Trolling can sometimes be confused with Cyber Bullying. A troll is an internet user who anonymously starts arguments, or makes negative, hurtful, or inflammatory comments about another internet user in an online community like social media and gaming platforms. Their intention is not to bully or harass but simply to provoke an emotional response from others. They are often not known to the person being trolled and are simply just looking for a reaction or to disrupt the flow of conversation.
To protect yourself from a troll, see these simple recommended steps:
- Ignore — don’t respond to trolling comments, this only gives the troll power.
- Block — blocking a troll will also take their power away. If they come back with a different name, keep blocking them.
- Report — repeated trolling can be reported to website administrators or social media service, they are obliged to block any content deemed as cyber bullying.
If the trolling behaviour continues and is repeated, then it becomes cyber bullying. Talk to a trusted friend or adult. Report it to the social media site. It is now Australian legislation that social media services must take down material believed to be cyber bullying. In the settings of most social media sites there will be a link to report cyber bullying.
If the social media site does not handle this situation you can report it to the Office of the Children’s Esafety Commissioner here.
If a friend needs protection from a troll or you know someone who is being cyber bullied, then share this information with them!
If you are worried that someone is trolling your child, talk to your Cybersafe Families consultant for advice and support to help protect your children online at home.