AUTISTIC NICK GETS TROLLED
This week an article that I wrote about disability and fashion was targeted by online trolls. All of them hadn’t read the actual article but just felt the need to comment and show how ableist and narrowminded they were.
But what is the definition of a troll?
“A troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses and normalising tangential discussion, whether for the troll’s amusement or a specific gain”
But what can you do if you find yourself in that situation that I was in?
Here Then Are My Top Ten Tips:
- ESTABLISH A POLICY
When dealing with trolls the first step is to establish a policy for user comments.
These policies should clearly detail what kind of comments are allowed and be outlined on your website and social media accounts. If you want to see an example of how to establish a policy, then check out this one http://about.abc.net.au/house-rules/.
- IGNORE THEM
Trolls want attention. They want to get you angry, frustrated or uncomfortable. No matter how difficult it might be, simply ignoring a troll could your best tactic because when they don’t get a response, they’ll most likely go away.
- DON’T PROVIDE THEM WITH A PLATFORM
If you happen to host your own website, you don’t have to approve offensive comments. You can also delete these comments or ban members.
People may tell you this is either a violation of free speech or a cowardly attempt to stifle debate but, generally speaking, these people are trolls.
- MAKE A RECORD IT
Take a screenshot so that you have a record of the original post.
This covers you if the person tries to edit or delete their post once they realise it could get them in trouble.
These records can also be handy if things escalate and you need to take the matter further.
- STAND UP FOR YOURSELF
You can ignore trolls and still make a stand against them.
Most social media sites have special functions in place to keep you feeling safe online.
Report harmful posts and block the user so they can’t bug you anymore.
If you’ve exhausted the reporting and blocking options within your social media platform and things are still really bad, you need to make a report to The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner by filling out this form.
Before you make a complaint, you need to:
- Have copies of the cyberbullying material ready to upload (screenshots or photos)
- Report the material to the social media service (if possible) at least 48 hours before filling out the form
- Gather as much information as possible about where the material is located
- Allow 15–20 minutes to complete the form.
- LOG OFF
It can be really overwhelming when trolls are constantly pestering you. While you can’t control other people’s trolling behaviour, you can try to limit the amount of time you spend dealing with it.
Logging off social media can be difficult, but it’s a good idea if you’re feeling upset.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to go completely off the grid; you could just try turning off push notifications, logging off from the accounts that are most affected by trolling, or deleting social media apps from your phone and only logging on when you’re at home.
- BLOCK OR BAN THEM
Most trolls, most of the time, are annoying. And usually harmless.
However, sometimes trolls take things too far.
Like escalating to threats or hate speech. When they do, you can use your social might to block or ban them. Also, check the standards for appropriate content for that social network.
If the troll’s posts are in violation, submit a report. On Facebook you can view their Community Standards Policy here https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards/ and report posts like this and on Twitter you can read a copy of their Community Standards Policy here https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/twitter-rules.
8 THEY’RE ATTACKING BOREDOM, NOT YOU
One of the easiest ways to spot a troll is their completely lack of reason.
Trolls will lash out and be purposely offensive to draw you in, rather than saying something of any value. In their statements, you’ll see a very “I’m right and everyone else here is wrong” attitude.
- LET IT DWELL
The best advice I ever got about responding to hateful comments was to not respond immediately. Let it dwell for a day.
The temptation to reply and defend yourself is a natural reflex. But, if instead you take the time to mull over the situation and prepare a thoughtful response.
Bloggers are understandably upset when someone maligns one of their blogs or posts. However, lashing out at critics does far more harm for your blog than you realise. If you do need to publicly respond to a negative review, do so in a constructive way.
Carry on the Conversation
Have you encountered online trolling?
What did you do to prevent it?
Do you have any tips that I have missed out?
Then get in touch below.
As always, I can be found on Twitter:@AutisticNickAU
Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.