Social Media Crimes: Actions You Can Be Charged For

Social Media Crimes: Actions You Can Be Charged For

Social media is fun. It is a place where we can meet virtually with people across the world and communicate with a touch of a button. But these platforms have also increasingly become a perfect ground for criminals, hiding behind the computer and smartphones. 

But what are the major social media crimes? In this guide, we have put together social media actions that can be charged as criminal offences. Below are 5 major social media crimes. 

1. Online Threat and Cyberbullying 

These are the most common social media and cyber crimes today. Most people are taking to social media to intimidate others by bullying, harassing, and stalking. Sending someone threatening messages, putting embarrassing photos of another person online, defamation, or making fun of others is a criminal office.  

If you are found threatening or bullying online, you can get charged in a court of law here in Australia. Offences such as threatening and intimidating others online can attract a penalty of 3-5 years in prison depending on the offence. For stalking, you can go in for a maximum of 5 years. 

2. Sexting 

sexting on mobile phone

What is sexting? It refers to creating and sharing naked or partially naked photos or videos of persons via mobile phones or the internet. Receiving and sharing such photos and videos online is also sexting. Sexting also includes text messages discussing or proposing sex acts. 

Sexting becomes a crime when you create, possess, or intend to possess videos, photos, or messages of a person below 18 years of age showing their sexual parts, involved in sexual activities, or in a sexual pose. If found guilty of recording these images of a person without their consent, you can be given a fine of $11,000 and/or imprisonment of a maximum of 3 years.  

3. Porn Revenge 

Porn revenge is simply distributing sexually explicit videos or images of a person without their consent. It is different from sexting in that it includes persons of all ages. It is a big problem, especially with separated partners and lovers. The jilted partner may decide to share sexually explicit videos and photos online to harass their former partner. You can be penalised $105,000 or given a maximum of 3 years imprisonment for porn revenge crimes in Australia. 

4. Accessing Other People’s Social Media Accounts 

This is a common thing with friends. You can log into your close friend’s social media account if you have their log in details. It becomes a crime if you access another person’s social media account without their consent. The action is considered hacking or fraud. If you go ahead and post an embarrassing status on their account, then it becomes a more serious crime. 

man holding phone with fingerprint scan app

5. Creating Fake Accounts 

Most people bullying and threatening others on social media do not use their real names, which makes it easy to bully even their close friends. Creating fake accounts and impersonating other accounts is a crime that is charged and punished as fraud, especially if you are using the account to commit criminal offences.  

These are the most common social media criminal offences here in Australia. If charged with any of these crimes, you need a criminal lawyer to help put up a good defence. Contact our team here at Bouchier Khan Lawyers and we will be glad to help. 

This article is of a general nature and is intended for information only. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require further information, advice or assistance for your specific circumstance, please contact us at Bouchier Khan Lawyers.