B is for books, bullies and blogs

It’s the Blogging A-Z Challenge!  Yesterday I did A for All in one, all together now and Amazon.

AnnaER / Pixabay

  1. As long as you’ve not said anything that isn’t related to the book (for example, a personal attack) stand your ground.  Bullies like nothing more than making people unhappy.
  2. Don’t engage if you can – bullies and people that like to work with conflict thrive on it.  So if you can, walk away.  I know that’s sometimes easier said than done, but bullies go away if you don’t feed them.
  3. If you’re being attacked, absolutely moderate or block comments for a while.  Conversely, don’t ask other people to fight your battles – in other words, even if you’re being attacked anywhere, don’t get your friends to attack them back.  Somewhere in there you’re going to get a lot of trouble back for that, and hitting back, though sometimes satisfying, isn’t the right path.
    (this isn’t me saying ‘don’t talk to your friends about what’s going on – this is me saying resist the urge to name and shame).
  4. Report reviews, but don’t expect things to change.  Crucially though, don’t enlist others to report your reviews *in public*, especially on Amazon.  Though Amazon won’t backlash against you, the average reader watching the fervor go down might feel intimidated by the response.  ESPECIALLY don’t do it to reviews that are over one star.  If you really do feel there’s a personal attack in the review, it’s ok to enlist help, but do it quietly (locked post on FB, private conversations).
  5. You’re not alone – there are some vicious people out there, and this isn’t me saying ‘let them win’, this is me saying ‘if you engage it is worse’.

Why #Cyberbullying still isn’t something you should accept

While I’m saying don’t engage with bullies in public, and using your friends to retaliate can be perceived as bullying too, if someone is attacking you, use the facilities at your fingertips to deal with it.  Don’t tolerate people being ‘rough’ with you on Facebook – if someone consistently challenges and attacks what you are, walk away.  Block them if you have to.
If you’ve got proof a review is a retaliation, forward *that* to the agencies with the review (Amazon/B&N).  Screenshots are your friend. Naming and shaming, however, often doesn’t work, because these people may have a community of friends to counter-attack you, or can portray themselves as the victim in the community you’re trying to get the review removed from.  Be a bit careful on places like GoodReads too – it’s a reader’s community, not a writer’s one, and they retaliate if people step over the edge, even mistakenly. That’s not to say that GoodReads is a BAD place though – it’s just that writers tend to fall afoul of a lot of the drama on there and if you can avoid it, do.

Ultimately though, the only way to deal with bullies is to rise above.  Get help in private.  Move on.

What do you think?  How do you deal with bullies and bullying? Do you feel like we’re not in high school any more, and we shouldn’t need to worry about bullying in our communities?