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Frequently Asked Question #108. Someone is harassing me! What steps should I take?

Depending on whether you have control of the location where the content is posted, you will need to take different actions. For instance, if you receive unwanted comments in your journal, you can generally resolve the situation yourself. Likewise, if someone posts unwanted comments or entries in a community you maintain, you can take the same steps to protect your community from further harassment.
If someone has posted an unwanted comment or entry in a community you do not control, you should speak to the community maintainer for assistance; they have the ability to control their community's content and settings. If you are receiving negative or unwanted comments in another user's journal, you should speak with the journal owner for assistance. If they do not assist you, you should withdraw yourself from the situation and refrain from further commenting.

In order for content to be considered harassing, the post must contain information sufficient to contact you and encourage others to contact you via these means. However, if the entry does not encourage others to contact you, but still only provides information sufficient for a random reader to identify you in the physical world, the content may be considered an invasion of privacy. This means that the poster must include your full name, your address, your telephone number, or other uniquely identifying material or information. First names, Internet nicknames, LiveJournal usernames, and other forms of non-identifying information do not suffice to identify users in the physical world, and are not considered invasions of privacy.

If the material in question falls into the definitions of harassment or invasion of privacy, as described in the previous paragraph, you can file a report with the Abuse Prevention Team, making sure to link to each of the relevant comments or entries. The Abuse Prevention Team will not investigate these cases unless reports contain specific links to investigate.

Last Updated: September 9th, 2010

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