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Where is the line between naming and shaming and harassment?

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Where is the line between naming and shaming and harassment?

Postby TenaciousB » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:48 pm

Where is the line between naming and shaming and harassment.

Surely if someone is in a position of authority or duty, for example a Councillor, it is in the public interest to bring to the public's attention their failure to abide by the laws of the land, their selfishness or general doing bad things.

If, for example, a Councillor breaks the law, and someone brings it the public's attention, the Councillor could report the "someone" for harassment as they felt distressed by being shamed.

But when does "naming and shaming" become harassment?
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Re: Where is the line between naming and shaming and harassm

Postby Hairyloon » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:10 pm

TenaciousB wrote:If, for example, a Councillor breaks the law, and someone brings it the public's attention, the Councillor could report the "someone" for harassment as they felt distressed by being shamed.


Feeling distressed may be a symptom of harassment, but it is no part of the definition of the offence.
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Re: Where is the line between naming and shaming and harassm

Postby dls » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:21 am

HL, you missed section 7 - which does not define (limit) the idea of harassment, but says that it includes distress:
7 Interpretation of this group of sections.
(1)This section applies for the interpretation of sections [sections 1 to 5A].
(2)References to harassing a person include alarming the person or causing the person distress.
[(3)A “course of conduct” must involve—
(a)in the case of conduct in relation to a single person (see section 1(1)), conduct on at least two occasions in relation to that person, or
(b)in the case of conduct in relation to two or more persons (see section 1(1A)), conduct on at least one occasion in relation to each of those persons.]
[F3(3A)A person’s conduct on any occasion shall be taken, if aided, abetted, counselled or procured by another—
(a)to be conduct on that occasion of the other (as well as conduct of the person whose conduct it is); and
(b)to be conduct in relation to which the other’s knowledge and purpose, and what he ought to have known, are the same as they were in relation to what was contemplated or reasonably foreseeable at the time of the aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring.]
(4)“Conduct” includes speech.
[F4(5)References to a person, in the context of the harassment of a person, are references to a person who is an individual.]
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Re: Where is the line between naming and shaming and harassm

Postby atticus » Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:32 am

Another point is that harassment is a course of conduct.
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Re: Where is the line between naming and shaming and harassm

Postby TenaciousB » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:13 pm

A solicitor sends a "letter before action" threatening action in the country court unless someone does something that they don't think they should do. That someone would be alarmed to receive such a letter. Being alarmed counts as harassment.
How do you send a "letter before action" and not be reported for harassment?
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Re: Where is the line between naming and shaming and harassm

Postby atticus » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:45 pm

Is a letter before action a course of conduct, tenby?
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Re: Where is the line between naming and shaming and harassm

Postby Hairyloon » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:21 pm

Is that which prompted the letter not a part of the course?
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Re: Where is the line between naming and shaming and harassm

Postby TenaciousB » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:50 pm

If someone posts the fact that someone has been convicted of something, is that harassment?
A newspaper might post the results of a court hearing. The person who was convicted may feel distressed at the fact their name has been published by the paper.

Is it like libel, i.e. if something is true, it can't be classed as harassment?
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Re: Where is the line between naming and shaming and harassm

Postby atticus » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:05 pm

Libel is different. There is no correlation.
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Re: Where is the line between naming and shaming and harassm

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:22 pm

atticus wrote:Libel is different. There is no correlation.


Entirely correct, but I don't think it properly answers the question.

TenaciousB wrote: if something is true, it can't be classed as harassment?

No: the truth is not a defence against a charge of harassment.
Imagine, for example someone who is fat and ugly: should it be harassment to continuously and maliciously point that out? Clearly yes it should.
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