Is it just me…

scan-troll

Is it just me or have the rest of you noticed the disturbing increase in the number of thoroughly nasty individuals appearing on all social media sites lately?

If like myself you have the effrontary to raise your head above the parapet, by that I mean, advertise the fact that you are an active writer, by advertising your work or even supplying the link to blog posts like this one on any social media site, inevitably you will be attacked by someone who simply loves to hate. Sounds completely crazy I know, but we’re not talking about normal people here, instead I refer to the totally unhinged, common or garden, lesser spotted internet troll.

These days as a writer you fully expect it to happen sooner or later whenever a book you have written is published, especially by those who make it their personal business to pounce and attack from the shadows on major book sites such as Amazon or Goodreads.

Bizarrely, if you are not being publically derided by people like them, it usually means that your book isn’t being bought. Once the trolls find you, never ever enter into dialogue with any of them, no matter how sorely tempted you are. Just ignore the crettins! The thing to remember with trolls is that were you to physically confront them in the street, they would soon slink away, because without exception they are all cowards.

Occasionally one seemingly normal individual will appear, wanting to befriend you by employing the ruse that you share internet friends in common on a major social media site like Facebook. Normally those I keep in constant contact with on a daily basis, apart from my close personal friends and my distant cousins, are fellow writers. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been forced to ‘unfriend’ a non writer, the minute they show their true colours by making the mistake of either attacking me, or far worse in my eyes, attacking one of my writing colleagues. I had to unfriend someone recently, when the person concerned turned on me totally out of the blue while we were ‘chatting’. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have absolutely no time whatsoever for nasty individuals like that.

Recently a few cretins, (sadly one of their number is known to me) have begun attacking a lovely lady and fellow writer I’m proud to call my friend on Facebook. As a successful writer, I feel it is incumbent upon me to stand up for her and all of my fellow writers when they are being publically attacked on social media, even though many of my colleagues won’t, for fear of being targeted themselves.

So my message to all of you is to be extremely wary when someone wants to befriend you from now on. This is the latest tactic being employed by the Internet Troll – first befriend, then destroy!!! If you are the least bit unsure about it, either decline the request, or failing that, ask the friends you supposedly share in common about them first. If they are the least bit concerned, don’t befriend the individual. Better safe than sorry. It’s that simple. In the past I’ve always tended to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone who wants to add me to their number of internet friends. No more!

Meantime, I invite you all to voice your views on the subject by leaving a comment below this post.

πŸ˜‰

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63 thoughts on “Is it just me…

    • If only Stuart. But unfortunately now that they have decided to invade all social media sites in their never ending search for the unwary, I fear that it will only get worse for the naive among our number.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve noticed it–too. Their filters of decency and rationality have been turned off. I don’t participate in chat rooms. I’ve noticed, that with just about every headline on the net–if one scrolls down to the comments section; it starts immediately.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I had it happen to me on the 2nd article I wrote for Irish Central. I was quite shocked, but got over it pretty quick. I dont even read the comments anymore. I dont mind mistakes being pointed out with respect and common decency, whether on IC, my blog, or social media, but I wont accept rudeness and hate. Your writer friend is lucky to have you stand up and defend her. Shows what manner of man you are. ☺

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I agree with everything you said here. The situation you mentioned above, and far worse instances where young people are killing themselves, is why I am vocal about preventing and raising awareness of cyberbullying. You should never engage them, but ignoring the problem doesn’t make it stop, either. We have to be proactive in raising awareness, particularly in our younger generations, and learn how to block, unfriend, and report malicious activities.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I always respond to trollers. It is a very simple response, and polite. I respond with, “Thank you for your input.” Lol…That is all I will ever say back. I recall once when I responded 11 times to the same troller on the same comment feed, “Thank you for your input.” The troller got nastier and nastier until they decided that they weren’t going to get a rise out of me and gave up.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Good post Jack. Thank you. I deactivated my Facebook account in June last year. I was threatened twice (by people I did not know). I lost 3,800 followers that came through Facebook to my blog. I stopped blogging for two months, but I never looked back. There are really no rules, protection nor common decency on Facebook or any other sites as you have pointed out. There is a new breed of people…just mean. I tried to report the threats twice to FB and got sent to nowhere. There must be a way to catch them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not surpised that your complaint fell on deaf ears Joycelin. Like Amazon and Goodreads, FB basically don’t give a damn about abuse. But at least we can still unfriend, can’t we. πŸ˜‰ x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent advice, Jack. So far I have not encountered any of these morons, but I think they are emboldened by anonymity – something the younger generation revels it as they bully each other online. Do parents not teach their children respect any more?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I experienced a small amount of trolling about a year ago. At first, it was a bit shocking, to be honest – my content is very uncontroversial and I didn’t think I would attract such behaviour. I quickly realised it was nothing to do with me peronally or my writing, they are just keyboard warriors with time to kill while their mummies get their dinner ready for them. If spitting vitriol and poor vocabulary makes them happy, all the very best to them. I, for one, refuse to participate.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on galesmind and commented:
    I don’t think it has been increasing they have always been there. I had one troll even follow me here but she must have gotten bored as Word Press people don’t usually play those games. Facebook gives a bully pulpit for every lunatic out there and they say some really awful things about people. I defended a friend against this one and got attacked for it. Oh well. I am still on Facebook and have it blocked. I really don’t care what people say anymore. People can be my friend follow me or not. If you have a viewpoint or have something they don’t (success in your friend’s case no doubt) you get attacked. Best idea is to ignore and block them and go on about your life they aren’t worth bothering about and arguing and fighting is their oxygen. Don’t feed the fire.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have not run into any of those types of people. Maybe I need to get out there more, push my book. But I am quite scared of the meanies, so I stay in my corner. Thank-you for the advice!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks Jack. Absolutely right. It’s quite sad that this is the only power some must feel they have and they use it to make life miserable for others. What little lives some people have!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great advice. And as for FB, when I get a request, I always search out that person’s page and see what types of things they post, and verify they are a friend of someone else. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post! Always ignore, that’s my motto. There is no point in going into a conversation with a deranged person. It’s like the joke that says ‘don’t enter into an argument with a stupid person: he/she will bring you down to their level and will win because of experience’.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Jack, great thoughts in your post. I liked a lot of the old comments, and can’t add much more. Except, I don’t frequent Facebook much, but Instagram is okay, and LinkedIn seems to be more professional. πŸ“š Christine

    Liked by 2 people

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