Can I Sue Internet Trolls for Doxxing and Cyberbullying?

LAS VEGAS, Nevada. The recent shooting in Las Vegas has left at least 58 people dead and another 489 injured. The tragedy has again raised questions about what should be done to prevent gun violence in America. Yet, in the wake of the shooting, online trolls and cyberbullies targeted innocent people, connecting them with the shooting or incorrectly identifying them as victims online. Some of these individuals have faced threats as a result. While the Truman Law Firm, P.C. handles car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, it is important to remember the sometimes-silent victims who suffer at the hands of malicious entities who sole purpose is to cause harm. If you’ve suffered as a result of online harassment, you may have important rights under the law.

According to Scientific American, researchers have found that as many as 23 percent of teens may be the targets of online bullying. Another 15 percent of teens admitted to bullying another person online. Researchers have connected online bullying to mental health problems among teens. The internet’s ability to render users anonymous creates a social structure where people do things and say things they might not have been willing to say in person. The New York Times reported that there is a growing number of children and teens who have committed suicide or attempted suicide after suffering from online harassment. Researchers have found a connection between cyberbullying and depression.

Depression, suicide attempts, and injuries from cyberbullying are very real. Parents may need to seek medical attention, counseling, and other services for their children. Even adults are at risk of the impact of online trolls. After the recent Las Vegas shooting, fake news reports abounded. In one case, the shooter was wrongfully identified. Vox reports that random people with no connection to the crime were incorrectly identified as the shooter. One family reported that they faced threats after their family was wrongfully connected to the shooting.

Doxxing is another dangerous problem. With doxxing, trolls publish a person’s contact information online, making them vulnerable to attacks and harassment. According to BuzzFeed, some lawmakers are considering passing laws that would make doxxing a federal crime, carrying heavy fines and up to five years in jail.

Yet, until more exacting laws are passed, individuals who face online harassment may have few options. However, if you are able to identify the individual or groups harassing you, you may have the right to sue for personal injury damages. Online harassment can be incredibly damaging. Harassers may hack personal websites, post offensive comments on a person’s Facebook wall, or may reveal a person’s address, e-mail, or other sensitive information. This can be incredibly harmful and can result in real damages. If you have been harmed by online harassment, protect your rights. You may have the right to seek damages for your injuries.

The Truman Law Firm, P.C. are personal injury lawyers who handle car accident claims in Las Vegas, Nevada. We are closely following the reports of the recent tragedy and our thoughts are with the victims and their families.