How to STOP Cyber-Bullying & Internet Trolling for the modern family?

In our current media climate, the words cyber-bulying, troll and trolling appear to pop up most regularly when describing destructive behaviours or states (copyright trolls, patent trolls, cyberbullying trolls). When encountering your first net troll, you shouldn’t immediately frame them as evil – to us, they were simply an attention-seeking individual with obvious, and potentially serious, issues.

The chief indicator of current trolls is their ability to provoke unsuspecting users through “bait” posts or actions, all designed with the specif ic intention of garnering a reaction. Vicious goading and incitement through personal attacks is indicative of a negative troll.

These types of trolls engage in disseminating malicious material purely for the sake of exposure, attention, or some other unspecified – but s till detrimental – motivation. The negative troll engages in deliberately illegal and/or damaging and disruptive behaviour with highly destructive effects, such as online vandalism (like those intentionally defacing RIP sites) and continuous aggravation through comments designed as bait for responsive targets (cyberbullying).

What not to do?

  1. Criticise his judgement
  2. Saying sentences like that will likely irritate the troll further, will likely yield an even more aggressive response from the troll, and will only escalate the heat in the conversation
  3. Don’t feed the troll” – i.e: ignore him. Someone will “fee d” him eventually and the troll may continue trolling and feeling he’s right and superior
  4. Ban him/call for banning him – a great way to create another enemy, and can also possibly start some “was it right to ban him” conversations. Will also negatively contribute to the channel’s atmosphere among the channel members
  5. The troll may also prove to be a useful resource in the future, or can be taught to love eventually
  6. Tell him not to troll. – You’re labelling him, insulting him and making him feel like he’s alienated. Some people may still respond harshly
  7. Cancel the project, or close the channel

What to do instead?

  1. Ask him what he means. Interrogate him
  2. Agree with him (but use a softer language)
  3. This will make the troll los e steam and help you find a common ground
  4. And eventually negotiate a common ground: Feel free to stick around and ask questions

Bullies are everywhere – the playground, at school, on sports teams, and today they are also online. During the past six years, cyber-bullying has become more mainstream. Schools, parents and society now need to address this issue proactively. Cyber-bullying opens the door to 24-hour harassment through email, instant messaging, cell phones, gaming consoles, or social networking sites, chat rooms, and other Internet enabled-devices. Why is cyber-bullying different to traditional harassment? Because humiliating rumors, threats and vicious taunts can be viewed by millions and can be devastating to youth and their families.

Statistics from the National Crime Prevention Center include:

  • More than 40% of all teenagers with Internet access have reported being bullied online.
  • Girls are more likely than boys to be the target of cyber-bullying.
  • Only 10% of those bullied told their parents about the incident, and only 18% of the cases were reported to a local or national law enforcement agency.
  • Only 15% of parents are “in the know” about their kids’ social networking habits, and how these behaviors can lead to cyber-bullying.
  • Most common virtual locations for cyber-bullying are chat rooms, social networking web sites, email and instant message systems.
  • Social networking sites such as Facebook are growing fast, and so are the cyber-bullying incidents originating from them. Experts believe that they will soon overtake chat rooms as the top source of cyber-bullying problems worldwide.
  • 58% of 4th through 8th graders reported having mean or cruel things said to them online; 53% said that they have said mean or hurtful things to others while online; 42% of those studied said that they had been “bullied online”.
  • Cell phone cameras and digital cameras are a growing problem in the cyber-bullying world. A recent survey found that 10% of 770 young people surveyed were made to feel “threatened, embarrassed or uncomfortable” by a photo taken of them using a cell-phone camera.

Fastest growing Cyber-Bullying tactics are:

  • Stealing an individual’s name and password to a social networking site, then using their profile to post rumors, gossip or other damaging information.
  • Altering photographs using PhotoShop or other photo editing software in order to humiliate the individual.
  • Recording conversations without the individual’s knowledge or consent, then posting the call online.
  • Creating confrontational and mean-spirited online polls about the individual and posting them on different web sites.
  • Using web sites and blogs to post hurtful, embarrassing information about another individual.

Cyber-bullying and Internet Trolling may be a growing social problem, but it is a problem that can be solved with the right technology. Let’s fight it together.

More information

This article was brought to you by Family Capers and was written by Cassidy Poon, who is the Digital & Social Media Advisor to LogicalTech. If you would like to know why the right technology for your business is important to prevent cyber-bullying and internet trolling, please contact Cassidy Poon at: cassidyp@logicaltech.com.au

 

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