Navigate the realm of cyber trolls, bullies


S Indramalar

CNA – When you post content to social media platforms – an idea, a story, a photo or a video – you invariably expose yourself to differing opinions, negative comments and even, unfortunately, trolling or to bullying.

The freedom that social media allows us to share and view content goes hand in hand with the freedom that users have to comment, especially if the posting is made on an open platform.

However, this freedom does not extend to cyberbullying and harassment, both of which are illegal.

So while we can’t control what people say in their comments on our posts, know that we can control how we respond or react, said the Dean of the Faculty of Psychology and Social Sciences, Associate Professor from Cyberjaya University, Dr. Anasuya Jegathevi Jegathesan. .

“When you post things on open social media platforms, you expose yourself to random comments – negative or positive. So if you post, you must have the mental fortitude to delete, block or ignore comments that may be negative.

Just like in real life, some people on social media will just be negative and take random photos – trolls.

“What you can do is ignore or delete these comments. Learn how to manage these comments. Or, if you can’t, put your content on a private space reserved for people you know will support you,” she advised.

Or disable comments on your posts. But for those whose livelihood depends on the number of visits, likes or comments on their feed, this may not be a viable option.

“You have to balance the need for feedback and engagement with taking charge of your own well-being and self-esteem,” Dr. Anasuya said, “You engage on social media because you want that reply and you can’t disable comments because your numbers may go down.

“Know that what you want and what you need are two different things. Comments may be good for your stats, but they may not be good for your self-esteem.

“So I would suggest that someone first review your comments for you,” she offered. If this bothers you, ask for help.

Just recently, a 44-year-old woman, unable to put up with online harassment on her social media feed, decided to take her own life. Her family said the private guardian and mother of three could not stand the negative comments and harassment on the videos she posted on her TikTok feed.

Two years ago, a 20-year-old woman in Penang left a suicide note explaining that she was killing herself over a viral video that ridiculed her and spread lies about an alleged relationship with a colleague. She was engaged and about to get married at the time. Not everyone has the ability to handle or ignore negative comments or harassment from trolls or bullies, Dr Anasuya said.

Those unable to remove negativity from their feed need to reach out for help, she said, and these comments could be the tipping point for something bigger affecting them.

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