The way we communicate with our friends and family, coworkers and the rest of the world has drastically changed. We often rely on online spaces including apps, social media, email, and video chat services to connect. These spaces bring great benefits, but they also can provide space for hate, harassment, and abuse.
Recent social media posts have made light of sexual violence and subsequent claimed to have been jokes. Sexual assault is a traumatic and severe emotional and physical violation and jokes of rape, sexual assault or other forms of sexual violence cannot be tolerated whether online, in the workplace or in everyday life. Jokes about sexual violence reinforces and normalizes sexual violence and further perpetrates gender-based inequalities. Jokes about sexual violence can also further traumatize and trigger survivors of violence.
We all have a role to play in creating a safe online world. Leaders of online spaces including dating apps and social media platforms must take steps to ensure that they have effective policies and moderators in place to ensure harassment and abuse are not tolerated, and that perpetrators are held accountable, and their abusive content is removed from their platform. Individuals can become active bystanders and call out harassment and abuse. Individuals can report inappropriate content on the social media platform it appears on. We can also reach out to those that have been a target of online harassment and abuse to let them know we are available to chat, provide support or help them seek resources to support them.
How to report harassment and abuse on social media platforms
Guides are available for information on privacy settings and reporting tools on the following platforms Tiktok, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, and Youtube. (click on the platform to open the guide).
How to report Non-Consensual Distribution of an Intimate Image
In Canada it is illegal for a person to distribute an intimate image of another person without that person’s consent.
Cybertip.ca receives and addresses reports of non-consensual distribution of intimate images of individuals under 18 years of age. To report child sexual abuse content including the sharing of images or video without consent see: cybertip.ca/app/en/report.
For more support for teens see: needhelpnow.ca/app/en/
For information regarding the non-consensual distribution of an intimate images of folks over 18 years of age see: cybertip.ca/pdfs/Ctip_SharingSexualPictures_en.pdf