Cyberstalking: a content analysis of gender-based offenses committed online.
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The 21st century has come up with the increased usage of technology and this has been welcomed by cyber stalkers for it has exacerbated cyberstalking. Cyberstalking therefore has grown considerably within the contemporary environment. Cyberstalking entails the inappropriate, uninvited social exchange behaviours initiated by a perpetrator via online or wireless communication technology and devices. Forms of cyberstalking includes sending threatening or obscene electronic emails, harassing in chat rooms, spamming, tracing another person's computer and internet activity, and posting threatening or harassing messages on blogs or through social media. The study utilised qualitative research methods in which documentary search was utilised as the secondary source of data collection. The study therefore gathered that gender based offences have considerably increased online. The study gathered that women (particularly young women aged 18-24) disproportionately experience severe types of cyber harassment, namely cyberstalking and online sexual harassment. The study also gathered that there are a number of ways which have been documented to deal with cybercrime. Raising awareness, setting up and supporting peer-support networks for the eradicating gender based offences committed online and there is need for industry regulations such as punishment from using twitter and YouTube if found to be offensive. The study also gathered that cyber stalkers are motivated by a number of ways. The first category are those that need to fulfil the psychological needs, wishes, or cravings regarding the victim on the part of the perpetrator and the second category are those motivated by the need to instil fear and gain control over the victim. The third group consists of those cyber stalkers who are motivated with the need to seek revenge or punish the victim. And the last group of cyber stalkers are those motivated by the need to build a relationship with the victim. The study therefore recommends for the need to implement cyber stalking regulations within South Africa for the ones that have been acted are not being efficient in combating cyberstalking.