How To Defuse Online Bullying

This situation has happened to almost everyone. You’re on social media, making some comments and maybe feeling a little edgy. You respond snarkily to someone’s tweet or post and all of a sudden there is an army of angry trolls blowing up your mentions and calling you names, treating you, and blowing things way out of proportion. And they keep recruiting more and more people to jump on the dogpile. Those kinds of bullying situations can escalate very quickly to a point where you might be afraid it will spill over into real life. Sometimes those trolls will call your place of employment if they can find it or start posting information about your home or your work publicly. It can be terrifying. But there are some things you can do to defuse the situation before it goes too far like:

Make Your Account Private

If strangers are coming after you online the first thing that you should do is make your accounts private so that no one that you haven’t approved can see your feed or your information. This may not stop the bullying but it will slow it down and it will lower the number of people who can get involved.

Remove Any Private Information

If your public profile has your location, age, place of employment or any private information like that in it take that information out of the profile. Also, change your profile photos so that trolls can’t steal photos of you and use that to bully you further or try to find out your information.

Close Your Account

Closing your social media account is an option although you may not want to do that if you use your account to stay in touch with your family members or if you use your account for work or if you are promoting a business. But remember that it is always an option and you can always restore the account later on after things have died down a little.

Get Help

There is nothing wrong with announcing to your followers that you are being attacked and naming your attackers. Sometimes just seeing that other people are going to support you is enough to make the bullies back off. All bullies prey on the weak so if you have a strong social network behind you the bullies might back off on their own so that they don’t get attacked by your followers in return.

Close Your DMs

If you have direct messages open change your settings so that no one except the people that you follow or are friends with can send you a direct message. That way the trolls and bullies will have no way to attack you privately if they are going to attack you they will have to do it publicly and if they are doing it publicly they can get in trouble for their actions. That might make more than one of them think twice about continuing to attack you so that they don’t have to face consequences.

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Author: Grace M Simpson