Teen Angst

Helping adolescents deal with anger and other emotions effectively

Trolling or Cyberbullying? Or Both?

Is trolling another form of cyberbullying?

Is trolling a form of cyberbullying? There sure are a lot of similarities. Both are explored in more detail below; you can be the judge and the jury. Are they one in the same or two totally different things? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.


Trolling

Trolling is internet slang for a person who intentionally starts arguments or upsets others by posting inflammatory remarks. The sole purpose of trolling is angering people. It has been compared to flaming in cyberbullying. Plus, many people who troll think what they do is an "art". They frequently hide behind a cloak of anonymity. The symbol for trolling is a black and white drawing of a face with a mischievous grin, which is symbolic of the expression someone is making while trolling victims.

Purpose

  • To be a source of entertainment for the troller
  • To be offensive and argumentative
  • To derive pleasure from annoying the hell out of others
  • To scour the internet for bait (a.k.a. you)
  • To get attention
  • To feel powerful
  • To gain recognition
  • To upset the victim

  

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What to do if you've been trolled:

The best advice for dealing with being trolled is to ignore rather than engage with a troll. In other words, "Please do not feed the trolls."

Cyberbullying:    

Cyberbullying is deliberate and repeated harm inflicted through using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, or mobile phones.

Purpose

  • To get revenge
  • To feel empowered
  • To gain popularity
  • To harass and threaten
  • To be offensive
  • To humiliate
  • To intimidate
  • To upset the victim

What to do if you are a victim of cyberbullying:

  • Don't respond. If you don't respond they may get bored and search for another victim. Plus, if the person who is cyberbullying is anonymous, responding will do no good because these individuals don't know when to stop.  
  • Block the person(s). Change your social networking settings to prevent the person who is cyberbullying from accessing your personal information on your profile. If need be change your user name and passwords.
  • Keep a record of the derogatory remarks, just in case you need them as evidence. So save screenshots, posts, etc. that you can use in the event that you need to take it to the next step, i.e., legal action.
  • Be selective about what you post. Don't post information online that someone can use against you.

 

What to do if you have been victimized by trolling or cyberbullying:

Report it: If you are a teen tell a family member or another trusted adult about what has happened and how it is affecting you. Next, report to site providers. How to report abuse on some of the most popular social networking sites can be found by activating the links below:

Reporting abuse to Facebook® 

>Report abuse to Facebook®

 Reporting abuse to Twitter® 

>Report abuse to Twitter®

Reporting abuse to YouTube® 

>Report abuse to YouTube®

Reporting abuse to Snapchat® 

>Report abuse to Snapchat®

Reporting abuse to Ask.fm®

>Report abuse to Ask.fm®

Reporting abuse to Flickr®

>Report abuse to Flickr®

Reporting abuse to Pinterest®

>Report abuse to Pinterest®

Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, M.S., L.P.C., is the author of The Anger Workbook for Teens.

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