Nobody likes to be stalked or bullied. As someone who has a long history dealing with both types of harassment, I can attest to just how annoying and unsettling it can be. Bottom line: if you feel threatened in any way, contact authorities. Otherwise, most cases of “cyberbullying” are merely a matter of the millions of malcontents out there taking advantage of digital anonymity to spout random hatred against the world, and you just happen to be a convenient target.
Still, this should not be tolerated. If the person is posting trashy rumors or insults about you on a popular public platform like Facebook, they can be reported, but unfortunately, most of the time they’re dismissed under the banner of “free speech” unless, again, you are directly threatened (and this can be proved). Major social media moderators often allow “innocent” expressions of hostility, even from total strangers, even though you retain full control of your individual forums, and can easily block any nuisances.
Constructive criticism can lead to healthy and even enlightening discourse, as long as its mutually respectful. This is not always the case, since some misguided folks simply want to inflict pain and stir up trouble for its own sake, out of private bitterness, from a selfishly "safe" distance.
My personal advice, from my own experiences? Ignore them and whatever you do, do not engage them, since what they crave most is the attention. If you respond at all to their taunts, the “terrorists” win. What they can’t stand is being dismissed as irrelevant (which they are, unless a real danger is posed), and eventually, most will go away and bug someone else who is less resilient.
Barring all this, there are numerous eBooks out there that go into detail about how to shield yourself and properly respond – as opposed to retaliate – when victimized by these insecure and insensitive “trolls” literally littering the Internet these days.
Here are a few suggested resources of information:
Many more titles on this touchy topic are listed on this page of Library Thing.
Lastly, Amazon has a list of popular novels about stalkers – mostly for entertainment purposes, though everyone finds this stuff fun to read.
What do you consider the best response to cyberbullies?
PHOTO: JOAN CARLES TORRES