Having been the victim of cyber bullying myself, I was curious to find out how many other people have been affected by it.
My husband has recently been on the end of cyber bullying, read more about this here, so I was curious to hear from other bloggers about their experiences and what they think we can do to #makeitstop.
Tune into the blog tomorrow for help and advice if you’ve experienced Cyber Bullying.
So a few years ago I was subject to what would be the modern day equivalent of a witch hunt. People who I thought were my friends jumped on board, it turned into a social media nightmare. I received messages of abuse saying my children were not safe with me, that I was a paedophile, that I should be arrested, that I should expect social services. I was told I was an unfit mother as well as many other things. I am still to this day frightened to be on social media, and you are talking over 4 years ago.
I’m too scared to reply to a tweet, to post an image on Instagram because I can’t face that abuse again. It makes it even harder when one of the lead instigators said hello to me in real life, as if nothing had ever happened. In all honesty I don’t think they knew who I was in person. It’s cost me a lot of work as several PR companies black listed me.
It’s cost me followers as I am no longer as active as I was on social media and it’s had a huge impact on my blog. More than that it’s had an impact on my life. I no longer know who I can trust online. It’s shown me a very dark and scary place.
Mob mentality is incredibly scary. People jumping on board without any understanding of what’s going on. I don’t think people realise that at the other end of the screen is a real person with feelings and what the full cost has been.
I had an experience with a troll when I first started blogging. It was strange because I had barely any views at first so seemed odd for someone to feel strongly enough to leave nasty comments. Sadly, it turned out to be my sister-in-law so I don’t think there was much I could’ve done to stop it, however I’m now twice as vigilant about hiding our surnames/location on the blog and all social media. I have the whole story here.
Amy from All about a mummy
A few years back I made a quite innocuous comment on a post about breastfeeding on Twitter and one woman went mental at me and starting trolling me. It was awful. She would twist everything I said. I basically stopped tweeting and hardly use that social media channel now as the experience has left me cautious. I’m not sure what can be done to police it better. Apart from reporting her to Twitter there didn’t seem to be a lot more I could do
Laura from Five Little Doves
My son was subjected to social media bullying when he started high school. Two of his classmates were bullying via Instagram, leaving nasty comments on his photos and sending him direct messages saying they were going to kill him in school the next day. Thank God he told me about it and we resolved it in school, but I did beat myself up about it for a while and whether I should have allowed him to have social media.
Jeanette from Autism Mumma
I got bullied from within the special needs parents community, which shocked me. They’d wait until I posted a daily blog and then attack, it was vicious. I wrote about it here, referencing another time that was from an individual who seemed to enjoy the reaction he got by saying shocking things.
Sally from Teddy Bears and Cardigans
I’ve not been subject to cyber bullying but have witnessed and supported others who have. I think “don’t feed the trolls” is the best advice but social media should be more responsible. Accounts that troll should be suspended immediately and deleted if they offend again. Sadly reporting doesn’t have any effect.
Katie from Mummy in a Tutu
I was actually trolled by another blogger because they didn’t like a post I had written. It was quite horrible, especially from someone in the community. Of course I told my friends who wanted to hit back but that wouldn’t have helped the situation. A pack mentality is not the way to deal with bullies. In the end I chose to block their ip, delete their comments and move on with the support of friends rather than fight back. It is by no means easy. They said some hurtful and personal comments which had me in tears but at the end of the day I have to accept it as part of my job similar to the scoffing you get when you tell people you’re a blogger.
Yasmine from Yasmine Camilla
I actually had someone turn up at my doorstep shouting at me – a lesson for me about how much I share but still! She didn’t like something I’d written. The police were called.
David from David and Donetta
I think the ultimate thing that can be done is better parenting. Facebook, Instagram etc don’t bully anyone, people bully people and most bullying occurs amongst kids. Thus, it’s all about the parenting. I don’t believe your children should be using any social media that you don’t understand yourself. I think you should dive in and see what it’s all about so you can then better judge on how to keep your children safe using these apps, sites etc. Our girls get away with nothing because we know all the ins and outs of the apps they use. I know some parents didn’t even know you could direct message on Instagram until it brought to their attention how vile their child was being to other in Instagram DMs. So many parents bury their head in the sand because social media is this new thing for kids… It’s not, get on it, figure it out and then make better decision on how to educate your child to use these platforms. On another note, it’s not 100% schools responsibility to educate your child, it’s yours! School is to supplement the educating parents should already be doing at home, teaching kindness and manners AND how the world works, the world which is highly social media driven.
David from The Yorkshire Dad
Talking to your children and having an open channel of communication is critical. We experienced something a while back. Our eldest daughter had a friend who suddenly turned really nasty. She started sending some REALLY nasty and threatening messages to our daughter. Thankfully, she showed us the messages. It really upset her. Sadly, despite the evidence, the girl’s mother was not willing to do anything about it when I called her – so we called the Police. Within an hour of my 101 call an officer was sat in our living room talking to us and our daughter and looking at the messages. He was sensible about it. He then took details of where this girl lived and paid her a visit. No action was taken beyond him being very firm with the other girl and her mother that laws were broken in terms of the malicious communications act and he gave her a severe warning/telling off. Sadly the girl’s mum bears a serious grudge now. Whenever she is in either of the two shops my wife works in she is very rude and obnoxious with my wife. Worse, my daughter now also works part-time in one of those shops and experienced having to serve the other girls mum recently. The mum was very nasty to my daughter – witnessed by other staff and customers!
Becky from Becka’s Bubble
Speaking from a teacher point of view, and a parent point of view, I do think that the way children are raised plays a huge part in Bullying in general. My son, aged four, is at a lovely age where he is super innocent and it doesn’t cross his mind to be mean to another person. I’m trying to raise him to be inclusive, celebrate peoples differences and respect peoples opinions. As for the cyber side of it, as much as I love social media and use it regularly, most bullying issues within school link to social media, mainly Facebook, because bullies are cowards and can hide behind it. I think I’ll be monitoring my children’s social media carefully and teaching Lucas to not be a coward, keep unkind thoughts comments to himself and be kind. Easier said than done though, I know!
Jamesy from JamesyNI
It’s all about education, and that comes from good parenting! Teaching good values and respecting other people. You also have to monitor and be aware of social media and how your children use it, knowing the signs of bullying! There is no difference in cyber bullying and bullying in person. Its still not acceptable, i was bullied in school but spoke out and got it taken care off!
Kelly-Anne from Mimi Rose and Me
I have been trolled personally. It was when I first shared my fertility posts. Someone trolled all my posts about how I shouldn’t have children anyway, I’m clearly on dole and just trying to make money. I was so horrified. I couldn’t believe someone went through my blog posts and social media accounts to troll me like that. It made me feel as if I shouldn’t be a blogger and then my husband reminded me of why I was doing this whole blogging thing. For me and to help empower other women who have struggled with fertility. Blogging isn’t easy, but I have tougher skin now. But trolling really should stop. By attacking people from behind a keyboard can have such an effect. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.
Tune into the blog tomorrow for help and advice if you’ve experienced Cyber Bullying.