There will be trolls, bullies, and stalkers

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When you’re new to social media, the prospect of dealing with trolls, bullies, and stalkers might be intimidating or even discouraging. Don’t be discouraged. Be prepared.

You’ll escalate a problem or an attack with a knee-jerk response online. Devise a plan of action, and then stick to it.

Take a screenshot of the abusive comment. You might need it later, if the comment is deleted.

Your emotions will cloud your judgment. Know so in advance. Before you do anything in response to a problem that isn’t criminal or threatening, ask a neutral third party whose opinion you value to assess the situation. Another person’s perspective can give you insight that on a normal day you’d have for yourself.

Slow down. Sleep on it, if possible. It takes time for a flood of emotions to subside.

The best advice you’ll ever receive is, “Don’t feed the trolls.” Trolls, bullies, and stalkers bask in others’ reactions. If you react, you’ve giving them exactly what they desire. If you don’t respond, there will be nothing to keep them coming back. Frustrated, they’ll search for prey elsewhere.

You absolutely don’t need to have the last word. Why not let the abusive comment speak for itself? Readers recognize comments written by trolls. Once in a while, they even come to the defense of the person who’s being harassed.

If you’re a victim of cyberstalking or have received an online threat that makes you fearful, contact the police and ask to make a report of the incident.

Bookmark these, so they’ll be handy if you need them

Stalking Resource Center
A Program of the National Center for Victims of Crime

10 Tips for Handling Twitter Trolls
by Alex York, Sprout Social

Brave New Bullying: Goodreads Gangs, Amazon Attacks—What Are Writers to Do?
by Kristen Lamb

Lessons from Amy’s Baking Company:
Six Things You Should Never Do on Social Media

by Kelly Clay, Forbes

There’s Only One Thing To Do When The Internet Calls You Fat
by Jessica Plautz

5 Ways Writers Kill Their Credibility Online
by Lucy V. Hay, Bang2Write

Trolls just want to have fun
“trolling correlated positively with sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism”
by Erin E. Buckelsa, Paul D. Trapnellb, and Delroy L. Paulhus, Personality and Individual Differences

Suffering Fools
by J.A. Konrath

You’ve Got Hate Mail: How to Deal with (Annoying) Critics
by L.L. Barkat

A decade of blogging

I started this blog ten years ago, because I wanted to control my own content. I had begun working with other writers, and it was also convenient to be able to explain blogging applications and uses for social media. My posts evolved from creative to informative. Sharing advice and resources has seemed worthwhile, but I need fresh topics. Where to now?