Can we talk about the Harassment, please?

The Lunatic

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Paradox SuXcess said:
That was helpful. So, if they had their personal information hacked and broadcast, that they considered private, they should just suck it up?
Realistically, yeah, pretty much.

It's awful, but, what other option is there? At least at the moment.

If information is online, people will find it. It's very sad that people are willing to abuse that information, but, there is only so much safe guarding you can do, but, eventually, I assure you, things will be discovered.

We can't stop the way information is shared online, unless that is overhauled. Which is not something we have any control over.

We can't stop people being assholes, I assure you. If we could we'd have done it for a lot more reasons than internet trolls.


So, the only thing you really can do, is to try make it affect you as little as possible.

It's shit, but, them's the ropes.
 

Parasondox

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The Lunatic said:
Paradox SuXcess said:
That was helpful. So, if they had their personal information hacked and broadcast, that they considered private, they should just suck it up?
Realistically, yeah, pretty much.

It's awful, but, what other option is there? At least at the moment.

If information is online, people will find it. It's very sad that people are willing to abuse that information, but, there is only so much safe guarding you can do, but, eventually, I assure you, things will be discovered.

We can't stop the way information is shared online, unless that is overhauled. Which is not something we have any control over.

We can't stop people being assholes, I assure you. If we could we'd have done it for a lot more reasons than internet trolls.


So, the only thing you really can do, is to try make it affect you as little as possible.

It's shit, but, them's the ropes.
Alright, understood. I see your point.
 

Shymer

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There are two mechanisms of control over bullying and harassment. Social enforcement moral standards held by society to be acceptable and legal enforcement of moral standards held by society to be acceptable.

Legal enforcement involves local police and law enforcement responding to reports of bullying and harassment. For example, in the UK, we have www.report-it.org.uk, which is a site that helps inform people about hate crimes and how to report them - and gives easy access to organisations that offer support to victims of online hate. The Internet may be multi-national, but people using social media still are legally responsible for the things they say. Many countries have laws covering inappropriate speech and behaviour and, as good citizens, we should report people engaging in this kind of criminal behaviour. In addition to laws covering hate speech, cases such as that of Lord McAlpine have shown that defamation and libel law applies to tweets as much as publications on paper.

If we find that legal recourse is insufficient because it is lagging behind the times, or the police are not equipped to deal with emerging behaviours or trends, then congratulations, you have just found a cause to write to your political representative and start lobbying for.

Legal enforcement can also cover locating criminal through service providers/accounts and investigation and can result in fines, criminal records, and in extreme cases, jail time.

Social enforcement starts online with the social media sites and moderators as well as other concerned users. Most legitimate sites allow you to flag inappropriate posts and comments and should respond positively to reports of bullying or harassment. The tools should be there to use them. If gently asking someone to stop doesn't work... if flagging the post and asking for moderation doesn't work... if sending reports to the hosting provider or ISP doesn't work... then I would leave the site and join a forum where these controls exist and work.

Only by sustained moral pressure, using social and legal enforcement by the majority of law-abiding users will online bullying and harassment stop on the sites where people interested in constructive online discussions meet those more concerned about bullying others. At the very least consign the toxic few to known sites where the slackness of moderation and shared ethical values around bullying and harassment meet their needs of wanton self-expression and ego.
 

The Snark

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Starbird said:
The Snark said:
Best advice I can give is to learn a valuable Troll lesson. You get mad, you lose. So either learn how not to get mad, or how to recognize it and go for a walk when you do.

Getting angry well and truly makes you stupider, this is not an insult- it's a biological fact true of everyone. So be very very picky about what you allow to infuriate you.

Because if your anger isn't under your control, it's under someone else's.
When someone hacks into my stuff, acquires my real life details and begins making direct threats to my family then yes - I'm going to get mad. And I don't think I'm unusual for doing this.

What needs to happen is everyone involved, from the people who run the forums/servers/whatever to make all the details possible known about individuals who do this kind of sick shit to the authorities.
I didn't say you were unusual, I am saying that trying to handle it while angry is stupid and will lead to stupid solutions. Like, for instance, coming to the conclusion that the complete removal of internet anonymity will solve the problem.

You may reduce the number of hollow empty threats from blowhards, but in the process make it even easier for the genuine psychopaths to get to you- because rest absolutely assured that said removal isn't going to just apply to everyone BUT you.

The solution to someone posting abuseable information hardly seems to be to force everyone to post sensitive information.
 

Mikeybb

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Aug 19, 2014
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DANEgerous said:
dragoongfa said:
The second thing he advised me was to not advertise the harassment in any way. I quote exactly what he told me "These people are psychopaths, they crave attention and they will do anything to be at the center of it, the more they rile you up and force you to reply the more aroused they become. They don't care about the any damage they do, they only care about the 'arousal' they get."
By the way there have been a lot of people saying others have faked their harassment, one of the main reasons is the intentionally reblog, tweet and post this harassment any and every place they can, even making quips on how good they got the people for posting such things. Now while their actions are by no means proof they had faked this attack it does show they are intentionally ignoring the advice they would have got from law enforcement. If you see some one reposing harassment tel them to stop, it is not victim blaming it is keeping them from playing in to the hand of the people doing the harassment.
I can appreciate why some people post such things.
It's an effort to show the trolls that they aren't having the effect they intended.
Maybe even to get some moral support from their friends.

The thing is, it just wont be interpreted as that by the troll.
Where the victim wants to show they're strong in the face of the attack, the troll will see someone trying their best to show that the hate message is having no effect.
Not wanting someone to think you are afraid is still a reaction on the fear spectrum, but beside that, it is still an emotional response to the attack.
Exactly what the troll wants.

It is better to ignore them as you said.
Doing so starves them of their single motivation in sending hateful messages.
It stands to reason, if you can deny them the thing they want, do so.

However, this turns the problem of people being targetted for harassment into a silent crime.
If you don't talk about it, it just continues and no one is aware of how often it happens.
Sometimes it needs to be talked about.

I just happen to believe it should take place in threads like this or in carefully put together articles that make no reference to specific messages (thus robbing the responsible troll of any 'trophy' to claim).

The place not to do it is twitter because there is no doubt that is exactly what any troll will be watching for their prize.
 

CannibalCorpses

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Well, i can see only 1 solution that might work and that is to make all your comments and actions on the internet be tied to you as a person so that you can be prosecuted for the crimes you commit...in text form. It's anonymity that causes most people to say the things they do, not genuine animosity. They rant and rave because there is no punishment to acting that way...so that is what you need to change to make them stop. I don't think putting my name, address and telephone number on everything i write is the answer because i think that would put vulnerable people at even more risk but i do think some sort of serial code registration with your government to allow you access to speak in forums etc might be worthwhile. Of course i can see problems with that but fuck it, what we have at the moment is a mess so any change would be good if for nothing more than to gauge what actually works and what fails. We could even change the system used every year or so to stop the criminal element of society having enough time to exploit the system for their own nefarious deeds. I am currently unsure how we could stop the government from abusing the system for their own needs though...
 

The Snark

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CannibalCorpses said:
Well, i can see only 1 solution that might work and that is to make all your comments and actions on the internet be tied to you as a person so that you can be prosecuted for the crimes you commit...in text form. It's anonymity that causes most people to say the things they do, not genuine animosity. They rant and rave because there is no punishment to acting that way...so that is what you need to change to make them stop. I don't think putting my name, address and telephone number on everything i write is the answer because i think that would put vulnerable people at even more risk but i do think some sort of serial code registration with your government to allow you access to speak in forums etc might be worthwhile. Of course i can see problems with that but fuck it, what we have at the moment is a mess so any change would be good if for nothing more than to gauge what actually works and what fails. We could even change the system used every year or so to stop the criminal element of society having enough time to exploit the system for their own nefarious deeds. I am currently unsure how we could stop the government from abusing the system for their own needs though...
Crimes you commit in text form, eh? Going to have to be very very precise with what qualifies for that- or rather hope whoever implements the system you envision does- because that could very easily become 'Disagreeing with the rich and powerful' in practice.

Anonymity doesn't make people assholes, people failing to exercise empathy for people they can't put a face to makes them assholes. It's perhaps a subtle distinction, but one that makes all the difference.

Far better to simply encourage people to remember that whoever they're typing at is a person far more like themselves than different.
 

CannibalCorpses

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The Snark said:
CannibalCorpses said:
Well, i can see only 1 solution that might work and that is to make all your comments and actions on the internet be tied to you as a person so that you can be prosecuted for the crimes you commit...in text form. It's anonymity that causes most people to say the things they do, not genuine animosity. They rant and rave because there is no punishment to acting that way...so that is what you need to change to make them stop. I don't think putting my name, address and telephone number on everything i write is the answer because i think that would put vulnerable people at even more risk but i do think some sort of serial code registration with your government to allow you access to speak in forums etc might be worthwhile. Of course i can see problems with that but fuck it, what we have at the moment is a mess so any change would be good if for nothing more than to gauge what actually works and what fails. We could even change the system used every year or so to stop the criminal element of society having enough time to exploit the system for their own nefarious deeds. I am currently unsure how we could stop the government from abusing the system for their own needs though...
Crimes you commit in text form, eh? Going to have to be very very precise with what qualifies for that- or rather hope whoever implements the system you envision does- because that could very easily become 'Disagreeing with the rich and powerful' in practice.
Just like the real world already is...we should aim for more from the virtual.
 

Caffiene

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CannibalCorpses said:
i do think some sort of serial code registration with your government to allow you access to speak in forums etc might be worthwhile
As you mentioned, theres the problem of how to make sure the governments involved dont misuse the idea. In particular, its probably not so much of a problem in places like the US and other western countries (at least currently), but imagine what the current Russian government, or the chinese or north korean governments, might do with such as a system. It essentially is an internet-wide active censorship system that relies on trust in the government to work correctly. I wouldnt even trust my own government (australia) not to abuse it to at least some degree.

-

As for the OP, I agree with the people saying that "dont feed the trolls" is in fact one of the best strategies. As a recent study thats been in the news has shown - online trolls (or at least those who are willing to identify themselves as one in a survey) score highly on measures of genuine psychopathy, sadism and narcissism. These are not reasonable people, and any kind of attention whether positive or negative is exactly what they are aiming for.

Thats not to say it works straight away. It can require as much work as other strategies such as arguing or calling them out. But in my experience the end result is more successful.

The best solution is a combination, at least on a community by community basis, of "dont feed the trolls" and a strong moderation presence. Normal community members stick to the idea of dont feed the trolls, and if somebody is being harassed they report it to the mods and where someone has gone far enough over the line theyre simply removed from the community with no fanfare or attention.
 

The_Darkness

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Caffiene said:
CannibalCorpses said:
i do think some sort of serial code registration with your government to allow you access to speak in forums etc might be worthwhile
As you mentioned, theres the problem of how to make sure the governments involved dont misuse the idea. In particular, its probably not so much of a problem in places like the US and other western countries (at least currently), but imagine what the current Russian government, or the chinese or north korean governments, might do with such as a system. It essentially is an internet-wide active censorship system that relies on trust in the government to work correctly. I wouldnt even trust my own government (australia) not to abuse it to at least some degree.
I've been tossing up over this idea. If it's the sort of thing that would require a court order for your serial code to be linked to you, maybe - but it's still a bit much power to be trusting various governments with.

As for the OP, I agree with the people saying that "dont feed the trolls" is in fact one of the best strategies. As a recent study thats been in the news has shown - online trolls (or at least those who are willing to identify themselves as one in a survey) score highly on measures of genuine psychopathy, sadism and narcissism. These are not reasonable people, and any kind of attention whether positive or negative is exactly what they are aiming for.
Hmm. I think I might edit the OP.

I agree that "Don't feed the trolls" works well on an individual basis. I usually give a single response along the lines of "That's uncalled for, I'm going to ignore you from now on," if I feel someone is being needlessly nasty to me online - which is pretty much me just telling the trolls that I'm not going to feed them.

But if someone is facing down an entire campaign of harassment - that's doxxing, death threats, the works - I don't think a simple lack of engagement is going to help. Jennifer Hepler, for example. As far as I'm aware, she didn't engage - she just got targeted.

I am beginning to conclude that a major part of all this is that Twitter needs better moderation. Somehow.
 

Thaluikhain

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The_Darkness said:
I am beginning to conclude that a major part of all this is that Twitter needs better moderation. Somehow.
Yeah...apparently, Twitter is actually supposed to be moderated, only in practice they don't seem to care.
 

The Snark

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Would still like to stress the value of keeping calm. We all get something of a natural high out of getting angry, making it ever tempting.

Consider that while getting angry can be fun, it's also funny to watch someone set themselves on fire in an effort to spite you in their rage. Also a bit sad. Never be that idiot.

If your anger isn't under your control, it's under someone else's.
 

Something Amyss

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Thorn14 said:
I will never understand why people spend so much effort responding to every troll on Twitter.
I'm not sure why you think you're all that different. Your posts on here are often histrionic misinterpretations you seem to feel you need to defend gamerdom from. How is that different from "feeding the trolls," especially if you actually do believe your responses are to legit criticism rather than windmill tilting?

1Life0Continues said:
One of the things a lot of people don't seem to fully grasp is the far reaching repercussions that harassment and other 'it's just the Internet' activities actually cause.
And this generally won't change until it happens to them or someone they know. Because it's easy to dismiss something theoretical. Unless they believe it could happen to them.

thaluikhain said:
Yeah...apparently, Twitter is actually supposed to be moderated, only in practice they don't seem to care.
Facebook is frequently same.
 

Mouser_House

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dragoongfa said:
Being someone who had to bear through harassment in his life I think that I can give my two cents. (...)
Thank you for sharing this.

Isolated online echo chambers seem perfect breeding grounds for ideological extremists. Guess I'd really much rather get insulted by perfect strangers than to sit in a room all day talking to a handful of people who already agree with me on everything.

Suppose the opposite may be true as well. Will other parts of the internet breed people who are completely desensitized, irreverent and dispassionate?
 

CpT_x_Killsteal

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From what I've seen, online harassment mainly happens in the form of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The only ideas that would be feasible to curb harassment in these public arenas, is strict punishment and enforcement of the most blatant crimes. Things like doxxing and threats in anyway shape or form should be punished with something on the level of a 3-strike rule: one week ban, one month ban, perma-ban. This would stop the majority of the nutters from doing/saying shitty things.

This rule shouldn't include comments like "you're a ****" or "fuck you" though. It should be up to the individual to block these types of messages, as their severity and intent is always up for interpretation. Individuals should just block these people.

Another would be a system that blocks all comments directed at you from people you don't know (haven't "added"). I believe Facebook already has this, I'm not sure about twitter.

And yet another idea would be a language filter to block out comments that use certain words, to block swearing, racist slurs, etc. (this is an optional feature a person could enable of course)
Maybe even make it customizable, so people can put their own words into the filter.
 

Erttheking

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One of the few things we can do is stop accepting it. Stop saying "Oh it's just part of the internet, what did you expect." If you do that, you're treating it as normal, and if something is thought of and treated as normal, it makes it harder to get rid of something. Call it out where you see it and don't just stand by. It's not gonna be one big battle but a million small ones.
 

Grimrider6

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CannibalCorpses said:
The Snark said:
that could very easily become 'Disagreeing with the rich and powerful' in practice.
Just like the real world already is...we should aim for more from the virtual.
I'm not sure you're aware that this is not actually a good thing...

OT: I really do believe the more we rely on technological and legal solutions as be-all-end-all fixes for human problems, the more miserable we'll make each other vis-a-vis abuse, misapplication, or circumvention.

I do think the best solution is also the most difficult one... to create a sense of community in online forums and spaces with norms and standards, and encourage users to stand in solidarity against any and all abuse. Admins can do their best to log IPs and block out offenders, but the solutions need to be human to be lasting.
 

Thorn14

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Zachary Amaranth said:
Thorn14 said:
I will never understand why people spend so much effort responding to every troll on Twitter.
I'm not sure why you think you're all that different. Your posts on here are often histrionic misinterpretations you seem to feel you need to defend gamerdom from. How is that different from "feeding the trolls," especially if you actually do believe your responses are to legit criticism rather than windmill tilting?
I'd like to believe I'm actually having a discussion on these forums with good people who simply disagree with me and not random trolls.

If someone just said "lol whatever nerd" I'd just ignore them or laugh.
 

Daverson

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The only way you can really stop this is to remove anomynimity anonominity animinomono the ability for people to act anonymously on the web. I really think at the end of the day that's going to do more harm than good. Even if you could solve the problem of twitter, to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum's character from Jurassic Park "Arseholes always find a way."

Grin, bear it, don't give into the temptation to be a dick when you have the chance, and hope to set an example for everyone else? It might catch on...
 

Something Amyss

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Thorn14 said:
I'd like to believe I'm actually having a discussion on these forums with good people who simply disagree with me and not random trolls.
How do you reconcile that with hysterically posting articles and misrepresenting them? That's not discussion.