My advice to anyone with trolls is to ignore them.. attention is what fuels their fire so they’ll soon move on when they can’t find any engagement. However, last week, I ignored my own advice when someone trolled me on Periscope. They’re still a little bit rife on that app – my block list is over 20 now – but this particular one just made me so cross, I thought for once, I wouldn’t just leave it alone.
I was doing a live Periscope interview and he joined it adding in abusive and unpleasant comments – when you’re doing a live broadcast, it’s really difficult to a) ask questions, b) listen to the answers, c) respond to comments and then.. d) block trolls! There is the facility to block there and then but there was just too much going on so I just had to ignore at the time. So when the interview was finished I found him on playback and jotted down his name. Especially thick Periscope trolls have yet to realise that their Twitter name pops up in their Periscope bio, so finding him was very easy. I then sent out a Tweet that outed him as a troll. I left it at that until the next day when I found he’d left abusive comments on Twitter. I’d screen-grabbed everything of course. What he didn’t know, and I told him there and then, was that I know where he lives, his job and exactly where he works (it’s all on his Twitter). His place of employment has a Facebook page. There aren’t many employers who will take direct evidence of employee abusive conduct, especially if it’s plastered all over their FB.
Bottom line is you have never seen anyone move so quick – he blocked me everywhere in the hopes that somehow that would make him invisible. It hasn’t. When I did a Periscope about this, commenters said that I should tell his employers…and do the uploads. But I haven’t and I won’t. It seems like too strong a reaction to potentially wreck his career over this – I am satisfied that at any point, I always could. Everyone who is present on social will have at some point found themselves at the blunt end of a troll… it’s not like this is the first time for me and I am fairly immune. But I felt so angry that it was insulting to the person that I was interviewing (I think and hope they are still completely oblivious to all of this) that I just wanted to see what could happen when I did stand up for myself.
So, what do you think? It seems to me like a huge escalation to bring it to the attention of his employers, but on the other hand, maybe he does this to other people habitually, and more aggressively and graphically than he did to me, and in the way that internet can make things feel out of proportion, the recipients feel afraid and upset. It’s tricky, isn’t it? Which is why I’d love to get your views. It is possible, although this time it was ridiculously easy, to track people – but should we bother?
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A tricky one.
It might be enough to scare someone enough to leave you alone and maybe that person will learn a lesson? But, keep the info in case they don’t.
It’s easy for me to say when I haven’t experienced this activity though.
Its human nature to snap and answer back. Revenge is a dish best served cold. I would wait and see if he it trying this vile behavior with others, if so shop him.
Someone very wise told me to calmly say your bit and then back away to let the flames die down. <3 x
I personally wouldn’t go to his employers, I think that might be a step too far. No harm in him knowing that you could do, it might make him think twice before doing it again. Some people have really crappy lives, maybe that’s what drives this sort of behaviour.
You do what feels right to you, whatever that may be. 🙂
Maybe bring it to the attention of the Police through their non emergency line on 101.
You can always choose not to take things further (and just leave the record with them for information) but then if the troll causes problems in the future and someone else reports him, there is more of a case slowly building against him. And as you say you don’t know what the troll has done to others, and the impact that they have had.
Cyber crime is taken a lot more seriously these days.
Good luck with figuring out what you want to do.
I wouldn’t bring it to the attention of the employers. If it ruined his career, I would be afraid of his backlash against you! I don’t understand these types of people who are internet trolls… they must lead sad and miserable lives, that’s all I can think. It sounds like you really scared him, though, so maybe that would be enough to make him stop!
Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup
Reading the above situation; I used to be the type of person that would wreck havoc in a blink of an eye whenever someone crosses me but now I feel that yes, although these ‘trolls’ will say cruel things that would hurt someone, we shouldn’t stoop to their level. When a troll “trolls” you (which is totally different from giving constructive criticism) or attacks something you’re passionate about, I find that it says much more about them than what their message is. It just makes me want to give them a hug out of pity because they’d stoop that low and would take so much time and effort to make someone else feed bad. Makes me wonder in my mind if they themselves are insecure. Anyways, yeah I’d ignore them.
Exactly what previous commenters have said it’s not worth it but always good to have the info nonetheless. You’re so much better than that sad trolls rise above it they’re not worth it x
If he threatened violence or made you feel unsafe then tell the police. If not, then I’d keep the info and keep an eye on his behaviour in case it escalates towards others. Good luck.
I agree with Vanessa. And it’s not about revenge. I hope as adults, we’re all above such notions.
No, I’m not going to … I don’t feel I need revenge or anything at all like that.. I think he had enough of a fright that he was so easy to find.
I would certainly tell the police. Why should you have to scare someone into behaving like a decent human being when they obviously aren’t. Why should they get away with it? These people are such sad cowards.
It wasn’t really a police issue – I think the main thing is it wasn’t threatening.. just aggressively unpleasant.
Jane, here’s a page that gives a brief overview of the laws that currently cover Cyber bullying. Even if you dont report to the police on this occasion, it’s still something to bear in mind should it ever happen again
Yes, revenge is a dish best served cold. Capture as much information as you can at the time (like what you’ve done) and store it away. Make a considered response. Unfortunately, the true Troll cant stop themselves, so if he really wants to make trouble, he’ll do it again. They’re also not that bright (they bully because they dont have the brains to engage in a more appropriate manner) so he’ll slip up and make it easy to identify himself.
I’m a vengeful person so I’d have definitely informed his employers of his repugnant behaviour, there’s absolutely no need for someone to be so obtrusive. Different strokes for different folks though, I guess?
I think it’ll just make him a “smarter” troll in future? but I’d be worried about what he will do to you if his crappy life is ruined, some people just don’t have anything better to do…this is a hard one.
Jane, Google Charlotte Dawson. This is sadly what can happen to someone bullied by cyber trolls. I would have outed the ball less wonder but that’s me. I also don’t agree with the term troll. A troll is out to create mischief and have a bit of fun, these people are bullies, plain simple gutless bullies. I think I tweeted the article of how most of these idiots are socio-paths to you once some time ago! Well done for handling yourself so well! xx
Oh my..that’s so sad. x
You know she outed her trolls all the time, one was dismissed from her job at a Uni but later reinstated because she was cleared of misconduct. I just hope it scared her enough into stopping. I hope what you’ve done will do the same. x
Perhaps not his employers, but maybe outing him on Twitter?
I’d like to block his sorry arse.
Everyone makes mistakes and he deserves a second chance. You’ve made him aware of what a horror he was being and hopefully he has learned his lesson. If he does it again then shop him out, but hopefully he is not so stupid and has learned his lesson. I bet he is panicking a bit now. Good. Let him panick!
If this guy has time to troll he’s clearly NOT working/doing his job so his employer has a right to know their staff aren’t doing what they are being paid for! As long as he’s not named/involved his company in the conversations I doubt they could sack him but he does need to be told to get on with his job. As a line manager I had probs with people being on the net instead of doing their work and it’s a real pain.
Have you read Lindy West’s experience in confronting her troll? http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/02/what-happened-confronted-cruellest-troll-lindy-west Trolls just don’t think of people online as being humans and just like them.
that’s such a good article..thank you so much for sharing it.
He clearly isn’t the brightest troll under the bridge if he behaves like that but his personal security is so poor. Especially given so many employers check potential employees social media histories!
It does make me sad to think that we could all be interacting with people like that every day, as there seem to be so many of them – as you’ve found, holding down jobs and probably seeming perfectly normal to people they work with. I’ve never understood bullying of any sort, and the internet seems to have freed up so many of them.
This happened to my colleague who was being obnoxious on Twitter. The other party gave our work Twitter account a heads up via a DM and was dealt with discreetly and colleague realised what could be at stake and calmed down considerably. Of course as another person has mentioned, trolls do get smarter and colleague has now removed work details from profile but it would be easy to work it out.
You bet your arse I would shop him to his employer. If he’s old enough to have a job he’s old enough to behave like an adult.
Jane – God bless him he doesn’t sound like the brightest spark in the plug given how much personal information he put out there. However I would consider doing something such as Hikki described. He’s certainly an eejit but one that needs a reality check big time
As an employer in a small organisation, this is something I’d like to know.
Difficult to judge without knowing what was posted. If he works in the same industry I can see that it is an issue for his boss. Otherwise find a pugnacious Solicitor to send him a letter telling him to stop harassing you or else.
If it was threats that should go to the police otherwise I would have seen if his mum was on his facebook/twitter etc that you could see and send the screenshots to her. I would hesitate to go to an employer although posting the pics and tagging him and his employer would be less aggressive (& not look like you were trying to destroy him-although as I don’t know what was said that may be appropriate) but give them the opportunity to see what kind of thing he does online. I would be worried going directly to the employer could tie me up in court even though ultimately I think you’d win I feel like vile people would do other things to make life difficult even though you were doing the right thing/trying to protect yourself and others.
anyway, next time look for their mum. I can’t imagine that not being far worse a punishment and more effective for changing future behaviour. 🙂
*I realized I didn’t say I think the mum thing works at any age. I am guessing at 30 or 40 it would actually be worse to get a telling off and having a parent find out you are more than a bit of an ass and mean to boot.
I understand that the mum thing might be effective but I don’t think you should do that. Imagine how hurtful it would be for his mum to find out about his behaviour. Maybe she’s not that sort of person, but I don’t think she deserves to be punished for his behaviour. Besides, if he really is such an ass, he probably has made her life difficult enough as it is.
I’m sorry to hear about your unfortunate Periscope experience.
I had that happen to me years ago on a blogging site. Some troll left some extremely rude remarks on my blog, and it was really horrible. I ended up reporting the troll to the blogging site, citing examples of what the person had said, as well as examples of some of the vile things the person had listed in the interests section of their own blog. I haven’t had a peep since.
If such a button exists, my recommendation would be to report the person to Periscope.