Harassment has existed in workplaces as long as workplaces themselves began to exist. Unfortunately, this makes it a very deep-rooted issue that not even shifts to the digital work environment can combat.
Though the form may change, harassment still occurs on a daily basis all across the country. It is important to know what form it may come in to combat it better.
Digital-age sexual harassment
The New York Times discusses the changes in harassment at workplaces now that they have shifted to digital formats. First, sexual harassment still occurs, which surprises some people due to the false belief that sexual harassment always involves physical contact.
Of course, this is far from true. Sexual harassment can also include attempts to coerce, manipulate or threaten victims into doing sexual favors, such as sending nude pictures or revealing themselves on camera. It can also include simply speaking in a lewd manner to or about a victim. Digital formats allow plenty of opportunity for such things to occur.
“Icing out” and “doxxing”
Certain features like private group chats also have a toll on the safety of workplace environments for all parties. It is easy for rumors and gossip to spread and grow unchecked in these formats, which can eventually lead to the isolation and exclusion of victims.
New forms of harassment even emerged, such as “doxxing”, the practice of smearing a person’s private details and information on public spaces on the internet in an attempt to shame the victim or even compromise their safety. Such forms of harassment easily create an unsafe and toxic workplace environment that may send employees running.