Speak to anyone that has any kind of following on Social Media, no matter how small, and I can pretty much guarantee they have had a negative comment on one of their channels. BUT!! When it becomes more than one negative comment or “difference of opinion” then what?
The internet and Social Media can be such an amazingly wonderful place to be, all this technology at our fingertips that allows us to connect with people in ways we never could before. However, as with most things, technology can have an awful downside that can affect peoples lives, mental health and wellbeing.
What many people don’t know about me is that for pretty much the whole time I have had my blog, 7 years, I have been in the line of fire of online trolls. But these are not just any, random online troll, these are a group of women that just cannot get over the fact I do, what I do for a living. Some may call it jealousy, some may call it sadness, I call it damn right evil. My crime…. being a Beauty Blogger – I mean can you imgaine! These trolls hate the fact that I receive beauty products from brands. To them and their misguided, usually “Friday night shandy infused minds”, I receive product for free. Now, anyone in this industry knows no product is ever sent for free. But, we can get into that another time or you can read this post HERE.
I have got where I am in my career through hard work, late nights, long working weekends, and building the trust of my wonderful, wonderful audience, readers, followers and brands. Sadly though, there are those that will just dislike you and the thought of you for mearley breathing.
It’s not just name calling… i’ve been called fat, ugly, a frog(pah!), ignorant, arrogant, uneducated, a c**t, a blagger, a freud and many, many things. Those things I can handle, I mean….you can’t please all the people all of the time, but when these trolls go out of their way to screen shot videos from my Instagram stories and edit them to make them look like something different? Or make up stories so wildly inaccurate… or email, message, dm or tag you in posts to brands on social media and contact brands I work with, slagging me off and telling untruths…then that’s a whole other level of Trolling. Now I am talking about trolling to bloggers but if you are being trolled on your normal, day to day feed, by anyone, you can follow some of the points i have listed below.
But what exactly is a TROLL? An internet troll is someone that starts arguments with or posts slanderous, defamatory or down right upsetting lies and untruths about another person, in order to harm their reputation or cause an emotional reaction for their own pleasure. It is a psycological problem within themselves to make others feel bad. They feed off provoking a reaction and the moment of “popularity” it gives them within their group of “Troll Friends”. They make up complete untruths and spout them off so confidently that in their own head they actually believe what they are saying is fact. They are disturbed. But, what you may not know is these people are perfectly capable of having a lovely, normal life, holding down perfectly professional jobs and being lovely people on the outside. They could be your friend, husband, wife, son, daughter, sister, and you may never know that they are capable of doing this, until its too late. Put them in front of a keyboard under a pseuydoname however, and they become a ” Keyboard Warrior”
These people have trolled me at times when I have been seriously, seriously ill in hospital, times when I have been nursing my mum through a heart attack, my dad through dementia or times I should have been celebrating exceptional moments in my life and basically on an everyday basis. The effect that trolling has had on me has been so bad that I had to seek legal advice. I have cried tears of anger, frustration and sadness at comments and messages and forums that these people engage in and post on, just because of their sheer hate of me. These COMPLETE STRANGERS that have made an “educated decision” to troll me… someone they do not know.. and all because of my job. Well….NO MORE!!!!
Trolling is in-fact illegal in the U.K, people have killed themselves because they have been trolled online…. how incredibly devastating is it that we live in a time and age that people can cause someone to take their own life? For all these years I have had the wherewithal to screen shot troll messages that have been sent to me via DM or messages I have been tagged in and these trolls are up for a rude awakening. I knew when I was aware of my first troll message that it was wrong and that I needed to keep the proof to show someone what was happening.
The best way to deal with internet trolls….
In all instances, if you see a comment or someone sends you a comment that is immediately a warning flag to you, take a screen shot and park it somewhere. Hopefully you may never need to show it as evidence, but if you do…you have it.
Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram anywhere on social media you can report it.
Blocking that person after doing the above is the best thing you can do, yes they will come back with a new name and different guise but you can follow the same principles.
No matter what your age, tell someone what you are going through. It can be such an upsetting time and people need to know what you are dealing with. My Family and friends knew to a point and then I had to get the police involved, lawyers, brands and now I am creating my campaign. Never go through this alone and if necessary SEEK LEGAL ADVICE.
This is such a tricky one. In the beginning I used to respond but that only fed the trolls, however angry reading untruths about you can be, only respond if it will make you feel better and possibly stop the situation. However, I have found on numerous occasions my lovely, loyal readers and followers have stuck up for me without any prompting from me.
Do you know what, sometimes you just need to let it out and I have cried countless times at the sheer negativity I have received from complete strangers that hate me with such a passion. Cry, let it out and move on.
CALL THEM OUT
Oh the screen shots I have from people.. and the need to call them out is great within me, but this doesn’t help anyone and in fact…God forbid you end up having to take legal action this can indeed be bad for your case. But, I have previously mentioned peoples names and shared screen shots of the messages with their names scrubbed out, but in the end you just end up playing their game and who the hell has time for that?
DONT LET THEM WIN
This is so hard, a few years ago I was offered four TV jobs and turned them all down because of trolls. If I knew then what I know now and how trolls can be given a criminal record, I would have taken those jobs.
Nothing angers a troll more that seeing you succeed and this is so strange because, as much as they hate you and write such cruelness about you, they will still follow you on every platform with some sick and twisted need to know what you are doing…it feeds their jealousy.
REMEMBER THEY ARE THE SAD ONES
This is so important for you to remember. Just think about how time consuming it must be to be a troll. Whilst you are out their living your best life and succeeding, they are sitting behind their keyboard thinking about YOU, writing about YOU, wanting to be YOU….it’s kind of a compliment….I feel sorry for them and I forgive them.
At the end of the day it is illegal to troll someone, to write slanderous things about them and post them on a public platform. People can and have lost their jobs because they have Trolled someone. No matter if someone is using a fake name, the police are able to track down the computer they are using, where they live and even turn up at their work place and IT HAS HAPPENED. People can be jailed for two years for long term troll abuse.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
Always remember that a troll is a troll and it has nothing to do with you, your character or personality. It is their problem and whilst you are moving on with your life, they are stuck behind a keyboard, being sad, depressed and breaking the law. It is nothing you have done, it is beyond your control and you have to report it and move on.
I wish I could share the names and screen shots of the sheer vitrol that has been written about me, but sadly at the moment that is something I am not allowed to do. I like to think I have a wonderful working relationship with brands and so many of them reached out in support of me because they do know and trust me. I am moving forward with my life and I hope you will continue to stay with me on my journey.
To everyone that has sent a supportive email, dm, text message, emoji whatever…. I couldn’t have got through it without you and I thank you. I will always be honest and upfront with you. Thank you xx
**UPDATE** Bobbie Norris from Towie Fame has created a petition that thousands and thousands of content creators, influencer, bloggers, media people and anyone and everyone has and can sign to “Hold online Trolls accountable for their online abuse via their IP address” Something I totally agree with. To sign the petition please click HERE and join the movement to stamp out Trolls.
If you are being trolled and are under 18 please contact the NSPCC HERE
If you are over 18 and being trolled please go HERE
You can also speak to someone 24/7 from Shout – Shout is the UK’s first free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help HERE
If you are in immediate danger or being physically threatened please dial 999
I would love to hear your thoughts on online trolling. I would love you to leave me a comment below however if you wish to remain anonymous please message me on:
Or follow my hashtag #SCREENSHOTREPORTANDBLOCKTROLLS
Who is with me?
Thank you xx