Research: Victims of internet bullying or revenge porn miss a central counter

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Victims of internet bullying, revenge porn or other forms of online injustice do not know where to turn to legally oppose these types of practices. A central knowledge center or reporting point that provides direction could help with this, according to one research commissioned by the Scientific Research and Documentation Center (WODC).

Online injustice can occur in various forms, such as threats, false accusations, bullying or stalking and the publication of private data or (sexually explicit) images.

Depending on the injustice, victims can turn to various organizations to, for example, have images removed. But this does not always or only after a long time to deal with the unlawfulness.

For example, going to court can be effective, but the barrier to doing so is high and the process takes a long time, conclude the researchers at the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

Obtaining entitlement based on the privacy rules of the General Data Protection Regulation (AVG) or a complaint to its supervisory authority, the Dutch Data Protection Authority, is simpler, but gives less guarantee of success.

Anyone who wants to have data removed and immediately goes to the party behind the servers where the online injustice is located is also dependent on their accessibility and cooperation.

The UvA researchers argue that victims can benefit from a central independent reporting point that helps them map out the best route to take to have the material removed. Current counters or hotlines do not meet the requirements or are aimed at one facet of online injustice, the research notes, while important indicators are important because every form of online injustice requires a different approach.

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