Written by: Cecilia Foundation

This type of violent action unfortunately is very common, not just on social media. In your house, school, the street, work or any other place you can be a victim of those behaviors and it's important to learn to defend yourself and above all stop normalizing it.

The online disinformation can promote trolls, haters and stalkers activity to provide a base to spread fake and delusive messages, these individuals can utilize disinformation to manipulate public opinion or to spread rumors and lies about a person or a particular group.

Getting to know your enemies

Trolls, haters and stalkers are part of the social fauna, they wait in a corner to attack their preys in the moment that they least expected and the worst of all is that most of the time they do it in front of everybody and many people clap and justify their actions. This is why we want to know every character.

Troll: Their main mission is to draw attention, have followers and look cynical, funny and irreverent. They can launch comments on social media in the back of a room, while they eat their lunch, at social events and always in front of everybody. The bigger the audience they have the better. Trolls can utilize disinformation to create discord and provoke emotional reactions in people, they can create fake accounts in social media to spread fake information to manipulate the public opinion online.

Hater: They don’t care about fame, but to harm emotionally and physically another person. They think that they have the power to decide who must be punished and who is the right person to exercise the punishment. They look to hurt, offend, denigrate or minimize others, the haters can utilize disinformation to defame a person or a particular group, they can publish fake information about someone too with the objective of damaging their reputation or public image.

Stalker: Different from the others, a stalker doesn’t want to make noise. Secretly looking for information, following the steps and using knowledge to intimidate their prey, whether it is over chat on social media, following in the streets or looking for gossip or information in the hallway. The stalker justifies their acts making them romantic or with based on a rematch. The stalkers can utilize disinformation to obtain personal information about their prey and to stalk them online or offline. They can utilize fake information to make them feel insecure or intimidated.

The effects of harassment

Some of the consequences of harassment and violence exercise through disinformation that can cause anxiety, depression, low self esteem and other mental and emotional health problems. Also, they can experiment physical health problems, like high arterial pression or gastrointestinal problems in some extreme cases the harassment can drive to self-lesions, suicide thoughts or event suicide.

Some strategies to avoid harassment or mitigate their effects are:

Ignore the behavior: Every action of harassment must be taken seriously, however, answer it is a way to nurture your goals. Take note, register all the harassment evidence and do not answer the comments, messages or attacks.

Block and inform: Don’t be scared to block and get away from a person to find clues to behaviors of harassment and violence. Also, inform the platforms in case that is online and keep trusting people inform.

Look for support: Most of the trolls, haters and stalkers base their power in the normalization in their conducts, don't underestimate its importance. Keep people you trust informed about these actions and seek advice and support.

In conclusion, harassment whether it’s online or offline is a serious problem that can have severe consequences.

Picture from Canva.