Tackling trolls and online abuse
At Change.org we know technology can be a force for good, a platform for everyone, regardless of their background, to have their voices heard. But sadly, sometimes those who raise their voice and start a campaign receive online abuse.
We believe in making the internet a better place for all who use it. Below some petition starters share their experience on how they responded to trolls and our User Safety Team share tips on how to deal with online abuse.
Below some petition starters share their experience on how they responded to trolls and our User Safety Team share tips on how to deal with online abuse.
Laura Coryton – Petitioned to end the Tampon Tax
Harness their energy to empower yourself
Using a troll’s own bigotry to fuel your fightback is the most important step in slaying a troll. Trolls are super annoying. But you can use them for the better. Utilise their negativity to highlight the problems you fight, empower yourself and motivate the amazing people who campaign beside you.
If someone is harassing you, delete them. Period.
Do not hesitate to use your secret weapon: the ‘delete’ button! Snatch your troll’s powerbase by deleting their comments, blocking them on twitter and reporting them whenever necessary. And don’t feel bad! When you take away a troll’s online platform, you deter them from targeting others. So you pretty much become a HERO!
Keep being awesome!
To truly defeat a troll, you need to keep being awesome/yourself. Show your trolls how powerless they are by continuing to kick ass regardless of their comments. In doing so, you’ll also prevent them from attacking others. So keep up the AMAZING work and continue to change the world for the better.
Leanne Sullivan – Petitioned for inclusion of Afro hairstyles in schools
You do not have to put up with abuse
If you receive comments or mail that is threatening or deeply upsetting, then notify the site’s admin. There is usually a button to report this. If it continues, notify the police. Cyber abuse is a recognised crime and you will be taken seriously.
Don’t take it personally
One of the reasons sites like Change.org exist is because of differences of opinion. Some people know how to voice theirs positively, whilst others do not – and choose to use the voice to push hatred. Embrace the positive and focus on the support you gain. Never doubt yourself.
Adam Nace – Trust and Safety Lead at Change.org
My role is to make sure the platform is a powerful vehicle for change while remaining as safe as possible for our users.
Reporting content on Change.org
At Change.org we believe that everyone should be able to speak up about the issues they care about and with more than 180 million people on our platform we have rules to keep our community safe. This is why we have Community Guidelines to restrict things like the incitement of violence or online abuse.
We’re fans of free speech, but we don’t allow hate speech. If someone sees any content that they are concerned about on Change.org, it is really easy to report and we encourage people to do so.
Each report is reviewed by a human being, rather than a machine, and then we take prompt action when we find violations of our Community Guidelines. We aim to review all reported petitions and comments within 12 hours of submission and we take prompt action to remove content that goes against our Community Guidelines.
It’s important that you stay safe. If you feel at risk in the slightest, we strongly advise that you contact those who can help as soon as possible. The non-emergency phone number for the UK is 101 and the emergency number is 999.
For emotional support, the Samaritans offer confidential support 24 hours a day. You can call them on 020 7734 2800.
There is also this handy guide for parents which helps to outline the differences between trolling and shaming.
Movements like Reclaim the Internet are campaigning against online abuse and asking for ideas.