Tag: cyber-bullying

Constance Hall puts trolling and bullying in the TV spotlight on Dancing With The Stars


‘It hurts me so much’: Constance Hall targeted by trolls after reality TV announcement | Sydney Morning Herald

Dancing with the Stars: Constance Hall is ready to rumba! Here’s what you need to know about her | NowToLove.com

Video – Click or tap to play (Facebook page)


Previous Coverage on HomeNetworking01.info

Dealing with Internet trolls

Useful Resources

Crash Override Network – A resource centre based in the USA focused on online-abuse issues.

My Comments

Constance Hall, an online personality who has run a blog and is maintaining a Facebook public presence, is participating in the latest Dancing With The Stars season on Ten Network Australia. But because she had decided to star in this popular dancing talent-quest TV show, she got a lot of online abuse from various trolls. She often copped this abuse in her online presence due to how she looks, her outspokenness or her alternative lifestyle.

I have seen this happen with two of the contestants in MasterChef Australia season 10. One of them was accused of being close to George Calombaris because she had him taste a sample of something she was preparing before cooking it in quantity for the contest, while the other who was a nutritionist was turning out desserts which went against the grain of someone whose profession was about “clean eating”.

Even a few years ago, I observed a situation of online abuse directed at a cafe I was visiting because they wouldn’t accept the placement of a protest group’s campaign flyers near their till. It was while their neighbourhood was effectively being divided by the potential presence of a McDonalds fast-food restaurant with this protest group against the proposed development. I even defended that they had the right to defend their space but they even had to effectively shut down the commenting ability on their Facebook presence.

This kind of bullying has become very toxic with the Gamergate saga which was an attack on female game developers and female gaming journalists. This situation got to a point where there were death threats against one of the game developers along with the publication of her home address and phone number.

Typically this can be about a perverse innuendo about intimate relationships involving one or more of the victims; that the victim doesn’t “fit the mould” expected of them; or that they are “taking the wrong side” on an issue.

But Constance Hall produced a Facebook video addressing this kind of behaviour in the online space. Here, it was about stopping the acceptance and normalisation of online bullying and she had related it to what happens to children and teenagers. This video was even played as part of the introductory video package that preceded her dance routine in Dancing With The Stars. This meant that the issues being raised in the video had a good chance of being aired on prime-time traditional TV.

It is also part of her personal campaign to reach out to and encourage teenagers and other young people who are at risk of being bullied during their life’s journey especially in the online context.

A good practice to deal with trolling in an online environment would be to “insert” some common-sense in to the conversation. It may be best to approach it in a neutral form without appearing to take sides.

If it is getting out of control, most social-media platforms and some other online environments have the ability to “mute” participants or “hide” conversation threads so you don’t have them in your view. Social-media platforms also have the ability to block participants so they can’t follow you. As well, you may also have to report offensive behaviour to the online environment that it’s occurring in if it is becoming consistent.

If the online environment has the ability for users to upvote or downvote comments or threads, it can be used as a way to bury questionable comments. It is a feature that has appeared in some commenting platforms like Disqus or some online forum software, but is slowly being rolled out to major social media platforms like Facebook.

I applaud Constance Hall for how she has turned a negative experience around for something positive as well as underscoring a “you can do it” approach. This is more so for people who are or are likely to become an online personality who can easily fall victim to the ugly side of the Internet.

YouTube Video–ABCs Of Bullying (Dealing with the online bully)

Video – Click or Tap to View

My Comments

This video has summarised in an “ABC” form about how you can deal with unsavoury videos and comments that appear on the YouTube platform. But a lot of concepts being explained here can also apply to Facebook and other platforms on the Social Web where similar activity does take place.

The issues raised here can easily affect children, teenagers and adults alike in all community groupings and is more important where, for example, YouTube is being used to effectively pillory a person or group. It is infact worth viewing this video yourself or having your children view this especially when they are regularly starting to use YouTube or similar social-media platforms regularly.

What can you do about people who use the Social Web to menace


Twitter, Facebook must be more diligent | Technology | BigPond News

Expert says Dawson broke the first rule of social media: don’t feed the trolls | Sydney Morning Herald

My Comments

The Charlotte Dawson saga that has been over the Australian news media over the last week has become a wake-up call regarding the nature of the Social Web and the Internet in general when it comes to the ability to leave unverified irrational comments against people or organisations.

This is where social networks, bulletin boards, forums and similar services are used as a platform to launch an attack against a person. Here, it can manifest in ways such as a caustic remark left on a Facebook profile or a forum; through a barrage of tweets or instant messages of abuse fired at a person or, at worst, a Facebook Page, YouTube video or something similar can be set up to pillory that person.

Even before the Social Web became mainstream, there was the issue of free Web hosts and the “export to HTML” function in recent word processors and affordable desktop-publishing software being used to quickly set up defamatory Web sites against people. This situation was then underscored by the use of cost-effective camera-equipped mobile phones to create distasteful videos to appear on these sites or to send across to others via email or MMS.

Some press articles raised the issue of how easier it has become to leave improper comments on the Social Web, Web-hosted forums and the like without being traced back easily. This is even though most of these services have mechanisms for the Webmaster or others in charge to control scurrilous behaviour, including a reporting mechanism for others who are aggrieved by the behaviour to let those in charge know. As well, these mechanisms are underscored by the terms and conditions that users have to assent to when they become a member of these services.

Even before the rise of the Internet, there was common advice that was offered regarding nuisance phone calls and similar behaviour involving communications services/ For example, one was advised to simply to hang up on a nuisance call and, if the activity persisted, to report the matter to the telecommunications company and the police.

This was also underscored by most countries having laws in place that proscribes the use of a “common carriage service” to harrass, menace or threaten others. The reference to the “common carriage service” is a legal term used to describe telephone, post or similar services used by everyone as a communications tool.

What can you do

What most of us have to be aware of is not to satisfy the cyber-bully’s wants by leaving responses to the caustic remarks or passing on the comments in the common space that the platform offers.

If the behaviour persists, we have to know how to “block” or “unfriend” the troublemakers in the case of social media. There is the ability to report the matter to the social-media platform’s “report this” option where it draws the behaviour to the attention of the platform’s administrators.

In the case of forums, blogs or wikis, you should contact the site owner or administrator through the contact options that exist on the site. There will usually be a “Contact Us” link somewhere on the forum, usually on the login screen.

The only situation that can be difficult is a Website that is hastily built up to pillory another person. It may be difficult to track down the owner of the domain name if the domain name isn’t an obvious hosting domain like wordpress.com associated with a particular Web host. Here, you may have to do “whois” searches oh the domain and locate the entity owning the domain. In the case of a subdomain of a hosting domain, you may have to go the the “www” site of that hosting domain to track down who is operating the site.

Aggrieved people should also be aware of local support services especially where there is a risk of depression being brought on by this activity. Some of these services focus particularly on the cyber-bullying menace and provide online or telephone-based advice.  Of course, your friends or family whom you trust can help out with these situations.