Hey, I've been reaching out to my networks to crowdsource ways to end online harassment after the release of the Online Harassment Infographic that revealed that 25% of American adults have been bullied, threatened, or harassed online, or know someone who has.
The first step toward dealing with unacceptable behavior is to understand the problem, then we can get rid of it. To that end, I've been asking people on the ground what we can do to get rid of this problem.
We got lots of good responses, and I'm including some of them here:
"Trolls generally shut down their online accounts because they don't like being trolled themselves. Internet anonymity should not give people the right to attack others in a way they never would do in real life, so outing them seems like the best option!" – JeriAnn Graves
"Unplug, walk away, use a pseudonym, increase your privacy controls… All of these are perfectly viable solutions to online harassment. Control what information is available online, and you control the harassers. That said, I really think Facebook needs to tighten up on its privacy settings. I don't want to appear on search results, I don't want pictures of me showing up anywhere, and I certainly don't want jerks I knew from high school to be able to contact me." – Cameron Barker: Mild-Mannered Salesman by Day, Happily Cynical Writer by Night
In response to Cameron,
Kelly Diels Rostant, Online Marketing Manager at Goldbeck Recruiting Inc, said:
"Telling the people who receive this kind of treatment to unplug or walk away allows the people doing the harassing to win. They've effectively silenced their targets."
"I think we all need to stop thinking of this as someone else's problem. If you see someone being harassed, lend your voice in censure. If you don't like the way someone speaks to you, tell them so and assert your right to be respected. Bullies' power comes from fear and avoidance and from people looking the other way, or being glad it's not them. Let's take away their power by being clear that the way they behave is not acceptable, and teach our children to do the same." – Claire Weatherston, Communication and Events Coordinator at Western State College of Law
"Treat others the way you wish to be treated yourself." – Anthony Simonetti, Marketing Communications at New Horizons, Six Sigma Green Belt
"Trustcloud (crowd sourcing) is a solution to end harrasment from the web. It is as easy as being prompting upon accepting/making a connection, making friends/accepting friend request or being followed/following a person the user gets a trust score of the requesting person/relevant person." – Zorays Khalid
"DO use decoy selections in report abuse forms, but keep it simple: 'This is annoying' vs 'this is dangerous' can be differentiated." – Aria Stewart
"Opening a police file when there is harassment can also signal that their actions will be met head-on, and hiding behind technology is no longer going to work for them but against them."
– Darlene Rudolph, PMP
"LinkedIn should remove the anonymous views option which, in my view, provides cover for those who may be into sleuthing, creeping, and other cowardly bully-like behaviors."
– Susan Howes, CTDP, Senior Business Analyst, Workplace Learning Specialist
"Surely there's a startup in the valley somewhere working on a way to monetize kindness?"
– Jubal Ince, Talent Community Advisor at Workday
"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. Works every time." – Christine Wilinsky, Legal Document Preparation and Writing Services
"I think we need to stop looking upon the internet as being somehow at fault for all the bad things that can happen on it. It's the people on the internet that are the problem, not the tool itself. So my answer to the original headline question is – first stop harassment in the offline world and the problem will be solved." – Patrick Moran
"Too often intent is only 'proven' after the harasser has already harmed/ killed the harassed. I think harassment should be called out and dealt with, otherwise all of us are just consenting to that kind of behavior with silence – not cool." – Ida Wepener, Technical writer at Laragh Courseware
"I would recommend the following: Ignore inappropriate messages- avoid receiving anonymous or unrecognized calls –report the in-person harassment to the authorities if the harasser leaves you no choice – have the communication terminated by the network to save time, self respect and appreciation-turn to your friends or your companion for support and understanding – remember it’s not your fault –try not to blame yourself-get out of the vicious cycle a.s.a.p." – Dimitra Tatuli, counseling and psychotherapy
Which of these suggestions resonates with you? I want to continue working on these efforts, so please let me know other ideas you have to end online harassment. More to come…