Tackling online hate

Posted on April 19, 2019 by PROJECT ROCKIT team

Collage of head shots of the PROJECT ROCKIT team

Hot tips for dealing with online hate

The vast majority of people disagree with (cyber)bullying, but many of us aren’t quite sure of how to tackle the problem. We’ve put together our top tips for avoiding and shutting down online hate in safe and simple ways. But first, lets find out what you think:

Quiz Time!

Most people I know DO want to use their online power for good

Disagree

Agree

 

Keep your profile private

You may want lots of people to view, ‘like’ and share your content but think of it this way: Would you ever print off a photo of you and your friends and show it to strangers on the street to see if they ‘like’ it? Probably not, that seems kinda weird. Having all your online content public is kinda the same thing. Sadly there are some real creeps out there who learn heaps of personal stuff just by looking at your profile – better to keep it private.

Screenshot of a social media profile set to private with the anonymous username 'bark obama' - the profile picture is a puppy

Write a counter comment

It’s hard to know what to say when you see bullying online. You might be scared to speak out directly (“stop what you’re doing to Ali, it’s not ok”), but you can still stand up for someone who needs help (“this is a really great photo Ali!”). When you post something positive about the person targeted this is called a ‘counter comment’ and it really helps to discourage the haters and support the person being targeted.

Screenshot of a counter comment that reads "this is actually a really cool pic"

Report and block haters

If someone is being cruel to you online you always can report and block them (or add them to your block list on gaming platforms). Often people who bully just want to see you squirm and when they don’t get a reaction, they move on. If you’re worried they’ll keep saying bad stuff behind your back, get a mate to monitor the situation for you once they’re blocked.
Screenshot of a comment illustrating the idea that "nobody wants to see that"

Screenshot abuse for evidence

It’s pretty normal to want to delete nasty stuff that’s been posted about you online, just make sure you get a screenshot first. If it keeps going or gets worse, you may need help and it’s good to have evidence to support you.

📸 On a Mac: Press Command + Shift + 3
📸 On a PC: Press Windows logo key +PrtScn
📸 On an iPhone / iPad: Press and hold power and lock buttons together
📸 On Android: Press and hold together the power- and volume-down

Don’t accept random friend requests

We know that social media can seem like a popularity contest but it’s better not to accept friend requests from strangers. We have a saying at PROJECT ROCKIT: “If they don’t know you, they don’t owe you.” This means that people who haven’t met you or don’t see you offline may feel like they can get away with saying things that they’d never say to your face. The power to be anonymous can really go to a person’s head.
Screenshot of a friend request with the caption "we know being online can feel like a popularity contest but its better not to accept friend requests from people you don;t know

Ask for dodgy photos to be removed

If someone posts a photo of you online that you don’t like, tell them to take it down immediately. They might not realise the photo offends you. This seems like a really logical first step, but sometimes people make the situation worse by retaliating and things get really out of hand.
A guy vomiting into a toilet - its clear that the photo has been taken without his permission

Type ‘dislike’ on hateful content

If you or someone you know is being bullied online, it’s better not to write a really long public response about why this is wrong. By writing an essay, your reaction might just be exactly what they’re looking for. It could cause them to retaliate further. Instead, it’s good to give a short response like “dislike,” which shows that you disapprove without adding fuel to the fire. It also encourages others to do the same.
Screenshot of a social media comment that reads "dislike"

Keep your passcode private

Let’s be real, most of us know it’s wise not to share passwords with friends, but often people tend to be too loose about sharing passcodes, like on your phone or tablet. If someone has access to your device, they don’t actually need any of your passcodes to get into your apps because you’re probably already signed in. The way we see it, not even your best mate should have access to your private text messages, emails, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and camera roll (think of the ugly selfies!)
A phone with the phrase 'enter passcode' presented on screen

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