Standing Up to Internet Trolls

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Lurking in the dark hidden corners of the web, under the cloak of anonymity, cyber-bullies are ready to pounce on you when you least expect it. By Shea Rasol.

Standing up to Internet Trolls
If only it were that easy. Image: SXC

In today’s world of social media, people are intricately connected to one another in some shape or form. So it’s not uncommon to have your content reach people who will react negatively to anything you post.

Cyber-bullies or Internet trolls are those who lurk online and post nasty comments that bring you down emotionally and mentally. For some of us, these bullies may seem to criticise each and every act we document online.

A friend of mine has a lovely life, one that I envy. She blogs and shares her daily musings on her website for the world to see. The Internet acts as a platform for her to express her feelings and thoughts.

I love to read her writing, as it gives me some sense of closeness and connection to this life of hers that I seldom get to know. This little online space of hers is how I usually stay connected to her.

When I reach the comments section in almost every post she writes, I see negative and hurtful comments posted by someone who seems to write under the guise of different handles.

I’ve also received hateful comments on my blog. And admittedly, it does bother me – even when I’ve just happily spent my day with my family.

Bullying robs the value and self-worth of its victims. It seems to be increasingly okay for someone to judge without knowing their facts, to speak without thinking, and to make hurtful comments on a whim.

So what should one do when they are cyber-bullied? Leave the Internet, lock yourself in your own world and hide from those nasty trolls? No. Stand up and give your utmost. Stay on the path that you know is right. Ignore the negativity.

And the best advice I can give is: disarm them with kindness and success. I’m sure that’s what our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would do. Although in a different context, it’s comforting to remember that he himself endured – and overcame – similar situations.

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