Twitter and Bullying – What Can Victims Do?

Twitter, certainly one of the top 5 social networking sites, is becoming an increasingly popular destination for bullies. While Twitter is a wonderful resource for consuming information – news, opinion, what’s hot – and many people use it as such, many users are instead on the site to broadcast information – their personal thoughts and opinions or a running commentary of what is going on. The thirdparent twitterlatter type of user, an attention seeker or aspiring entertainer, uses Twitter as a big megaphone, and wants to be heard.

What better platform for a bully? After all, bulling increases in effectiveness (in the eye of the bully) if more people are able to see how strong or clever he can be while humiliating someone else. Add to that the fact that since Twitter allows pseudonyms, the bully can if he chooses remain anonymous, which appeals to a different, more cowardly, kind of bully.

Let’s say you are the one being bullied. What can you do about it?

  1. Ignore it – Your friends and family know that truth about you. There is no need to respond to the haters if you can ignore it.
  2. Block the bullyTwitter allows you to block users so that there tweets, mentions and direct messages don’t make it to your feed or view your profile.
  3. Fight back – Either by yourself or with a group of your friends, inform the bully via Twitter that the taunts and insults are not having an effect.
  4. Report it to a parent – You can talk to your parents about it if it makes you feel better, but they are not likely able to do anything to remedy the situation.
  5. Report it to your school – This is a better solution. Many states have laws requiring schools to take action to stop bullying. In the event that your school can’t help or the bullying is anonymous try option 6.
  6. Report it to Twitter – Twitter takes bullying very seriously, as their policy on harassment and violent threats outlines. In any cases of bullying or harassment, but especially if the bully is anonymous, fell free to report it to Twitter. Twitter has a good history of taking down accounts guilty of bullying. ProTip: have your friends report the account as well. The more people that report it, the quicker it will get taken down.

Bullying in high school doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. Bullying on Twitter is a new version of the same old thing. It’s important that students know they can do something about it.

 

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