Friday, October 27, 2017

A Cyber-Trolling Trend

Via the Chicago Tribune, police in Des Plaines, Illinois are investigating allegations that a man there threatened to lynch Representative Frederica Wilson.
"By Monday, [the man's] Facebook page was no longer open to public comments. Many posts insulting liberals and supporting Trump remained, however, as well as several posts about Johnson. One, a meme, read, 'I really don’t mind being called a bigot, racist, close minded (sic), redneck, backwoods… heard them all by now and use (sic) to it… still better than being called a liberal.'”
The article ended with the man saying, “I don’t think a lot about what I write on Facebook.”

That's a trend I notice when I read about Internet bullies being confronted with their poor behavior. They write with no seeming concern with how their words or cruelty might impact others. Many trolls and harassers share the attitude that they personally should suffer no consequences for their online speech, that what happens on the Internet isn't real, and that their targets are stupid for taking Twitter/Facebook seriously.

It's important to remember, when engaging with Internet trolls and harassers, "they cognitively understand the emotional distress they cause through their trolling behaviour without empathising with their victim's emotional suffering."

They know that their targets feel pain as a result of cyber-harassment. They just don't care. While they may think about you -their target - quite a bit, they don't relate to your suffering, pain, or fear at all.

I wish more people understood this, particularly those who scold others for being "oversensitive" or whatever for setting boundaries on engaging with harassers.

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