Almost one in four people in the UK have experienced online bullying, with a 2019 YouGov poll finding 23% of people reported being targeted online.
The late Caroline Flack urged everyone to ‘be kind’.
Following the tragic death of Love Island presenter Caroline Flack last week, who experienced cyberbullying that is believed contributed to her taking her own life, Jordan Baker, CEO of Sanity Marketing who has worked with over 140 clients from the House of Commons to the Crowne Plaza Hotel chain, reveals 5 ways of dealing with online trolling.
Many celebrities have come forward to speak out on social media abuse issues, including musician James Blake whose girlfriend, Jameela Jamil, has herself been the subject of online and print bullying and although, online abuse really shouldn’t be happening – it’s very much a reality online users have to deal with until the ‘powers that be’ do more to stop it.
Jordan Baker, CEO of Sanity Marketing gives these five tips in coping with online issues:
1. Ignore them – although not easy to do, the now-famous mantra “don’t feed the trolls” is probably your best bet for managing unwarranted abuse. Like most bullies, they crave a reaction and get bored when they don’t get one. Starve them! The easiest of steps (and one of the most satisfying) is to block / ban them and report them to the relevant platform. Out of sight, out of mind.
2. Talk about it – don’t suffer in silence. Tell your friends and family or look to support groups. You are not alone.
3. Make your profiles friends-only – making your accounts private limits your reach and interaction with the outside world – but at least you get to choose who you are interacting with – knowing they are kind and rooting for you. This might be especially worth doing if you are feeling vulnerable.
4. Online exodus – the most dramatic of steps, but sometimes a period without social media accounts can give you the space and time to breathe; as well as a little perceptive. Alternatively, turn off push notifications so you log on in your own time; or make a habit of logging on when you’re in a particular environment (such as at home) surrounded with family or friends.
5. Call them out – a risky move but potentially very gratifying – stand up to them. Like most bullies, keyboard warriors tend to be cowards and quickly retreat when they are confronted. They don’t tend to be masters of debating so fight back with facts; kill them with kindness or reply with humour and let them make a (public) fool of themselves and crawl back under the bridge from whence they came!