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How to Handle Trolls

by MLN Staff

Nowadays even the sweetest story or picture posted on social media can be targeted by trolls. It’s a discouraging, infuriating experience. Replying can make matters worse and not replying can be maddening. So what exactly should you do if trolls target you? Try these Mindful tips.

Online harassment is, unfortunately, very common. A 2014 Pew Research study found that forty percent of adult internet users have personally experienced some variety of online harassment. Furthermore, 27 percent of Internet users have been called offensive names and 22 percent have had someone try to purposefully embarrass them. Of course, this study was conducted three years and it seems like the number of online harassment cases has only increased since then. So much so that some tech companies are doing what they can to end this harassment.

Twitter and Facebook have been trying to come up with different ways to filter out negative comments. Google, which has trouble moderating super abusive comments on its YouTube property, started the Perspective project, an artificial intelligence program that can identify toxic comments. While tech anti-troll initiatives are still gearing up, people who are being harassed now need solutions. If you’ve been targeted by trolls on social media sites, check out these two websites for expert tips on combating trolls.

Common Sense Media

This nonprofit specializes in helping kids “thrive in a world of media and technology”. Common Sense Media also offer helpful advice about combating trolls—advice that can apply to both kids and adults. The video below has five quick tips for handling haters and trolls. If you’re looking for more advice check out their website.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL)

In order to truly prevent cyber hate, it’s important that all of us take the time to report trolls. The ADL reports that “Because of the enormous volume of content, companies typically rely on users like you to bring problems to their attention”. If you have a complaint to file about online trolls the ADL, a civil rights/human relations organization, has you covered. They have curated a list of relevant policies and links from various tech companies, including Twitter, Reddit, and Tumblr. Click this link for more information.

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