Telling the difference between flaming, cyber-bullying and harassment and cyberstalking (A guide for law enforcement)

Read the checklist here and see if you need to involve law enforcement.

It’s not always easy to tell these apart, except for serious cases of cyberstalking, when you “know it when you see it.” And the only difference between “cyberbullying” and cyber-harassment is the age of both the victim and the perpetrator. They both have to be under-age.

When you get a call, your first response people must be able to quickly determine if you need to get involved or whether it may not be a matter for law enforcement. It might help to start by running through this checklist. If the communication is only a flame, you may not be able to do much about it. (Sometimes ISPs will consider this a terms of service violation.) But the closer it comes to real life threats the more likely you have to get involved as law enforcement. We recommend that law enforcement agents ask parents the following questions. Their answers will help guide you when to get involved and when to recommend another course of action.

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