Bullying - In particular "Internet Trolling"

  • Milly Hayward
    8 months ago

    Years ago I once attended a conference about bullying at work hosted by Tim Fields who also covered bullying on line and in other situation. It occurred to me that there are people who are bullies and don't even realise that they are doing it. So I thought it might be worth opening a discussion thread about the subject.
    This abstract covers "Internet Trolling"

    "Internet Trolling" is a good example of persistent, abnormal behaviour. This is the often anonymous use of forums to post irrelevant, disruptive, insulting or abusive messages, designed to infuriate or upset members, leading to replies, counter criticism, and arguments and taking the forum way off topic. The troll gets a kick from single-handedly moving others to spend their time and emotional energy on him or her, and even on each other. The best way to deal with Internet trolling, and other adult behaviour which is primarily intended to elicit attention, is to not respond, to not engage and to thus deny the person the attention they seek. If the perpetrator is denied the attention, there's a chance that they will think twice before taking this approach again. If they get attention, they might well do it again.

    Attention-seeking behaviour inevitably involves other people, who at best waste their time by becoming irritated by it, or they become an unwitting player in a fabricated melodrama. At worst, people can find that they have been manipulated, conned, harmed etc by it.

    Tim Field made a link between some well documented forms of attention seeking behaviour and bullying because, he concluded, the manipulation, deceit, temper tantrums and "poor me" melodramas of attention seekers are also typical of adult bullies. Put another way, some forms of attention seeking behaviour also amount to bullying.

    (This list is based on the original by Tim Field, but some inspiration from pages at http://mentalhealth.com has helped with the update.)

    (abstract taken from http://bullyonline.org/index.php/bullying/bullies/21-the-need-for-attention)

  • Larry Chamberlin
    8 months ago

    Very good thread, Milly.
    I think one key to your piece is the element of melodrama. Anytime you're in an argument it is emotionally charged, which is often the entire purpose of the initiation.

  • Milly Hayward replied to Larry Chamberlin
    8 months ago

    Yes Larry . This is the bullying aspect of the personality...

    The "Troll" is so actively intent on pushing the attention to themselves that they will use any tool at their disposal to put themselves centre stage regardless of how many people they upset. A bully will seemingly create melodrama and offence where there is none, antagonise and use the confusion as a means to steer the thread around to showcasing their perceived knowledge, strengths and abilities or instead use the "nobody likes me" card in an effort to illicit sympathy.

    Bullies gets great joy in antagonising and upsetting others because it gives them a sense of power over their victims and boosts their self worth which is what they desperately crave. Most people don't even realise that they are being manipulated into retaliation and even blame themselves for reacting to it.

    To be fair not every bully is aware that they are bullying they just crave what makes them feel better about themselves. Which is why I posted this information.

  • Ben Pickard
    8 months ago, updated 8 months ago

    This really is a fabulous post, Milly and so articulately put. It makes clear what is already irritatingly obvious; I think we all know the issues with these people and what they're about and yet we often raise the level of the drama ourselves purely from frustration. This just demeans the innocent and gives the troll exactly what they are after.

    Perhaps we should all read this carefully and take action...or perhaps no action at all is best, as your post so rightly suggests.

    Thank you for posting this and all the best as ever,

    Ben

  • Brenda replied to Ben Pickard
    8 months ago

    Excellent thread Milly! I try to not engage but sometimes I get sucked into the drama myself. Very useful information!

  • Milly Hayward
    8 months ago

    My introduction to this feed was taken from Tim Fields an industry leader on how to deal with Bullying in the workplace and on the internet. Bullying is rife in so many areas of our lives that it is important to be able to identify bullying behaviour and in doing so be able to fight against it. We have all heard on the news how bullying has pushed people to take their own lives or their lives have been made unbearable, but there are varying scales of bullying and a bully will often push nice people to behave out of character because the bully gets his joy from manipulating a nice person to do the wrong thing. Ignoring them and not biting at what ever the provocation, is the best action because they cannot bear to be ignored. They need their stage and control over others.

    So to repeat again what Tim Fields says about " Internet Trolling" or" Internet Bullying"

    "Internet Trolling" is a good example of persistent, abnormal behaviour. This is the often anonymous use of forums to post irrelevant, disruptive, insulting or abusive messages, designed to infuriate or upset members, leading to replies, counter criticism, and arguments and taking the forum way off topic.

    The troll gets a kick from single-handedly moving others to spend their time and emotional energy on him or her, and even on each other.

    The best way to deal with Internet trolling, and other adult behaviour which is primarily intended to elicit attention, is to not respond, to not engage and to thus deny the person the attention they seek. If the perpetrator is denied the attention, there's a chance that they will think twice before taking this approach again. If they get attention, they might well do it again.

    I hope that this has been of help to people and that it will continue to be so in the future. Thank you for reading this feed Best wishes Milly x

  • PnQ Mod Account
    8 months ago, updated 8 months ago

    MESSAGE FOR ALL MEMBERS: If you believe someone on PnQ is responsible for "internet trolling" and/or is a bully on this site, the moderators request that you private message the joint moderator account with your concerns and the name of the member(s). Any subsequent action taken will ensure that you remain completely anonymous.

  • Hellon replied to Jabberwoky 2
    8 months ago, updated 8 months ago by silvershoes

    I find your post to be quite disconcerting considering that you are a very new member...I mean..how did you find this thread for example? Most newbies take a while to settle in and find their feet so...mmmm! I see you lead us to an account that I can only imagine was yours, although it has been inactive for 5 years and...there was never a post made from that account so...what is you motive exactly? This thread was about five or six down the list of activity today...why pick this one? [[Clarification from Jane, moderator: The account Hellon is responding to here has been deleted, thank you]]

    Getting back on topic...I was bullied at school...not cyber bullying obviously ( too old for that) but, it did instill a great fear in my life for a very long period of time...when my parents eventually cottoned on to it they just said...deal with the problem..you are nine years old, this is the time to decided whether you are going to make a stance or be left behind...they were not going to fight my battles for me so...I did...one quick swipe over the head with my satchel was all it took :)

  • Everlasting replied to Hellon
    8 months ago

    ^ sorry to hear your parents didn’t do anything about it.

    I’m glad my parents were able to intervene on some occasions when I was bullied. If not, I would probably not be alive.

    I had some neighbors who had a “thing” against me. I don’t know why. I think they just didn’t like me or idk. But one afternoon, the poor girls decided to throw rocks at me just like that without realizing that those bigger rocks could hit my head and probably leave me unconscious or dead. My mom caught them just in time. She scolded them, and explained to them what could have happened. Then mom talked to the girl’s parents. Ever since then, the girls never bothered me again. We could also interchange greetings and play together from time to time.

    So yeah, they definitely weren’t aware of what they were doing. After mom explained, they felt bad, sorry, and definitely, scared and ashamed of their actions.

    On another topic,
    I often wonder if that’s why Jesus meant with,

    “Forgive them Father, for they do not know what they are doing” (or something like that) when He was about to be crucified.

    As far as internet trolling, I think that one is easier to tackle if it’s from a complete stranger. Just block whoever is trolling you or ignore them or don’t take to heart whatever that someone is saying. However, if whoever is bullying you online and that someone is someone you know in person, that’s really hard to deal with. I mean that’ll be online bullying and bullying. Definitely, don’t hesitate to seek for as much help as possible.

  • Hellon replied to Everlasting
    8 months ago

    I think you've got it wrong Luce...my parents not doing anything about it was their way of telling me that they would not always be around to fight my battles and the sooner I stood on my own two feet the better for me in this big bad world. I'm extremely thankful that the did not molly coddle me :)

  • silvershoes replied to Hellon
    8 months ago, updated 8 months ago

    I think parents need to draw a line and step in if that line is crossed. Encouraging kids to fight their own battles is one thing, and it sounds like you feel it was the right call for your parents to make, Hellon, but if someone is throwing rocks at your kid's head, that (for me) crosses a line. There was a girl in my elementary school who died after kids in her class were on a hill above her, throwing rocks down at her. One struck her head and it was fatal. I will never forget it.

    I was bullied in school too. Wait. Is there something tying all of us poets together?! I don't know many people who have been badly bullied, but it sounds like a lot of us have that in common? In 5th grade, my being bullied culminated when two boys beat me up after school. I had bruises all over my body for weeks, including a gnarly black eye and a cracked rib. I was bullied in middle school and in high school as well, but it was emotional bullying. I think it was worse. My parents stepped in in elementary school, but there was not much they could do about the emotional bullying later on... I had to learn to deal with that on my own, and maybe it's made me stronger. It's definitely made me more empathetic.

  • Hellon replied to silvershoes
    8 months ago, updated 8 months ago

    but if someone is throwing rocks at your kid's head, that (for me) crosses a line

    ^^

    Get a bigger rock and throw it right back Jane. The people who have defended your country and mine did not have their parents stopping by to say.."hang on, that's my kid...can you please be a little kinder towards them... please don't throw that rock/bomb.bullet..just think what could happen if you do..."

  • Everlasting replied to Hellon
    8 months ago, updated 8 months ago

    “I think you've got it wrong Luce...my parents not doing anything about it was their way of telling me that they would not always be around to fight my battles and the sooner I stood on my own two feet the better for me in this big bad world. I'm extremely thankful that the did not molly coddle ...”

    Nah, I understood what you meant. It’s just that there are situations in which parents have to step in. And it’s important for parents to be aware of what’s going on with their child. Though I agree, parents won’t be able to intervene in everything. There are things the child has to learn on its own.

    My parents didn’t intervene every time I was bullied. However, they encouraged me to tell them, and depending on the situation, they would give advice on how to handle it, or intervene, or just listen. It was helpful. In a way, that was their way of telling that they would not always be around and that I should take care of what I currently can, and that there are situations that I might not be able to handle on my own, and that is okay to ask for help.

  • Everlasting replied to Hellon
    8 months ago

    “but if someone is throwing rocks at your kid's head, that (for me) crosses a line

    ^^

    Get a bigger rock and throw it right back Jane.”

    ^^ Hellon, who should get the bigger rock? The parent who is watching, the child who is being thrown rocks at? Or ...?

    Hehe like literally, there was no way I could get a bigger rock to throw it back. There were like three girls throwing rocks at me. First instinct was cover my face and give them my back. After that, I didn’t know what to do. I was meditating on what I should do. I was wondering why they were doing that? What did I do wrong? Did I hurt them without knowing? and then I heard mom

    Every one has different personalities. If someone else might have been inmy situation, that Someone might have instinctly fought back. In my case, i need to have a strong reason to do so.

  • Milly Hayward replied to Everlasting
    8 months ago, updated 8 months ago

    I experienced bullying at school by six girls and in those days parents were told by teachers nothing could be done. My parents told me not to fight back because that’s what the bullies wanted that it was not acceptable behaviour to be seen girls brawling in the streets. As a result of doing nothing (believing that I was doing the right thing) the bullying escalated to dangerous levels.

    After being told by parents and teachers that couldn’t help me. There didn't seem any point in telling adults anything. I never told anyone how bad things had got and felt that it was down to me to just deal with it by myself. I tried reasoning with the girls individually, hiding and eventually skipping school nothing worked. Yet I had no problem standing between big boys trying to bully smaller ones. I think maybe because it was one to one and I was used to fighting my brothers whereas the girls always seemed to be too many to deal with.

    One day I lost it over something quite small really. I grabbed one of the bullys by her throat and lifted her off the ground with one hand and slid her up the wall. I think all of the frustration of three years of bullying was in that single movement but it was enough to demonstrate that I was no longer going to sit by and let them bully me. It worked and they left me alone.

    Knowing how it feels to be bullied with nobody to help you is the reason that I have always done my best to stand between bullies and their victims whether it be in the workplace in a club or bar. I have put myself in danger situations but I have also helped stop bullying. However not all victims of bullying come out feeling the same. I was surprised when a colleague at a seminar freely admitted to me that she had been bullied at school and instead of feeling protective of others had gone on to bully other people. So I think that people react differently to their experiences.

  • Everlasting replied to Milly Hayward
    8 months ago

    Yeah, definitely, people react differently to their experiences. Would that be due to personalities?

    In my case, I was lucky that my mom talked to the girls and to the girl’s parents and even more lucky that the girl’s parents were cooperating. Though, come to think of it, my mom was angry. she definitely looked intimidating.

    When it comes to school, teachers cannot do anything. However, it kind of helps to report the bullying. At least, it stays on record.

  • Milly Hayward replied to Everlasting
    8 months ago, updated 8 months ago

    You could be right about personality types. People who bully have weak natures and are cowards with no sense of honour or empathy with others.

    Fortunately it's much easier to identify and report bullying nowadays. In schools the kids are taken much more seriously because of the suicides. In the UK we have bully lines to report it and also counselling lines. It is taken much more seriously now. There is a zero tolerance policy here.

  • Larry Chamberlin
    8 months ago

    I agree with Jane and Luce, but I see Hellon's point.

    Being raised in an Irish Catholic school in the middle of the Bible Belt, everyone was in constant battle. I guess I was bullied but really thought it was normal and having a temper I always hit back, but never hit anyone smaller than me. Eventually I was left alone.

    However, that was the 50's and the world was different. Coaches had wood paddles (now I realize they were cricket bats). Nuns had steel edged rulers, dads had belts and moms had switches. If you had a grudge with a kid you settled it with fists. Nobody got punished for fighting unless you disrupted class. No one I knew used guns except for hunting. I hitchhiked home from school since the 2nd grade. That was then.

    I raised my own kids without corporeal punishment. The schools do not allow paddles or rulers. Socializing organizations (schools, churches, scouts, youth clubs) teach how to sort things out without violence.

    Bullying is an innate part of juvenile society, but it is in the process of being reduced. Tolerance for others is taught, acceptance of differences is aspired to - but with significant backsliding. The roles played by leaders as role models has never become more obvious than in the past year. Bullying and intolerance has risen and become more blatant because those perpetrating have been given the signal it is okay. Women have pushed back with the "me too" and "time's up" movements.

    As a parent, I tried to let my kids sort things out as long as potentially lethal weapons were not involved. Getting a bigger rock just escalates the odds of permanent damage or even death. That's not acceptable. Whenever I stepped in to stop a fight I did so for the sake of all the kids, not just my own. Being a bully causes damage the same as being bullied. Stop the bullying and you might just save a kid.

  • Hellon replied to Larry Chamberlin
    8 months ago, updated 8 months ago

    Yes well...I was brought up in the same school situation as you Larry and now...well, slowly they are all being wormed out and facing the bullying we considered as normal by those in charge of our education back then...luckily I was just hit over the knuckles with a ruler by the nuns :) lots were 'bullied' in other, more sinister ways it would seem.

    Getting a bigger rock just escalates the odds of permanent damage or even death. That's not acceptable.

    ^^^

    Isn't this just what's going on between your president and Kim Jong-un right now???

  • Milly Hayward replied to Larry Chamberlin
    8 months ago, updated 8 months ago

    Larry I agree with you. Thank goodness things have changed for the better in schools (Teachers used to throw wooden board rubbers at the kids, use rulers to rap knuckles and for more serious offenses the use of slippers on bums for punishment but not on girls that was in the 70s lol)

    I think its really important for parents to strike a balance between teaching children to resolve things on their own and understanding that when things get too difficult to handle that they can still go to their parents to discuss possible solutions. Keeping open that line of communication is essential for a child's feeling of well being.

    You brought up an important point that "The roles played by leaders as role models has never become more obvious than in the past year. Bullying and intolerance has risen and become more blatant because those perpetrating have been given the signal it is okay" It maybe that we notice more because of social media that brings things to our attention much more quickly than before.

    Yesterday a horrific example of a leader sending out the wrong message. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte publically incited the men of his country to freely rcommit sadistic acts against women who rebel against him. Effectively giving a stay out of jail card for a man to commit horrific crimes against women (including raping up to three women without redress) so long as the woman was suspected of being a rebel. In a country where bribes are a way of life this has serious connotations.

    http://uk.businessinsider.com/philippine-president-duterte-threatened-women-2018-2?r=US&IR=T

  • Larry Chamberlin replied to Hellon
    8 months ago

    ^^ “Isn't this just what's going on between your president and Kim Jong-un right now???”

    Exactly! On a much more horrific scale.

  • Larry Chamberlin replied to Hellon
    8 months ago

    ^^ “Isn't this just what's going on between your president and Kim Jong-un right now???”

    Exactly! On a much more horrific scale.

  • Milly Hayward replied to Larry Chamberlin
    8 months ago, updated 8 months ago

    It's such a shame that through out history humanity has had the capacity to do so much good yet it seems that so many leaders or people in power have instead caused bloodshed and grief. I often wonder if they were born cruel or whether having too much power changes them

  • silvershoes replied to Milly Hayward
    8 months ago

    I often think the type of person who seeks the highest forms of power is probably the type of person who shouldn’t have it. Of course it must be more complicated than that, but it’s hard not to think.

  • Larry Chamberlin replied to silvershoes
    8 months ago

    You have touched on the conundrum that the people most likely to seek power fall into two categories:

    - those who seek power for personal reasons and will most likely abuse it

    - those who seek power because they refuse to be ruled by lesser persons (Plato's benevolent philosopher kings)

  • silvershoes replied to Larry Chamberlin
    8 months ago

    Is there a specific book where Plato writes about benevolent philosopher kings? I want to read it. Sounds interesting.