One of the ideas I raised was that adults need social media training – not just children! Too often we assume adults know how to handle themselves online and understand the best way to deal with negativity on social networks. That’s not true.
There are a lot of resources online to give you ideas and to help you report abusive or threatening behaviour, including Twitter’s tips on reporting abusive behaviour and Facebook’s safety centre. You may also be interested in Facebook’s ‘safety philosophy’ which points out that this is “an ongoing conversation”. I think Facebook does that, in part, because we are still working out “the rules” and what part social networks play in online bullying versus the part that individuals play. No doubt the other factor for social networks themselves is resourcing – they simply don’t have the resources to monitor, assess, judge and report inappropriate activity. But that’s a topic for another post …
Twitter itself suggests the following when dealing with abusive tweets:
Block and ignore
When you receive unwanted communication from another Twitter user, it is recommend [sic] that you block the user and end any communication. Specifically this will prevent that person from following or replying to you. Abusive users often lose interest once they realize that you will not respond.
You can listen to my discussion with Mike Smithson and Jane Doyle on the 5AA website now. I’d be interested in your thoughts.