Most of you have probably heard what happened to television host and Smile Foundation ambassador Charlotte Dawson over the past few days. Being someone who has a high profile, Dawson is often targetted by trolls on Twitter.
Some people block and report said trolls to Twitter, but in this instance, Dawson tracked down a person responsible, who was in turn suspended from her work. The suspension seemed to trigger an outpouring of further attacks, which ended in Dawson’s hospitalisation.
Read more from 3AW here.
Catherine Deveny wrote in yesterday’s Age:
What makes high-profile people engage with trolls? Or anyone? Self-loathing narcissism? I hope Charlotte Dawson gets well soon. And I hope she learns to use the block and unfriend button liberally.
Charlotte believes the best way to silence the bullies is to out them. I’m not convinced. I have no hesitation blocking haters, trolls, bores, wowsers or pedants. My feed, I choose. If people want to hate-follow, they can hate-follow someone else. My policy? No troll oxygen.
It’s a sad state of affairs when people hide behind anonymity to hurt others. And there is nothing worse than being bullied, particularly if you are isolated from the support of others for any reason.
The answer is to block, report, unfriend. Don’t engage with the trolls. Read more about these strategies here and here. Twitter has avenues to deal with these people. If, unfortunately something similar happens to you, use them.
I’m not criticising Charlotte Dawson’s actions, but the evidence of the results of the escalation of trolling is before our eyes.