There are ways to handle Bullies, trolls and angry mobs in Cyberspace. Dealing with one or two is different from dealing with an angry mob. Though there are things an individual can do to protect oneself from bullies, trolls and angry mobs; like customizing your social media accounts to control who can see you and your information online. You can afford to ignore and sometimes even challenge a bully and trolls but not a mob.
What is the difference?
When a bully or even a band of trolls attack it is for a different reason than an angry mob of netizens. The bully or a band of trolls the objectives are first, to get the attention of the victim and the second then humiliation. And the victim might be a target for different reasons – traffic, fame, revenge ad even money. An angry mob is different in that it is collectively powered by anger enflamed up and beyond the point of no return. What brought it to go beyond the boiling point? It could be statements and actions after the incident done by the victim or rabble rouser – anyone actually. And there is no way of winning against the mob, except by getting the right message across and making sure the message cannot be twisted into something else.
What to do?
If you are truly guilty of a crime or offense there are four things you can do.
Make a contrite and honest apology in public.
Explain your side of the story or incident.
Go on Vacation from Cyberspace
If you are not guilty there are three things you must do.
Explain in simple and short language why you are not guilty.
Select a venue/channel for your message that cannot be hijacked
Take a vacation from Cyberspace.
A Tycoon gave a graduation speech. The next day it was discovered it was copied from someone and taken without giving credit to its source – attribution. When it was leaked out there was an nline uproar. What did the Tycoon do? He admitted the mistake and explained how it happened. Then he submitted his resignation. His offer to resign was not accepted. The anger, waned and eventually disappeared.
Why is it important to get your message across?
A number of cases build up because the only source of news about an incident comes from only one side. It is important to air one’s side in a venue or channel that cannot be hijacked. This and keeping it simple will ensure that your explanation will reach those who are looking for it.
Of corse you could choose to ignore it and it might work, but if you do ignore it make sure your twitter and Facebook accounts are known but set to private. And have someone else look dispassionately through the search results of your name.