What should I do if someone harasses or stalks me on answerMug?
We take allegations of stalking and harassment very seriously. These kinds of actions violate our terms of service, and can result in the other party being suspended or permanently removed from the site. If you're being stalked or harassed here on answerMug, please report the issue to the admin.With this said, we'd also like to clarify what constitutes stalking and harassment. Black's Law Dictionary defines it as:
"A course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such person and serves no legitimate purpose" or "Words, gestures, and actions which tend to annoy, alarm and abuse (verbally) another person."
Working to End Online Abuse (WHO@) adds:
This is of course a very broad definition, which state and federal legislation and common law have narrowed and refined in various ways. However, for our purposes, WHOA defines online harassment as any actions that meet the qualifications of the above definition after the harasser has been told to cease.If someone simply disagrees with you, however strongly or unpleasantly, that isn't harassment. Someone who sends you a single email message that isn't overtly threatening probably hasn't harassed you. Spam, while very annoying, isn't harassment. And messages posted to any open venue, such as a newsgroup, a web-based board, an AOL discussion forum or a chat room, are seldom truly harassing unless they're forged to appear to come from you or contain direct threats or libelous statements. The same goes for things said on someone else's web site. Harassment usually involves repeated communications via email or some sort of instant messaging program after the harasser has clearly been told to go away.
To clarify, we don't consider it harassment for someone to interact on the main areas of the site, as long as they aren't spreading damaging lies about you or threatening you. If all they're doing is answering questions or disagreeing with you, we won't take action against them. However, if they are breaking our policies, or even if you think they may be, you can (and should) report the issue.If someone is sending you unsolicited emails, we suggest that you unfriend them (only your friends and the answerMug team can email you) and notify the admin of what was sent.
You also have the ability to block someone from sending you private messages via chat. Again, we suggest that you block the other party and notify the admin.
If the issue is occurring in a group chatroom, you may notify a moderator/ admin via chat if one is listed as being online. If you don't see one listed, please report the issue via one of our other reporting options or through a direct message to the admin.