It is important to be aware of your online data. We encourage you to be proactive in protecting and managing your online presence and privacy.

Responding to Online Harassment

Throughout the nation, there's a noticeable uptick in online harassment, where seemingly innocuous actions like publishing articles, providing expert opinions, or participating on social media platforms can render members of our academic community susceptible to targeting. It is important for Emory students and other members of our community to understand the risks and make efforts to protect themselves from nefarious behavior (often committed by third-party actors).

Types of online harassment may include:

  • Cyberbullying: Deliberately and repeatedly causing harm using cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices.
  • Doxing or doxxing: Publishing online another individual’s private identifying information, for example addresses, phone numbers, and other information that is not otherwise publicly available. This information is published with the intention of creating reputational harm or sparking further harassment.
  • Trolling: Deliberately following and provoking others online, often with offensive content.

For individuals targeted by online harassment, the experience can be distracting, unsettling, and frightening. It can impact current and future studies and/or career opportunities.


What you can do to protect your digital footprint

Below are resources and steps you and your student organization can take to help safeguard your information.

In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1973 (FERPA), Emory University allows the release of directory information without the student's consent unless the student specifically blocks that release through the completion of the Information Suppression/Release form.

Learn More

As part of your profile in the Hub, you can set and change your privacy settings for organizations that list you as a member.

Learn More

Go to “Settings” > “Privacy” in the individual platforms to make the switch.

Whether it is on your personal social platforms or on official organization websites, be mindful of what you post and publish. Anything can be taken out of context, misinterpreted, or amplified.

The following are external links to useful resources:

  • Dedoxing Yourself
    (Learn how to manage the information that is available about you online.)
  • Combatting Online Abuse
    (Learn more about how to fight against online abuse and creating safer, more equitable and free online spaces.)


What you can do if you are experiencing online harassment

Steps you can take to respond to online harassment:

  • Submit written requests to platforms and web domain registrars for the removal of inaccurate statements made in error or deliberately abusive content.
  • Keep records of online abuse for potential future reference, including contacting domain registrars.
  • Report threats and any criminal behavior to law enforcement authorities.
  • Seek legal counsel to explore potential civil actions against online abusers, recognizing that legal recourse options may be constrained.

If an organization has disseminated misleading information about you on its website, social media channels, or any other platform, resulting in harm, you have the option to send a written request to the organization asking for correction or removal of the statements.

In such correspondence,

  1. clearly state your identity;
  2. specify the false or misleading statements;
  3. provide reasons for their inaccuracy, and
  4. detail how these statements are causing you harm.

Students can report behavior that violates various social media platforms’ policies within the platforms themselves.

Several web hosting service providers have established their own community standards or acceptable use policies, enabling visitors to websites to report instances of abuse. Below, we've included some notable web hosting vendors in the list:

If an individual/anonymous user account posted about you on social media platforms, a request to remove content might not be positively received and may be ignored. We typically advise against directly engaging with a social media account or website that is subjecting you to abuse, harassment, or threats. If you encounter content on a social media platform or website that is specifically aimed at you and breaches the site’s community standards, it's recommended to report the content to the platform or web host.

If the recipient of your initial request disregards or rejects it, you might contemplate involving an attorney to draft a follow-up letter on your behalf.

Prior to submitting a request for the removal of harmful content, it's advisable to save a copy of the content to retain evidence of the abuse.

Some online harassers have registered the names of individual persons as web domains and established websites at those domains to host online attacks on the named persons. It may be possible to have these domain names de-registered.

The initial step involves performing a "whois" search to determine which domain registrar company (such as or GoDaddy) has registered the domain. Visit and input the domain name into the search bar. The search outcomes will present domain, contact, and registrar details. Registrar information indicates the domain registrar, while contact information reveals the details of the individual or proxy company that registered the domain for the actual user.

Upon accessing the domain registrar’s website, you should find a landing page featuring a phone number and email address where you can report abuse to the registrar. Additionally, the registrar’s website is expected to offer details regarding the community standards for its registrants and instructions on reporting violations of its policies.

Below, we've included some notable web hosting vendors in the list:

If you utilize the registrar’s abuse reporting feature and the registrar determines that the website registered has violated its content policies, the registrar may opt to deregister the domain name. Deregistering a domain name is a significant action for a registrar to undertake, and it's more probable if the domain name contributes to breaches of the registrar’s regulations. However, in situations where the website posts abusive content but the domain name itself isn't objectionable, a takedown request directed to the web hosting company is often more likely to succeed than a request to deactivate the domain name.


Documenting the Harassment

If you're facing online abuse, harassment, or threats, it's crucial to take measures to preserve evidence of the communications.

  • Retain any emails, voicemails, or text messages you receive.
  • Capture screenshots or photos of comments made on social media platforms; as these comments can be removed, screenshots are often valuable for documentation purposes.

Though holding onto messages or posts that are distressing can make you feel worse, maintaining evidence of an attack, especially one involving threats, is crucial.

How Emory Can Support

Direct threats, bullying, harassment, and abuse of our digital properties (email, websites) from someone within the Emory community (students, faculty, staff, or alumni) is a violation of Emory policy and against our values as a university, and may be reported to the applicable conduct office or the other offices listed below.

If you or someone close to you are in imminent physical danger or there's been a direct threat of physical harm, it's imperative to take immediate action by calling the Emory Police Department (EPD) at 404.727.6111 or 911.

If you are experiencing threats or harassment, you can also utilize the following Emory resources for support.

The more information you can provide, the better we are able to provide support and review the complaint.

Emory University is committed to an environment where the open expression of ideas and open, vigorous debate and speech are valued, promoted, and encouraged. As a community of scholars, we affirm these freedoms of thought, inquiry, speech, and assembly.

This inquiry can take place through open expression, dissent, and protest that challenges and creates tensions in our ever-changing community. Recognizing that the educational process of our institution necessarily includes various and diverse forms of open expression, the University affirms the rights of members of the Community to assemble and demonstrate peaceably within the limits of this Policy. Simultaneously, the University affirms the right of others to pursue their normal activities and to be protected from injury or property damage, as defined by law.

Emory University also affirms values of diversity, inclusion, and community. The University Community is diverse -- in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, background, age, religion, abilities, life experiences, political ideologies, ideas of thought, and in many other ways. The actions of each member have an impact upon the culture of inclusion and respect for which we strive as a community. The University is fundamentally committed to open inquiry, open expression, and the vigorous discussion and debate upon which the advancement of its multifaceted mission depends.

Civility and mutual respect are important values in our community; while they do not limit the rights protected in the Respect for Open Expression Policy, all members of the community are strongly encouraged to consider these values carefully when exercising their fundamental right to open expression.

Learn more about the Respect for Open Expression / Policy 8.14

Emory Police Department (EPD) is committed to fostering a safe and inclusive campus for everyone. If you have a safety concern or need assistance on campus, contact EPD by phone, text, email, or the Emory Safe app. EPD is available 24/7.

Need Help?

You can also follow @EmoryPolice on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter).

Additional Resources:

If you receive a suspicious email requesting money or other services, use the "Report Phishing" button in Outlook or report the incident to Emory Enterprise Security at


Creating a caring, student-centered campus environment that supports students' learning, well-being and sense of belonging and purpose is a campus-wide responsibility. We each have a role to play. Caring faculty and staff can be of great assistance to students who feel overwhelmed and need support. 

Emory's Blue Folder


Publisher Note: This guidance is based on Emory resources and policies, referencing support frameworks originally created by Harvard University.