Rather regularly I face harassment online. That can include things like trolls on twitter, hate mail, death and rape threats through a variety of mediums, calls for pile-on trolling and threatening through sites like Reddit/4chan/HN. When this happens, people ask me what they can do to help or I have to explain why I am taking certain actions.
This is how I'd prefer you respond if this happens. Note that this page is currently a work in progress, so I'll be updating it as I think of new things.
In the event of really shitty things going down, I will reach out to a couple people that I trust to help me screen twitter, emails, and any things else necessary. If we are friends and you are worried, contact the people closest to me and they will be the best ones to give you updates so I don't get overwhelmed.
If you see a threat posted about me anywhere online, please contact me privately.
- block/report for spam the people in my mentions that are being harassing
- take a screenshot and document any information available (URLs, handles, names, etc) if it is a physical threat or if it would violate the twitter TOS so that I can report them as abuse through Twitter if it gets to that
- do not reply to trolls or harassers with my name in the tweet. If I have stopped engaging with a person, take that as a sign that I don't want to see anything related to them either. If I have to ask you more than once to stop replying to me with their info attached, I may have to block you.
- don't reply to them with a period before their handle; I don't want to see it in my timeline.
- don't use a hashtag we've created when replying to their trolling, harassment, or threats as this may trigger other people.
Due to the frequency with which I receive hate mail and threats as well as the sheer number of emails I receive, it takes me a while to respond even on the best of days.
- if you have evidence of abuse or threats, you can email that to me. I have a special filter to catch these so I won't personally see them.
2. Just ignore them! They're just trolling you! Unfortunately, that isn't so simple. If they are just trolling, the minumum they're doing is disrupting my personal life and harming my mental health. If it is a coordinated effort and they are determined enough, I could face physical, professional, and financial harm that could be catastrophic. Please do not belittle the way I feel by telling me to ignore it.