How to Catch a Cyber-Bully

This post is dedicated to three men. Three New Zealand men, who I’ve never met before.

Mr Mark Stevens – who sent me the following private message on Facebook after reading my blog post about the Mad Butcher.

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Mr John Paul Latu, and Mr Jordan Lee. Who wrote the following messages to me in a public comments facebook discussion:

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Firstly, and most importantly I would like to make the following VERY clear:

I am NOT an idiot (Mr Mark Stevens), I am NOT a ‘doll’ (Mr John Paul Latu)

You may use language like that when you are engaging with people in your life but I certainly don’t. So don’t use it with me.

Now given the tenor and degenerative language used in each of the messages received from Mr Lee, Mr Latu and Mr Stevens I thought it might be timely to write a sequel to the piece I wrote about cyber-bullying for Metro Magazine ‘Bully Basher‘ a little while ago.  So consider this Bully Basher – Part II in that I only have two more things to say about this:

Message 1: To the Bullies 

Writing personal attacks and using hateful language doesn’t add value to your argument. It doesnt make you look intelligent and if anything it diminishes the ideas you are putting across and makes you look silly, spiteful and foolish. No one wants to look like any of those things so if you have something meaningful to say – use your brain (switch it on, take a moment to think and reflect – tick tock) and then write down something that ‘adds’ to the discussion. Puffing out air via a keyboard for airs sake doesn’t add to an online discussion. There is enough rubbish online for us all to have to sift through, if you are going to add to a discussion please make sure what you have to say is worthwhile, thoughtful and considered. I don’t think that’s too much to ask?

Message 2: To Everyone Else

Cyber-Bullies tend to be lurkers. They either send private messages (like Mr Stevens) or they write some mindless personal attack – like John Paul Latu and Jordan Lee – buried in a comments section or via twitter. Where – to their relief – normally any direct response to them gets buried (so it becomes a ‘one on one’ you vs them battle). My advice is to SCREENSHOT the hell out of the messages and post them with only one comment. “This” That’s all you need to do. Others will see what you see. And the Bully? Well they just get held account in a very public way. And why shouldn’t they? They made a public comment. If it’s justified, let them justify it – to the masses, not just to you.

None of us are asking for more than a little bit of #respect whether online or in person. I think that’s more than reasonable and anyone who thinks otherwise should probably re-read and consider Message 1, again.