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TikTok, NOT: How to Handle Social Media Harassment in Your Title IX Case

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | May 21, 2022 | 0 Comments

If you or a loved one is facing Title IX allegations at school, you probably already have your hands full with worries and concerns. The last thing you need is to add online harassment to your plate, but in this day and age, online platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, can provide new opportunities for allegations that in the past had been confined to smaller circles to now reach thousands of people both at your school and also far outside your student body. You obviously don't want to go viral for sexual misconduct allegations, and there are some very specific actions that you should and shouldn't take when dealing with social media and the possibility of online allegations and discourse.

Let's take a closer look at three actions from each category.

What Not To Do

  1. Do not engage
    It's important that you not respond to any communication from your accuser. If you're sent DMs or voice memos, do not reply to them. And, equally important, don't send out any messages of your own. If the harassment is public-facing and in a forum visible to others, you should not comment on the post or try to defend yourself. It can be hard to take this approach, but it's really the better one in the long term.
  2. Don't discuss it with classmates or anyone at your school
    Although you may want to discuss how you're feeling with your best friend at school, or a trusted advisor, DON'T. Anything that you share with them could be culled and used as evidence in your Title IX hearing.
  3. Don't retaliate
    Harassment can be very frustrating and painful. And social media harassment, even more so. Your instinct might be to react in a way to try and hurt your accuser. Don't do this. It puts your case at risk as well.

What To Do

  1. Take screenshots and keep a record
    With Title IX cases, it's important that you document as much as possible, and social media harassment is no exception. Take screenshots of any exchanges, whether in DMs or on your main page. Capture the examples and then share them with an attorney-advisor
  2. Speak with an attorney-advisor about the best steps and possible actions you can take
    A Title IX Defense Attorney-Advisor will be able to advise you as to the next steps and what types of recourse you have. Their expertise and experience is invaluable.
  3. Block the individual after screen capturing
    Once you have a screenshot of the harassing interaction or post, block the individual or individuals who were bothering you. You can also lock down your personal profiles so that they are more private and less public.

Experienced Title IX Defense Attorney-Advisor

You don't have to (and shouldn't try to) navigate Title IX allegations on your own. A Title IX Defense Attorney-Advisor can advise you on the best possible approach to your case and help protect your future. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have helped hundreds of students and their families across the nation as they faced these challenging accusations. In addition to fighting for the falsely accused day in and day out, the Lento Law Firm has reputation management professionals on staff to help when online platforms make a bad situation worse.  Call Attorney Lento and his expert team at 888.535.3686 or reach out online to see how they can help you.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.

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