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Dealing with abuse on Twitter

4
Suzanne
I know that there is bullying on all social media and it isn't just Twitter but I wanted to concentrate on Twitter for now because that's where my daughter has most recently been suffering with bullying and abuse. What is the best way to deal with abuse on Twitter?
5
GamerGirl
Unfortunately Twitter is a hot bed for vile abuse from trolls and general sexist low life's! It's a shame because in principal twitter is an incredible platform and as a micro blogging site is an incredible tool. Twitter have come a long way recently in the fight against online abuse and have introduced many security features such as blocking, muting, reporting tools and a help centre containing links to various organisations (including 2 to Cybersmile!) so we can't say they aren't trying. I think the best thing to do is make sure that you are aware of the safety policies and the correct ways to block and report abusive twitter users. Cybersmile has a fantastic section on many social networks including twitter here www.cybersmile.org/advice-help/category/social-networks I hope this helps Suzanne.
4
CybersmileTeam
This is a great topic Suzanne so thank you for starting it. What you might not know about us is that we are partners with Twitter so we are always right up to date with their safety policies and tools! GamerGirl has given you a useful link to our support section for Apps & Social Networks but I'm going to give you a link directly to the twitter section for your ease of use. In there you'll find information on what to do if you're being abused and also information on twitter and how it's meant to be used. If you have any issues on Twitter or any other platform remember we offer 24 hour cyberbullying support, just email [email protected] and you'll be allocated a fully trained support advisor. Here's your link to our Twitter advice page www.cybersmile.org/advice-help/category/twitter Good luck!
4
Frank
I think Twitter struggle with the sheer numbers of posts, millions per day! I realise they can't moderate every comment but they should have something in place for users who are abused. I know that earlier this year they changed the abuse reporting procedures to be more effective but I have not heard how this has improved the situation. Has anybody tried to report abuse recently on twitter that could tell us about their experiences?
4
Jules92
I think that blocking other accounts is a good way, but sometimes people just open another one and then continue the abuse. People shouldn't have to keep blocking other users all the time and Twitter should ban problem IP addresses from the platform all together!
3
SuperDad
I can undestand your concern with abuse and sexism on twitter because we see so much of it in the media but it's worth remembering that bullying is present on virtually every single platform where people interact. I've even heard of cyberbullying on Club Penguin! In terms of coping with cyberbullying specifically on Twitter I think the best thing is to check the Cybersmile advice sections and follow the advice in there. Rule number one though is 'don't retaliate' because it only makes things worse!
1
Petula
Managing your own account, as in knowing how to block and mute is helpful. I don't think many people actually know how to do this effectively so it is worth checking out the safety features that are available on Twitter before you start Twitting!!!
1
JoDragon
Checking out safety features is defiantly a good idea. The thing with twitter is that it's designed to be a public outlet of what you decide to post. Not something I'd recommend for young people to be honest as everything is in the open and so are you.

Facebook on the other hand can be kept completely private and even unsearchable. Unless there's something specific on twitter that happens not to be on Facebook, I just wouldn't use it...
2
heidilynnrussell
Hey Suzanne,
I'm a little late to this discussion but am on Twitter (a lot!) and thought I'd share my most recent strategy for dealing with trolls/bullies:

Snap out a witty one-liner to abusive tweets, tag the person, and then immediately block them.

The reason I take this particular approach is that although ignoring someone and blocking them will insulate you ... it also means that no one really else knows about the troll unless they are following the discussion. So by tagging the troll, it highlights to my Twitter followers that they should avoid this person and also choose to block.

My current line to any mean-spirited remark (or anything designed to incite an emotional response) is this:

"You're lucky I'm not allowed to do magic outside of Hogwarts, Troll. #Blocked"

Tag them in the tweet, block them, and then others follow suit.

I'm coming up with some other lines ... I like my little strategy at the moment, because it puts a smile on my face, lightens up the situation and ... I would like to think ... throws them for a loop of their own.

Now if your daughter is dealing with a gang of bullies on Twitter, my advice is to put her account in "protected" status until you figure out where they're coming from (are they at her school? church youth group? etc.). If they are a group of kids that she knows locally, it's good to lock down the account for only a few people that you know and trust and then go straight to those kids' parents and deal with it head on.

Hope this helps a little. XO
2
Suzanne

In reply to heidilynnrussell

Thanks so much Heidi this is great (and thank you to everybody else too!). I've learnt so much from all your different views. I'll be much more active on here again now as I've got a bit more time spare!
1
heidilynnrussell

In reply to Suzanne

PS Suzanne, recently I have modified my one-line responses to trolls on Twitter. My latest line is, "Don't hate. Meditate. #Troll #Blocked."

Or, if you just want to alert people without even talking to the troll, reply to the troll with the two words/ hashtags: "#Troll. #Blocked."

That actually would be more than sufficient, come to think of it! :-D
2
Suzanne

In reply to heidilynnrussell

Thanks for the tip, I'm going to try it!