According to the news, cyber libel cases are on the rise as victims of online harassment also increases.
Here’s another email inquiry, sharing my response because cyber libel, is an adult victims’ recourse when being cyberbullied.
I am being cyber bullied for about 2 months now. This person is creating dummy accounts on Facebook and group chats with my officemates and friends to post my picture with a caption saying I am a whore, gold digger, slut, and a mistress.
I kept on reporting these fake accounts but this person keeps on creating new one. The owner of this fake account sent me a message saying he/she will not stop not until my family and my reputation is not destroyed.
Please help. Thank you.
Since you already reported these accounts to the respective platform abuse desks, and since you said the person is bent on destroying you, the next logical step is to seek police and legal help.
In the absence of cyberbullying law affecting adults, you can use the cyber libel (online libel) provision of RA 10175 or the cybercrime law. Please consult with a lawyer, and at any time, you can visit the cybercrime division of either PNP or NBI to discuss your situation. Alternately, you can report the alleged crime online in this government portal.
Please bring with you screenshots of abusive posts, where as much as possible, the URL is visible. In addition, if you have friends who can help identify the person, their statements can be of help.
To identify the person behind dummy accounts, our DOJ will coordinate with its counterpart to compel platforms to share details behind fake accounts.
Why Cyber Libel
The anti bullying law only cover minors and students, but the cybercrime law included cyber libel as a punishable act per revised penal code. Albeit one degree higher, because the use of social media and the internet amplifies the effect of libel.
For your reference, please look for these elements in the posts against you, these are the elements of (cyber) libel.
- Qualifier: The use of the internet
- First Element: There must be a defamatory imputation
- The victim is humiliated or publicly embarrassed
- The victim is vilified, hated, becomes the subject of gossip, nasty stories, suspected of wrongdoings, is avoided
- The victim losses face, becomes a laughing stock, is the object of ridicule
- Second Element: Publicity of the Libelous Matter
- Posting the material in the internet or posting in a bulletin board
- Showing the caricature, or naked picture, of the victim to another
- Third Element: The Person libeled must be identified. (Identity of victim)
- Fourth Element: That there be malice on the part of the accused.Malice is the legal term to denote that the accused is motivated by personal ill-will, spite, hatred, jealousy, anger, and speaks not in response to duty but to do ulterior and unjustifiable harm. The purpose is really to destroy, to injure, to inflict harm.
For details on the case of libel, please read this article.
Hope this helps.