Friday 23 March 2018

Elaine Crowley gets the last laugh at cowardly troll

The TV3 presenter faced down her bully last week - but is that the best way to treat a troll, wonders Sarah Caden

Elaine Crowley. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Elaine Crowley. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Sarah Caden

If you Google 'best way to deal with a bully', the top result is a list of five key reactions. The first is to ignore the bully. Second is to feign courage and stand up to them. Third, is to resist bullying in return. Fourth is to conceal your true feelings. And fifth is to tell an adult.

The first four are more easily said than done, but the fifth is the killer. Tell an adult. But what if you are an adult? What if you are an adult and your bully is too?

Compared with face-to-face bullying, studies show that the true insidiousness of online bullying is that not only does the bully feel disengaged from their actions, and thus prone to going further than they would in real life, but those who observe also feel disengaged. Where in real life, you might step in to defend someone being slagged off for their appearance, weight, character, social or romantic status, you won't with cyber-bullying.

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