Tag Archives: cyber laws

Don’t Feed the Trolls

“Don’t feed the trolls.”

“Don’t talk back. It’s what they want.” 

Is that really true? Does ignoring trolls actually stop the trolling? 

Does anyone have real true statistics and numbers on that advice? 

I’ve ignored a lot more trolls than I’ve acknowledged but for some reason, that does not seem to have any influence on the amount of disgustung, hateful messages that arrive  in my inbox on the daily. 

When I speak my mind, I usually receive a tsunami of  hate or absolutely nothing. It seems like the more direct my blogs are, the more troll-age I receive.  My favorite response from others is, “If you can’t handle it, get off the internet.” 

But my response to that is, “why do people tolerate this and do absolutely nothing?” 

Why should I have to rearrange my life, live in fear, change careers, move, change my phone number just because some narcissist decided he thinks I’m ugly because I refused to date him?

The most common advice I hear is, “Just don’t read the comments.” 

Um yeah okay. These trolls have already published my photos, phone numbers and addresses (home and work) online. Is anyone aware that this is a harassment tactic known as “doxing?” 

I’ve even had fake sex, dating and escort ads created using my phone number, address, and photos which resulted in creepy men showing up at my front door.  But ignore it right? Because that’s not dangerous or anything.

It’s one thing to post an opinion online. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but threats, harassment and stalking are REAL criminal offenses and law enforcement should be involved. Most law enforcement rely on the laws in order to determine whether or not cyber trolls are committing criminal offenses but most law enforcement officers do not know how to deal with online harassment anyway and that is why I recommend consulting an attorney. 

In my situation, things became tricky when we discovered that the majority of my stalkers and harassers lived in a different state. This complicated things greatly because then you have to rely on state laws to uphold restraining/protective orders and determine if criminal charges can be filed. Luckily, I live in a state that recognizes cyber harassment and stalking as a criminal offense. 

There are also federal laws in place but there are improvements that need to be made within each state so that all states are on the same page. Otherwise, state law enforcement must wait for federal law enforcement to step in. The worst part about this is that the victim or target (which is the term I prefer) must initiate this process beginning with requesting a personal protective order (or restraining order) after filing a police report with their local law enforcement. I recommend contacting your local domestic violence agency to help guide you in the process (especially if you know your stalker/troll/harasser and especially if there were threats made to you or your family members. 

Social media companies advise you to report abuse but it is a tedious, time consuming process and most reports are rejected. Do it anyway and keep records of EVERYTHING. Not just screen shots. Keep copies of the actual links. They also tell you to block the offending parties but we all know that trolls have more than one account and the can and will just make new accounts and start all over again.

I’d just like to know why people accept this behavior and do absolutely nothing about it but say, “well… that’s just part of being online.” 

Seriously?!? I guess we should all just accept rape, theft, murder, etc because it’s just part of being human?!? Ummm nope. Wrong answer. 

Why don’t we hold people accountable for their actions? I think that would be a great start. If we stop tolerating unacceptable and abusive behavior, it WILL decrease I’m sure. 

Laws need to change so that law enforcement CAN do something about it. Most people who engage in trolling behavior, do it from anonymous or fake accounts so let’s start exposing their arses whenever we can! Most trolls would NEVER do or say the things they do if their identity was known. 

But we can’t change something if everyone ignores it and hopes that it will go away.

This quote comes to mind: 

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ” ~Edmund Burke

You can choose to ignore problems or pretend they don’t exist because they haven’t happened to you or someone you care about BUT… in the meantime, you and everyone you love is at risk if you’re reading this. Because it can happen to ANYONE FOR ANY REASON. Just because you exist. If you think it isn’t a big deal, then good for you. That means you are absolutely 100% agreeable to ANY and EVERY piece of personal information of yours and anyone you’ve ever loved being posted across the internet for the world to see. Before you respond with, “I don’t care. I have nothing to hide.” Just remember that trolls don’t care about the TRUTH! So if you’re okay with being accused of ridulous, horrific things that you’ve never even heard of…for anyone and everyone to see and never to be removed from the world’s view….  or you’re fine with someone anonymously threatening to rape your children, then by all means …. let me applaud you for your balls of steal and ability to afford 24/7 bodyguards for you and your loved ones and while I’m at it …. let me applaud you with a huge CONGRATS for being in a position where you will never need to rely on your reputation to get a job, loan, a business or anything else in life. Because the internet DOES affect REAL LIVES.