Harassment on social media
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Harassment on social media by internet trolls
Harassment on social media tends to take a special turn when it comes to harassing a celebrity and professional people who are in the public eye. The reason for this is often jealousy, anger and frustration by the trolls who feel that that life had treated them unfairly.
Internet trolls tend to be highly frustrated individuals who believe that life has wronged them and that the success of their victim is unfair and unjust. The frustration often leads to various forms of social media harassment, including trolling, cyberstalking, defamation, pile on harassment or cyberbullying. In each and every case it is important for us to understand who we are dealing with, the person’s background and what precisely could be causing them to commit social media harassment. This understanding will enable us to resolve social media harassment cases fast and in a cost-effective manner.
How you handle harassment on social media would depend on the type of person you are, on your individual sensitivities and on the particular manner by which you are being harassed on social media. The routine advice for celebrities who suffer from harassment on social media is to delete, block, mute and report people on social media that you consider to be trolls. Trolls may creep in time and time again and if and when it happens, you are advised to ignore them.
Sadly, online trolls know this advice already and many online trolls network among themselves and gives tips about how online trolls can gain infamy by targeting public figures. So, once they see that the target has gone to the media, with their online trolling issue, the trolls have succeeded in their mission. How it works is that these propagandists, within their small cluster networks, coordinate plans to isolate and perform mass attacks of hatefilled, slurring comments on public figures. They will create a hateful hashtag to go alongside the attack.
When the public figure or celebrity goes to the media with their trolling story, the hateful hashtag is picked up by the media and spread and thus, the trolling amplification and a stunt success result is achieved by the trolling networks, which had no influence on the broader public beforehand. They would simply not succeed without the assistance of the media. If you are a public figure, you should consider whether it is a good idea to post to the world the fact that you are being targeted by online trolls and harassed on social media. Despite the pain, if possible, often the best course of action is to carry on business as usual and to seek legal advice from a lawyer who specialises in harassment on social media. By starving the propogandist trolls of their 'mass-assault', they don't win and you get a breathing space to take legal action to remove them from your life.
What if the online trolling abuse has already happened and you are in the midst of it and you are feeling low, depressed and full of anxiety and don't know where to turn?
You still need to deal with the harassment on social media as it is unlikely to go away by itself.
Firstly, take a big, deep breath. It is not your fault that you are being harassed on social media, despite what the trolls say about you.
Try not to take it personally. Whoever posted the abuse, it is likely that deep inside, they had wish they were you, as envy is the most common motivator for harassment on social media. Online trolls cannot physically hurt you, they can only affect your wellbeing and perhaps, in the short term cause your income to be reduced. Don't respond to harassment on social media. Trolls crave responses. Don't give them that pleasure. Starve them. Don't delete evidence. Screenshot or PDF everything. Report to the platform but first preserve the evidence. Report your social media harassers to the police although don’t hold your breath. If the police say it isn't anything they can help with, tell them that it is a criminal offence: harassment.
Take legal advice about the situation you are facing, but only from a lawyer who knows the topic well. If you decide to talk to us at Cohen Davis, we will support you throughout the process and in most cases will act in the background to protect you and your interests. In most cases, if you decided to take legal action against your internet trolls, we will still stay in the background and will take steps to protect your anonymity through the legal process.
Often, it is a matter of days or a few weeks from when we become involved with harassment on social media cases until we are able to give our client a freedom pass. Our lawyers assist individuals who are in the public eye and who have become targets of online trolling on a daily basis. If you rely on social media for your business, we can protect your identity and bring the perpetrators to justice, in a private hearing, allowing you to continue without the hype and attention of the media.