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STOP Online Harassment: Propose a stand-alone law

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Let’s Make a Difference: Say NO to Cyber Bullying & Online Harrasment

Have you ever felt insulted, embarrassed, or threatened online?

Unfortunately, you are not alone, and there is currently no stand-alone laws in Malaysia that clearly states online harassment or cyberbullying as crimes.

The Sophos Security Threat Report 2013 listed Malaysia as the sixth most vulnerable country to cybercrime, which includes but not limited to online harassment. Most recently, myCERT statistics from CyberSecurity Malaysia received a total of 304 cases related to cyber harassment. The age range from 26-40 years recorded the highest figure of reported cases totaling in 72 cases. People of different genders experience different kinds of online harassments.

According to Cyberbullying Research Centre, "Cyberbullying is when someone repeatedly harasses, mistreats, or makes fun of another person online or while using cell phones or other electronic devices." Studies showed that women are significantly more likely to have experienced online harassment.

Young women aged between 18 to 24 years old experience certain severe types of harassment at disproportionately high levels. 26% of young women have been stalked online, and 25% were the target of online sexual harassment (Pew Research Center, 2014).

Why is it important to stop online harassment?

Like all forms of harassment, online harassment causes psychological, emotional and physical stress. Signs shown by online harassment victims include low self-esteem, withdrawal from family and friends, self-harm and a change in personality such as being depressed and withdrawn.

Therefore, we, the undersigned urge the Malaysian Government to better implement the law on online harassment, and at the same time, create awareness among Malaysians about their rights as Internet users and the channel to seek redress.

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