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Writer's Block: Personality goes a long way

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Sep. 5th, 2010 | 12:14 pm

Have you ever been the target of cyber-bullying? What was your reaction?

It doesn't happen to me often, although I was bullied a lot at school. But I didn't get a PC until after I finished my GCSEs, several years ago now. But I have been bullied online since then, and I'm sorry to say that it happened here on LiveJournal- specifically on the LJ Community EGL (Elegant Gothic Lolita). I joined the community hoping to find out more about the Japanese fashion movement; as a Goth, I was very interested in it, and this movement can overlap into Goth subculture. I have since found out more, but my first lesson was to avoid EGL like the plague.

I am not exaggerating- within 30 seconds of my joining there, I was recieving dozens of abusive messages. It transpires that in my eagerness to join, although I had looked for a rules page (and hadn't found it), I assumed that welcome-posts were just the norm, being as I've joined over communities and forums in the past where this happens frequently. I understand breaking a rule might incur a few notices of "You can't actually post that", (as is what happens on all other forums!) but instead I received a lot of very nasty comments, insulting my intelligence, my age, and whatever else they could think of. Some even started looking on my profile looking for ammunition. I won't lie, I was in tears within a few minutes; I had never before come across such abuse on a website before. Even a moderator of some sort seemed to be having a go too. It didn't take long- within twenty minutes, I had deleted my post and started typing up a complaint to the moderators, or whoever they refer to as the people who are supposed to keep the place running smoothly.

I wrote very eloquently and politely, stating that this sort of behaviour was not acceptable on any Internet community and that I had faith that they would see to it that it wouldn't happen again. And then I left. And I never recieved a response. They just ignored it. So despite the fact I think I behaved very calmly and politely about such a nasty situation, they simply turned their backs on it. Since then, I have heard on other forums about other people joining up only to be abused until they left, like I did. So all I can say is, don't go to EGL. And if you are already on EGL and you don't like what I just read, just think to yourself why. Have you actually seen it happen, or even participated?

There is no place for bullying in real life or online, and I think people who do this sort of thing ought to be ashamed of themselves. But of course, all bullies are cowards, and online, you get to hide behind your screen.

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