Social Media Harassment in the Workplace

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Social Media Harassment

Social Media Harassment

The majority of employees have no idea how social media platforms can lead to discrimination and harassment in the workplace. These new advanced technologies allow employees to share information through computers, smartphones, and tablets. The more technology advances, the higher the rate of cyberbullying. Social media harassment causes tension between employers, employees, third parties, and contractors.

What is Social Media Harassment?

What is Social Media Harassment?

Many employees may use social media platforms to send messages, emails, and posts intended to harass or intimidate each other. For instance, an employee can send an offensive or abusive message, comment, or image to a fellow employee using social networking sites.

Employees should know that using electronic devices to send offensive information to fellow employees, whether on or off duty, qualifies as workplace harassment. Employers should enforce policies that will help in reducing cyberbullying. They are held liable in case they fail to stop any form of social media harassment, whether or not they use electronic devices provided by work, and whether or not the employer was aware of it from the beginning. Electronic devices include tablets, desktop computers, smartphones, and laptops.

Ways of Preventing Social Media Harassment

Ways of Preventing Social Media Harassment

Employees should know that face-to-face offensive communication affects a person the same way as communicating through social networking sites. Prevention of online harassment requires more effort because you are dealing with the harasser indirectly. Employers need to introduce policies that prohibit online harassment in the workplace. They should also organize training programs to help employees understand the types of online harassment and measures they can take to reduce them. Some of the preventive measures include:

1. Implementation of Strong Policies

1. Implementation of Strong Policies

Employers or companies should enforce clear policies that help in regulating all conduct related to social media harassment. Employees must also understand and be willing to work following the rules and regulations. The regulations include:

  • Prohibition of online harassment under any circumstances
  • Employee trainings to define all forms of harassment via electronic communication
  • Informing employees that communications between two employees are not private
  • Reminding employees that all forms of harassment are unlawful and may lead to job termination
  • Conducting employee training to help them understand the policies
2. Report All Social Media Harassment

2. Report All Social Media Harassment

Employees should not fear reporting social media harassment. Employers should inform the employees that there is no retaliation in case they report electronic harassment. Employeesshould also block any account that the harasser is using and report it to the social media platforms through the reporting channels offered by the necessary platforms. Before reporting the account, employees should avoid exchanging words or sending an offensive message.

If the harrassment does not cease, you should also file a report to the police in case the person does not stop. Ensure that you screenshot the offensive information and use it as evidence.

Examples of Social Media Platform Harassment in the Workplace

Social media harassment occurs in various companies. Employees should know the types of social media harassment and try to minimize these occurrences. Employers should introduce training programs that help employees learn the forms of social media harassment found at the workplace and how to prevent or report them. Employees should learn the different measures to take when facing cyberbullying. Some examples of social media harassment at the workplace include:

Virtual Harassment

Virtual harassment occurs when an employer, supervisor, employee, or co-worker sends offensive comments or messages to another colleague through social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Cyber Stalking

Cyberstalking is a situation where a co-worker harasses another employee by following everything he or she does on a social website or blog post as a form of intimidation. A group of workers can also create a blog post or website for harassing other employees.

Sexting

Cyberstalking is a situation where a co-worker harasses another employee by following everything he or she does on a social website or blog post as a form of intimidation. A group of workers can also create a blog post or website for harassing other employees.

Textual Harassment

A situation when an employee intimidates or harasses another by sending inappropriate messages to a fellow employee.

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