Here at Ditch the Label, we know that bullying is a behavior and like all behaviors, it will continue to evolve and adapt to any new environment it finds itself in unless it is challenged in a responsible way.
We are all in unchartered territories and the thing with Cyberbullying and Trolling is that often the participants will give as good as they get!Internet users have a tendency to be far more outspoken online than they would be IRL which means that they are open to more of a backlash.
It’s easier to disagree with someone through a monitor than face to face. It’s easier to laugh at someone through a keyboard and it’s easier to think of a mean come back to the mean comment someone just posted on your wall than when it’s said to your face… but, as everyone’s Nan probably always said, 2 wrongs don’t make a right…
Here are some things to consider if you’re considering trolling the ‘troll’ who trolled you in the first place:
1. High Horse Angle
We are so busy being outraged by people that troll, that we often miss the point. When did it become socially acceptable to call them out on their unacceptable behaviour with the very same unacceptable behaviour right back at them?! *major facepalm* There’s no harm in calling out some unacceptable behaviour in a safe and responsible way, but if they’re trolling for the sake of trolling – don’t engage! It really is the best way to disarm them. Online hate speech is not OK. If you see it happen, report it.
2. Bigger Picture Stuff
It’s no secret that there is a major failure across most social media platforms to ensure online spaces are moderated and monitored safely. Think about the bigger picture – if you report rather than engage, you’re helping these sites to see the extent of the problem and in the future, preventing the person who’s trolling from abusing someone else who’s potentially even more vulnerable. We might seem like we’re living in the age of advanced technology, but it also has it’s shortcomings, but DW, we’re hoping they’ll catch up soon enough…
We all have a base understanding of manners IRL but we are desperately lacking an online equivalent. In an age where we spend most of our time online, it makes sense for there to be some kind of moral code to the way we behave when we’re there. In short – just don’t be a D***!
The term ‘troll’ actually is very dehumanizing and dangerous. When we stop seeing one another as human – sh*t gets real! You only have to flick through GSCE History textbooks to see what happens when one power dehumanizes another. Using the term “bully” and “troll” is labeling them – and we’re all about Ditching those things here 😉
You only have to look at the stats peppered throughout this article to see the extent of online abuse; it’s not only on social media, it’s in games too. Aren’t games s’posed to be fun?!?! Loads of people we surveyed agreed that what happens online is not real life. This shows that those who troll do it because they’re not aware of the real-life implications and don’t think that they’ll be held accountable for their actions.
6. Fighting Fire with Fire 🔥
We’ve all heard this millions of times but do we ever really reflect on what it means? We wouldn’t fight fire with fire, so why deal with bullying by bullying the people who bully? It just doesn’t make sense. If you ignore, disengage or report, you extinguish the fire altogether.
“If you troll back, you become part of the problem, not the solution.”
Have you trolled or been trolled? Join the conversation in Community – we want to hear from you!