ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Technology»
  • Internet & the Web

How to Deal With Unfriendly Online Behavior - Bullying, Trolling, and Stalking

Updated on August 11, 2017
davidlivermore profile image

David has some interesting ideas and views about the happenings regarding computers and the internet.

Those who are being bullied online need help from others to get through it.
Those who are being bullied online need help from others to get through it. | Source

Anonymity on the Internet

Having a presence online allows for a certain bit of anonymity. Unfortunately that anonymity has given people, especially those who wish to cause harm, the advantage when they wish to act unfriendly, mean, or even bully.

Cyberbullying, which is the act of bullying someone online, has caused suicides among teens. More focus has been placed on what happens in the world of cyberspace, as it can dramatically affect how a person can feel. Since it's so easy to reach anyone on the internet and hide behind a screen, it opens up the opportunity to be truly cruel to someone.

This article will cover four topics:

  • Defending Against Internet Trolls
  • How to Prevent Unfriendly Behavior Online
  • Prevention and Protection Against Cyberbullying
  • Prevention and Protection Against Cyberharassment and Cyberstalking

If you are having suicidal thoughts in any way, then please call the National Prevention Suicide Hotline:

1-800-273-8255

Places Online Where Unfriendly Behavior Can Happen

 
 
 
Chat Rooms
Forums
Social Networking (Facebook, MySpace, Etc.)
Twitter
Online Games (World of Warcraft, Everquest, etc.)
YouTube
Photo Sharing (Flickr, Instagram, etc.)
Blogs
Video/Audio Chat
E-Mail
Instant Messengers
Text Message
Some of the many examples where you can find unfriendly behavior online.

Have you ever been mean to someone online?

See results

Bullies Can Make you Feel Small

When someone is rude to you online, it feels like they have you under their thumb.
When someone is rude to you online, it feels like they have you under their thumb. | Source

Defending Against Internet Trolls

When you encounter someone online that is being rude to you, or even hostile, then you must take steps to protect yourself from those actions:

  • Don't react. Those who say and do mean things like to see the reaction of others when they commit those acts. The best way to counter that is not to react at all. If they see you spouting off angrily, it will just give them more fodder to throw back at you.
  • Ignore the person. I don't mean just ignore what they are saying. Block them or ignore them using the options available. Popular social media websites like Facebook and Twitter give the ability to block users. Games such as World of Warcraft allow for the same. Those places are known for hostile people, so blocking someone from talking or interacting with you is a good way to deal with it.
  • Switch to something else. If you are playing a game online, then there is a chance you will deal with rude players. The best way to avoid them is to switch to another server on the game, or even switch games. It may be unfair to you that you have to do that, but in this case it may be best.
  • Report the user. If someone is continuously causing you grief, then report them appropriately. Forums have administrators, games have GM's, etc. Unfortunately they are overloaded with such complaints, with some people complaining for no reason. If they find proof, they will take the appropriate action, but if may take time.
  • Go offline. This is the best advice to give on this topic. Just go offline. Shut the computer off and go do something else. An online bully can't reach you there if you go offline. Most will lose interest if they see you aren't always online for their amusement.

Bad Behavior Online

Stop Unfriendly Behavior Online

Stop unfriendly behavior online before it starts.
Stop unfriendly behavior online before it starts. | Source

How to Prevent Unfriendly Behavior Online

There are ways you can prevent from having to deal with unfriendly online behavior before it becomes a problem:

  • Research privacy and security settings. Most all applications online have ways to increase privacy and prevent harassment from others. Find those settings and enable the ones that you feel will benefit you. You can set your Facebook to private status and protect your tweets on Twitter. Keep in mind this may also prevent you from socializing with those you want to socialize with.
  • Try to keep communication just with friends and family. If you just talk to those you know, then you won't have to worry about dealing with some unknown person harassing you all of the time.
  • Observe before you interact. See how people are perceived by others, how people react to what others say, etc. It will allow you to monitor what is going on without investing too much. If you don't like what you see, then you can move on.
  • Be polite and respectful. Just like rude behavior sticks out in real life, it sticks out online as well. The worst part is that you could easily run into the person again online. Reduce your chances of being harassed by always being polite and respectful.
  • Don't share personal information. The more information you release about yourself and your life, the more someone with bad intentions can pick you apart. Keep in mind if you are talking in a public setting, others you aren't even talking to can pick up on what you are saying.

The Cyber Bullying Virus

Have you ever been cyberbullied in school?

See results

Why Someone is Cyberbullied

There are various reasons why a child could be cyberbullied:

  • How they dress.
  • Physical looks.
  • Social awkwardness.
  • Lack of friends.
  • Lack of physical skills to play in sports.
  • Not fitting in.

Being Bullied Online

Being bullied online is just as bad as being punched by a bully in person.
Being bullied online is just as bad as being punched by a bully in person. | Source

Prevention and Protection Against Cyberbullying

Recent events have put much more focus on cyberbullying. Cases have come up that teens have committed suicide due to acts of cyberbullying, publishing personal information online, etc. While people are taking action and trying to prevent this from happening again, the internet is vastly unmonitored. It's up to people, and especially the parents of children, to prevent and stop cyberbullying. Below are some tips that should be heeded to stop cyberbullying:

  • Watch your children's actions online. Be friends with them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, etc. Watch what they do online through their accounts, if possible. Yes, it amounts to spying on them. But you want to ensure that they are not being bullied online, or worse yet, bullying someone else online.
  • Talk to your children. Warn them of harm they can cause if they harass others online, and tell them to tell you if they are being harassed. Kids are private and may not want their parents involved, but you have to make yourself involved.
  • Get your children help. Peer pressure and harassment has been speed up since someone can be online almost all of the time. Take them to therapy, talk to the school, etc. to get your child some help.
  • Report what is going on to the police. Before it's too late, you need to contact your local law enforcement to advise what is going on. They will take this seriously since it's such a hot topic. The things you do and say online can be held against you, including threats of violence.
  • Be a responsible parent. The bottom line is you have to be a responsible parent. Get involved with your child, ask them questions, etc. If you see a change in behavior, find out why. It's your responsibility to care for your child. It's also your responsibility to stop them from bullying others online. A few words on the screen can hurt others more than they know.

Cyber-Stalked College Student Speaks Out

Have you ever been cyberharassed or cyberstalked at your workplace?

See results

Reasons Why Someone Could be Cyberharassed or Cyberstalked

There are various reasons why someone could be harassed in the workplace:

  • Earning a promotion over another person.
  • Getting the other person in trouble at work.
  • A direct competitor trying to cause harm to your organization.
  • The person doesn't like you.
  • The person wants to date you or have a physical relationship.
  • Conflict in ideas, religions, etc.

Bully Free Internet

The internet needs to be a bully free zone.
The internet needs to be a bully free zone. | Source

Prevention and Protection Against Cyberharassment and Cyberstalking

Adults are not immune to being harassed online. Just because someone is an adult, doesn't mean they have the maturity to not to resort to something as low as harassing other adults online. Stalking online can be worse, as they could easily take it to real life. Here are some tips on how to protect you from cyberharassment and cyberstalking:

  • Report the issue immediately. If a co-worker is sending you nasty e-mails, or is constantly asking for a date through e-mail, then report it to your supervisor. Neither type of harassment is acceptable in the workplace.
  • File a report with the police. Just like with cyberbullying, this may be a step you have to resort to. People can harass others over the phone and in person, doing so over the internet is no exception.
  • Get a protection order. Chances are you will know the identity of the person that is harassing you. You can go to the courts to get a protection order that will prevent the harasser from making any contact with you, including online communication. Plus if the person violates the restraining order, it can land them in jail.
  • Protect yourself physically. If necessary, carry mace, a gun (if allowed by law), etc. on you to protect yourself if you have a stalker. Some stalkers take their actions from online to real life, making you a target.
  • Don't be afraid to speak up. Others won't look on you badly for speaking up. There are those who want to help you, much like parents that want to help their children. This is a very serious issue, so you should never take it lightly.


Are You Being Harassed Online?


view quiz statistics

Cyber Bullying

Practice Good Behavior Online

Unfriendly behavior leads to bullying, which leads to someone being hurt. We must all do our part to weed out the unfriendly behavior found online. It's all of our responsibility. So don't just ignore the issue. Governments can only go so far, so it's the responsibility of the general population to act civilized online and to act out against bad behavior.

If you are having suicidal thoughts in any way, then please call the National Prevention Suicide Hotline:

1-800-273-8255

© 2013 David Livermore

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Beth37 4 years ago

      Very good.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      I agree with you for the most part Brakel2 however, I believe that being online doesn't make people say things they wouldn't say in person. They do so only because they are cowards with an opportunity to show how spineless they really are. Even worse, children and adults are guilty of it. It is very sad that people do this to others and for those who cause suicides they should be sentenced to jail or prison for the number of years the person was alive as a bare minimum.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Great article that could refer to a few trolls in our forums. They make me angry when they pick on someone. I do know that some of these people online have created situations causing suicides. That is the saddest thing in the world. I read an article on bullying that said a huge percentage of these bullies commit crimes at a later time. One thing about being online is that it makes people say things they would never say in person. I have a few relatives who qualify for this nefarious deed. You never forget it. Thanks for sharing, and. good luck.

    • osaeoppongde profile image

      Deborah L. Osae-Oppong 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Great advice! Especially for preventing unfriendly behavior! It's so unnecessary! I love the format of this hub, polling is a great idea!

    • davidlivermore profile image
      Author

      David Livermore 4 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      So very true. Once people are forced to come out of hiding online, then they will act more civilized. But who knows when that will be, if ever.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      So many people still believe that this type of behavior is fine and others are afraid to speak up about it until it may have damaged their reputation or caused some other type of harm. Your suggestions are useful and valuable.

    • davidlivermore profile image
      Author

      David Livermore 4 years ago from Bakersfield, California, United States

      I hope it helps others as well, I know it's a sensitive topic. Thanks for the comment!

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City

      I don't know what it is about human nature that causes many of us to feel defensive when another person is goading or bullying us, whether it is in person or online. It was a tough lesson for my growing kids to learn that the best way to deal with such situations was to not respond in any way.

      You've covered an important topic in this hub. I hope your practical suggestions take root in the appropriate places.

      Great hub; voted up and Shared.