Targeting Targeted Harassment: Problems with Criminalization and Platform Liability

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While there are plenty of ways to tackle content-related harms in the online environment, the phenomenon of targeted harassment of individuals presents particular regulatory challenges. Regulatory means that may be justified and effective against clearly illegal content (e.g., child sexual abuse material or certain forms of hate speech) may unduly restrict freedom of expression and/or be inefficient in relation to targeted harassment. In this paper, I explore why this subcategory of harmful online speech may be especially difficult to prevent through the traditional means of criminal law and rules governing liability for third party content. Although these challenges are considerable, I identify approaches that may help to counter targeted harassment or to reduce its harms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecht DIGITAL – 25 Jahre IRIS
Subtitle of host publicationTagungsband des 25. Internationalen Rechtsinformatik Symposions IRIS 2022 / Proceedings of the 25th International Legal Informatics Symposium IRIS 2022
EditorsErich Schweighofer, Ahti Saarenpää, Stefan Eder, Jakob Zanol, Felix Schmautzer, Franz Kummer, Philip Hanke
Place of PublicationBern
PublisherEditions Weblaw
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-3-98595-114-7
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoEC publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternationales Rechtsinformatik Symposion IRIS 2022: Recht DIGITAL – 25 Jahre IRIS - Salzburg, Austria
Duration: 23 Feb 202226 Feb 2022

Publication series

SeriesEditions Weblaw II, Colloquium


ConferenceInternationales Rechtsinformatik Symposion IRIS 2022
Abbreviated titleIRIS 2022
Internet address


  • harassment
  • freedom of expression
  • criminal law
  • liability
  • content moderation
  • platforms

Field of science

  • Law


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