December 13, 2010

Ways To Stop Bullying On The Internet

A cyber bully or troll is a sad lonely individual who tries to make others feel emotionally insecure by defaming their character. Some were bullies in school but most were overlooked insecure individuals who have found the anonymity of the Internet gives them the power to be anyone they want, something they have never had in real life. That is until they are caught and punished.

Bullying is unhealthy. The bully's behavior interferes with his learning, friendships, work, intimate relationships, income, and mental health. They are harming themselves more than they are others but most do not realize this. They lack the social skills and confidence to make friends in person and spend hours hiding behind a monitor. Although I say his, bullying isn't only a male sport. Many females indulge in this behavior also.

Some are obsessed with another individual due to jealousy of that person’s popularity and number of friends. They want the same amount of attention only they don’t have the ability to go about it the proper way so they decide to either pretend to be the other person or try to defame his or her character.

Those who are gay, of another race, or have different religious or political views are also targets of abuse. If they can find a few other people who are more than likely also cyber bullies that agree with them, they will gather momentum and increase their mud slinging.

In most cases simply ignoring them is the best method of getting rid of them. You don’t have to respond to everyone who makes a comment to you or about you in a forum. When you ignore them they eventually lose interest and find someone else to torment. I’ve even seen situations where the trolls have turned on each other and it resembles piranha who lose their prey and feed on each other.

Remember the words of the great Dr. Seuss:
Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter.

Your friends know the truth about you so no matter what silly things these trouble makers come up with most people aren’t going to believe them and in fact once they see the troll's avatar or name most won’t even read what they have to say because it’s just nonsense.

If you haven’t already, you need to protect your children from these predators. Don’t allow your kids to post pictures of themselves in public forums. Monitor computer usage and know who their friends are. If someone joins his group of friends and you feel uncomfortable about them send a message asking what motives they have. Only allow your kids on sites that monitor and protect them from bullying. Many websites that allow teenagers have security and privacy features that allow you to delete and block anyone causing problems.

If you find you have a person cyber stalking you or your child, posting threatening remarks, using your photos without permission or leaving defaming comments there are laws set in place to protect you. Depending on the severity of the situation you can go to the police or the forum and get results.

Put in a search for your state plus cyber or Internet laws to find out your rights. Keep records and copies of any correspondence you have with the website to resolve any issues you have as well as all posts by the perpetrator. If the forum and or the bully do not comply within a reasonable length of time you have legal rights and depending on your state some could face jail time-- they don’t even have to live in your state to be prosecuted.

Here is an article helping you resolve cyber bully issues. This is written to help kids but some of the same laws apply to adults.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/19/technology/personaltech/19basics.html?_r=2&scp=2&sq=Use%20technology%20to%20stop%20cyberbullies&st=cse

If you can’t get the address and phone number of a website on the forum, do a search and you can usually find them. Send a letter that requires a signature so you have proof it was received.

Here are a few of the popular sites addresses:

Topix
1001 Elwell Ct
Palo Alto, CA 94303-4308
1.650.461.8300

Yahoo, Inc.
701 First Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
Tel: (408) 349-3300
Fax: (408) 349-3301

Craigslist
1381 9th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94122
Phone 415 566 6394

2 comments:

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Pamela N Red said...
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