With online being an anonymous space where you can type anything you want without having to account for it, it’s now easier for someone to post hate and get away with it. Check out this comment I saw this morning right after waking up (this was posted in response to my YouTube video on “How to Score a GPA of 3.98/4.00“):
My first thought was, What was that all about?!?
While I deleted the comment right away, I realized this would be an excellent chance to take a stance and stand up against online bullying. I’ve been reading a lot about cyberbullying recently and it’s sad to read about people entering into depression, even suicide, due to hate speech online. While not common, I do get abusive comments every now and then. Which is funny considering my work is about encouraging people to pursue the higher path.
So I un-deleted the comment and posted the following response:
Unfortunately YouTube automatically removes any reported comment, so the original comment has been removed from the video thread. (Also I didn’t get to correct my grammatical typo before I took the screenshot.) I actually wanted to have it up as an example to how one should deal with online bullying… at least I took a screenshot and got to share it here.
To be honest, I found that individual’s rage amusing. I can only assume it’s a guy due to the way the comment was written. I guess there are all kinds of things that tick people off in this world? An anger management class may help.
Here’s how to stand up for yourself this new year:
- If someone (repeatedly) hurls verbal abuse at you, don’t let this behavior perpetuate. Stand up against his/her abuse. If it’s physical abuse, then please contact your local authorities or social services right away.
- In your response, assert your rights as a person. Inform the person on what he/she did wrong that violated your rights and was rude/disrespectful to you.
- Always focus on the person’s misconduct and not his/her character, otherwise it would be no different from making a personal attack. Read: How to Give Constructive Criticism in 6 Steps.
- Choose the moral high ground. Just because someone hurls abuses at you doesn’t mean you should do the same. Don’t shame, don’t bully, and don’t promote hate speech. Be kind yet firm in your response. Be the example to the person on what respectful conduct should be.
- Spread love. Everyone deserves a second chance, so unless it’s an unforgivable and unredeemable offence, try to give the benefit of the doubt and assume he/she bullied you in a moment of misguided behavior. Try to be as open and supportive as possible.
More on dealing with hate: