"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."
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.