Advice for dealing with online harassment

Prime Directive #6: No harassment of fellow officers of any kind is permitted. This includes, but is not limited to:

Those that are harassing other OTF members shall be reported to the ISA Director or Conflict Resolution. OTF has a ZERO-TOLERANCE policy towards harassment. If the offense is occurring offline, the proper authorities will be notified immediately.

Harassment of OTF members by other OTF members is rare. However, as OTF is open to everyone, it unfortunately does occassionally occur. This page was written to provide advice on what to do if you are ever harassed.

In chat

In chat harassment is uncommon. However, examples of it include:

If this ever happens to you, and makes you uncomfortable, you are advised to plainly but not rudely tell the person to stop pestering you. If they fail to do so and continue to make you uncomfortable, you should ignore the person completely, and contact an ISA member or senior officer for assistance if required.

ISA members also look out for this type of harassment, and may not need to be asked before providing assistance.

Off site (including social media, email or instant messenger)

Off site harassment (including via email or instant messenger) is even more rare than that in chat. However, it also tends to cause more concern. Examples include:

If this happens, you are advised to first ask the person to stop harassing you. If this doesn't work, you are then encouraged to attempt to "block" the person or add them to an invisible/ignore list, or to completely ignore their emails and instant messages if not.

If the harassment is of a serious nature; or you feel unable to deal with it yourself (for example, due to being a younger chatter); or if it continues for a long time, you are encouraged to contact the ISA. To report this harassment to us, send an email containing all relevant information, and, if possible, chatsaves, forwarded emails and/or saved instant messenger conversations, to Remember that we cannot act on "hearsay" alone, and so always take chatsaves, or keep records of the relevant emails and instant messenger conversations.

Written: 15 September 2004, by Iain (CL7).
Edited by Zildjian 18 August 2013