The Law Enforcement Social Media Blog

The authoritative resource for news and information about law enforcement social media. From Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and Nixle, we discuss social media and its use as the ultimate community policing tool.

Female Professionals on Social Media; Your Safety's At Risk


Episode 22 of the Law Enforcement Social Media Podcast and COPS on BLAB takes on an often overlooked and difficult subject - women being harassed or treated differently on social media. If you are a manager of law enforcement social media, this is a show you need to watch.

If you are running a business or using social media for career purposes, and you are not in law enforcement social media, you need to watch this as well!

The issues presenting itself among the social media community as it relates to online harassment are very real and have drawn the attention of more than just the women involved, but the male counterparts as well.

Important Points and Tips Discussed

At this point in time, there really is no way to prevent someone from making lewd or vulgar comments to females when they are on social media. However, there are some techniques and tips that everyone should know when they are on social media:

  • Acknowledge Them - In some cases, you may want to immediately deflate the troll's bubble by immediately addressing them, let them know their comment or behavior is not welcome, and in that same statement or response, advise your followers to please ignore the troll. Then move on with your business!
  • Ignore Them - If someone wants to play catch with you, you don't raise your hands or make any effort when the ball is thrown your way, then what fun is it? This is the same with trolls. Don't engage them or acknowledge their presence, and they will eventually move on to something more entertaining for themselves.
  • Have An Assistant - If you are doing live-streaming video, consider having an assistant monitor the comments or activities of your participant. Have him or her deal with any negative or harmful matter without notifying you at the moment, so as not to "knock you off" your game. Check out this article - "How To Deal With Haters on Periscope."
  • Get Backup - In law enforcement, we have found our work is easier, more effective and safer if we have a backup. Have a plan in place with friends or colleagues to bury the troll's negative comments or activities by publishing positive comments. 
  • Block, Ban or Hide Them - Many of the social media platforms have options to help you prevent or limit the trolls by simply blocking them from your page or show.
  • Social Media Platform Notice - Contact the actual company offices of the social media platform and requesting they take some form of action. A template letter and addresses the most popular companies are listed below.
  • Notify Law Enforcement - If the troll has risen to a level where you fear for your safety or your family's safety, it's time to notify law enforcement. Although each state's laws are different, we've listed links to the laws here in California which are most applicable to activities conducted by trolls, in the lower portion of this article.
  • Consider Civil Action - Many times people's actions will cease very quickly when it costs them money. Hitting someone in the wallet has a profound impact on the continuance of their activities. You may wish to contact an attorney to consider a lawsuit.

Notable Articles

Below is a list of articles we found while preparing for this episode:

Useful Links

Facts and Statistics

Criminal Laws Applicable to Social Media

Laws are different from state to state. Since we are based here in California, we've listed the laws we have found to be most applicable to online harassment. Please research the laws in your state to find the appropriate sections.


Our Guests

Saba Sedighi
Founder - iStream Social

Saba Sedighi is the Founder of iStream Social, a Social Marketing Company.  They consult and collaborate with up and coming SMBs to help them establish, grow and manage their social presence, profile and audience across major platforms including live-stream.

Saba is a strategist and creator who utilizes her excellent verbal and written communication skills to help brands take on an innovative approach towards social selling. Tech savvy, with a broad understanding of social media, influencer, and email marketing, Saba is able to deliver optimal results by leveraging her expertise in digital marketing combined with strategic insights.

As a woman who spends a great deal of time online and is the owner of a successful business, she knows the potential safety issues that can exist on all platforms.

Saba will share her experiences, techniques, and expertise with you to help you manage your social media presence safely.

You can follow Saba on Twitter at @SabaSedighi

Nicole Abboud

Nicole Abboud is an attorney practicing law in Los Angeles, California. When she’s not lawyering, you can find Nicole chatting with awesome millennial attorneys on her podcast, The Gen Why Lawyer Podcast.

Nicole’s guests range from attorneys who are finding great success in their legal careers to attorneys who have decided to pursue alternative non-legal careers to find happiness. Through her podcast, Nicole hopes to inspire professionals to shake off their fear of being unconventional and embrace their unique voice.

Nicole is passionate about helping other young lawyers build their personal branding strategies so that they can lawyer with purpose, make an impact, and make money.

As a woman in the fast-paced legal world, and someone who is building a powerful presence online and in her podcast, Nicole has experienced some of the negative sides of an online presence.

Nicole will share her personal experience and expertise, as well as her legal knowledge to give you some "tools" with dealing with such experiences.

You can follow Nicole on Twitter at @NicoleAbboud