are failing to answer questions in court, physically interfering with a trial, threatening witnesses and conduct obstructing or calculated to prejudice the due administration of justice. It can arise before, during or after criminal proceedings at either the Crown Court or the magistrates’ court, or in the course of any civil proceedings.
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Online Harms
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Online CSEA Image
Online CSEA
The UK Government defines Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (CSEA) as “a form of child sexual abuse [which] occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young p… Read More
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Self Generate Indecent Imagery (SGII)
Sexting means sending indecent images (pictures and/or videos) of yourself or others or sending sexually explicit messages. Sexting is commonly known as “trading nudes”, “dirties” or “pic for pic”. Sexting can happen on any elec… Read More
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Online dis-information
The deliberate creation and sharing of false and/or manipulated information that is intended to deceive and mislead audiences, either for the purposes of causing harm, or for political, personal or financial gain. ‘Misinformation’ refer… Read More
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Harassment & cyberstalking
Cyber stalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, group, or organization. It may include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. It may also include monitoring, identity theft, t… Read More
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Intimidation
Harassment or intimidation is a personalised form of anti-social behaviour, aimed at specific individuals. Perpetrators and victims would, until recently (i.e. the dawn of widespread internet access), have tended to live in the same communi… Read More
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Extremist content and activity
Terrorism is an action or threat designed to influence the government or intimidate the public. Its purpose is to advance a political, religious or ideological cause. The current UK definition of terrorism is given in the Terrorism Act 2006… Read More
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Coercive behaviour
The cross-Government definition of domestic violence and abuse outlines controlling or coercive behaviour as follows: Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from s… Read More
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Violent Content
The use of online digital devices or services to engage in activities that result in physical, psychological, emotional self-harm or cause harm to another person.
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Promotion of FGM
Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women but can cause severe bleeding and pr… Read More
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Children accessing pornography
The law applies to pornography (defined as an image “of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal”) Whether or not an image is “pornographic” is up to the … Read More
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Children accessing inappropriate material
This harm may be intended to be a slight extension to that of underage children accessing pornographic material.
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Online manipulation
This harm may be intended to be a slight extension to that of coercive behaviour
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Sexting of indecent images by under 18s
Sexting means sending indecent images (pictures and/or videos) of yourself or others or sending sexually explicit messages. Sexting is commonly known as “trading nudes”, “dirties” or “pic for pic”. Sexting can happen on any elec… Read More
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Encouraging or assisting suicide
It’s a criminal offence in the UK for someone to tell another person that they should kill themselves. The perpetrator can be jailed for up to three years for this or, if the victim does in fact try to kill themselves, for up to 14 years…. Read More
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Terrorist content
Broadly speaking, Terrorist Content and Activity is the use the internet to spread propaganda designed to radicalise vulnerable people, and distribute material designed to aid or abet terrorist attacks, however, there are a huge number of d… Read More
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Illegal upload from prisons
Online content originating from prisons is illegally uploaded by prisoners to social media. Some prisoners transmit videos, images and messages from prisons using prohibited devices such as mobile phones. They may use social media accounts … Read More
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Gang culture and incitement to serious violence
Rival gangs use social media to promote gang culture, taunt each other and incite violence. Content can also either directly depict or incite real world violence or glamorise gang life and the use of weapons.
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Sale of illegal goods & services e.g. drugs & weapons
Goods and services that would be considered as illegal to sell in any means under normal physical circumstances are being sold in large quantities through the internet. In many respects, this could be considered as a “Cyber Enabled Crime” w… Read More
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Organised immigration crime
The arrangement of illegal immigration activities through the use of the Internet. In many respects, this could be considered as a “Cyber Enabled Crime” which would take the definition “traditional crimes which can be increased… Read More
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Modern slavery
Modern Slavery includes the crimes of human trafficking, slavery and slavery like practices such as servitude, forced labour, forced or servile marriage, the sale and exploitation of children, and debt bondage. These are facilitated through… Read More
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Extreme pornography
An image is pornographic if it is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal. Whether an image is pornographic or not is an issue for a Judge or jury to … Read More
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Revenge pornography
Revenge Porn is the sharing of private, sexual materials, either photos or videos, of another person, without their consent and with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress. The offence applies both online and offline, and to im… Read More
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Hate Crime
Whilst many people will have a sense of what Hate Crime may be, it struggles to be tightly defined. It has been descibed as: “Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudi… Read More
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Cyber bullying and trolling
Cyber bullying is any form of bullying which takes place online or through smartphones and tablets. Social networking sites, messaging apps, gaming sites and chat rooms . Cyber bullying Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharin… Read More
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Advocacy of self-harm
“The encouragement or sanctioning of self harm. Self-harm is when a person hurts themselves as a way of dealing with very difficult feelings, painful memories or overwhelming situations and experiences. Some people have described self-harm … Read More
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Interference with legal proceedings
“Contempt of court is the established, if unfortunate, name given to the species of wrongful conduct which consists of interference with the administration of justice. It is an essential adjunct of the rule of law. Interference with the a… Read More
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