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Fighting Back Against Trolls

by Brent Kirkpatrick

(Date Published: .)

All social media have trolls who harass people.

One facet of cyberbullying is the activity of trolls. Trolls are users that visit social media lurking until they find an opportunity to throw a negative opinion at someone. They are said to 'troll social media'. 'Flame wars', which are intense exchanges, are often started by trolls when then they get into fierce arguments with regular users. Here is what you can do about trolls.

On most social media platforms, you can report trolls. Start by documenting the negativity of the troll. Take screen shots and collect other evidence as to the abusive behavior of the troll. Most computers take a screen shot when you press the 'print screen' or 'prt sc' button at the top of your keyboard.

A Cave of Rocks inscribed All Social Media Have Trolls

If the troll is harassing more than one user, you can enlist other users to help you document the abuse. Trolls will often target a group of people, sometimes with regular abuse and harassment. Other times trolls will discriminate and pick on under-represented minorities. Take extra care to document discriminatory harassment, as it may constitute a hate crime.

If the troll harasses users across several social media platforms, it is even more important to carefully document and to report the troll on every platform. If the troll uses the same handle or user-name on all platforms, their behavior is easier to track. If the troll uses several pseudonyms, they will be more difficult to track, but a common pattern of harassment may be present.

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