Cyber bullies - who they are and what to do about them

Cyber bullies - who they are and what to do about them

A Story by Mad Dog Wilson

"While it is easy to blame management - the bottom line is that WE have the power to put an end to the cyber coward's grip on the 'Cafe



For too long, the cyber thugs have run rough-shod over the members - using fear and intimidation as weapons against the honest and decent members of the site. We have always blamed Chuckie for this, but as a site owner myself, I know no matter how strict policies are - these jerks find ways to ridicule, harass and cyber stalk their prey.

There are ways to deal with these nameless and faceless cowards (Let face it - these punks are nothing more than online school yard bullies):

1) Realize one of their main "weapons" - the "bad" review is NOTHING more than a personal opinion - just remember the old saying - "Opinions are like a-holes, everyone has one - and they usually stink". Other reasons they ridicule others:

a): Jealousy - Some feel their work isn't up to the standards of others they see here and other sites. They believe by cutting down others they improve the quality of their own work.

b) Inferiority complex: along the same lines of jealousy - but instead of envy they suffer from low self esteem, so by knocking other people down they build themselves up.

c) Attention w****s: They feel the world revolves around them and everyone is beneath them and they deserve all the accolades. They can't stand to see anyone else achieve any sort of success and like the other two they feel they can brow beat the "competition" into submission.

2) They also feed on the fear members of having a less than perfect rating or not being a top writer.

Come on, WAKE UP PEOPLE! the points, ratings and badges are nothing more than pretty decorations, they mean nothing and in the grand scheme of things are insignificant. Being sensitive to your standing here is empowering to these trolls. Just post your work and take all reviews for what they are and live and let live.

To quote Eleanor Roosevelt: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent"


If all else fails, block the cowards - or worse ignore them.  


If we band together - we can take back the site and relegate the cyber cowards to where they belong - oblivion


© 2009 Mad Dog Wilson

Author's Note

Mad Dog Wilson
don't care about ratings. Constructive reviews welcome. non-constructive reviews are ignored, and negative reviews are treated for what they are: A feeble attempt to try and intimidate - go ahead and the world will see you for what you are: an immature coward.

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Tut, tut, Gary. Should I point out the typo in the Roosevelt quote? Yes, there is bullying on the site, but I think it goes deeper than that. It's insecurity - that is the root of jealousy. Some people have to prove how great they are and will not listen to anyone who says they aren't. Some of it has to do with age. Younger, more-driven writers have something to prove - they are in competition with their peers. Everything they do is perfect, and they refuse to admit they might be wrong. Older writers sometimes go the other way, saying that they are so inexperienced that they can't give useful reviews. They praise everything, give everyone hundreds and expect everyone to take their inexperience into account when reviewing.

Concerning those perfect ratings, the site as it is designed plays into that trap, since it has no error correction or skewing of results. There is nothing wrong with the desire to be perfect, or even competition to be top writer or reviewer, but until the system takes into account the average rating of the reviewer, the scores are meaningless, and promote rating dumping or bloating, hence cyber-bullying.

With the wide variety of age and experience, there are bound to be problems. Writing is a Universal Church - we are all writers, but we have different likes, and varying levels of understanding and permissiveness. Certain things don't bother me at all, but I know that they bother others. Who determines what is passable and what isn't? What is art anyway? It's a subjective thing.

I've always tried to give honest reviews - not reading the reviews of others until after I have written my own - and it a way it might be worth it to hide other reviews until you have posted yours. Because of the system, I probably rate higher than I should, but that can't be helped at present.

I think your piece lays out the facts well, but could be a little more balanced in its attack. Some of it is the fault of the system and some is just human nature. The system could be refined to lessen the effects of human nature.

Posted 11 Years Ago

7 of 7 people found this review constructive.


Another great point, Tara.

I bet we could fill a college study course on this subject. Please keep the comment coming.

Posted 11 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

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While over all I feel that writings come in every shape, size, skill and topics, those who join a writers site should already have it in there minds that improving is what the goal is. Even if it's a little grammer there or word phrasing here, every little bit helps them improve their craft.

I feel that what we terms as a Cyber Bully is really broken into three catagories. The First - one who's sole basis on the site is to cause problems. Usually this stems from outside (Real World) events that spill over into the world of Internet and online venues. The Second - One who for some reason or not feel like they have to pick and poke on others to make themselves feel better or bigger. Often cause by a lack of self-worth in themselves and the view they have of their own writing. In cases of this type, one often finds that they complain about writings that aren't about anyone...but the assume that it's about them due to an overenlarged ego. The Third - These people are not by nature bad people, they problem they have is that they simply can't fathom common decency. Common sense and curtesy aludes them.

I believe whole heartedly that it's the power of the masses that can and should act to disable the Bullies from becoming a problem for future generations of writers. The Site creator's hands are often tied with other real world issues, they lack the time and the full understanding of each Cyber issue. It's the ability to see all the angles on each issue that can alow the masses to identify the threat, plan and eventually execute a plan that will remove the problem.

People that I have know in the past with Negative Cyber issues have used the IP blocks, Page redirects and the like, usually only making the situation worse as that only shoes a Cyber Bully that they can rattle a writers cage. The best policy, like Gary has said above....ignore them. Just as with a Bully in the real world.. If you ignore them...they lose their power over you.

Lastly... I think it must also be pointed out that some of the Cyber Bullies are nightmares of our own creation. I have observed many times that what we might call a Constructive Review...lacks the tact nessesary to come across as polite. It's important to be honest in reviewing, but if we do it on a bad day, or we are overly tired...we often forget that writers have feelings as well. If they have a bad day and a review does not have good tact, they may lash out at us...and that is the reviewers fault.

A wonderful issue to bring up!

Tara M Stone

Posted 11 Years Ago

4 of 4 people found this review constructive.

Thanks, Bright Eyes.
This is another problem - that is why I encourage a frank and open discussion - we have discussed using an isp block, with dsl it will handle the problem but with dial up it assigns a different isp every time.

Vigilence and a stringent posting policy along with better security to prevent multiple accounts can go a long way in reducing the cyber drama - and prevent another Baby rectangles fiasco

Posted 11 Years Ago

4 of 4 people found this review constructive.

I agree with everything you've said here - there is only a few things that I think have not been touched upon. I think, from those I've spoken with, that part of the issue is the public posting of pieces of hatred if they dare to speak out. No, the piece will not mention their name (the cyberbullies are not quite that dumb) but it will be obvious that it is about them and it will not be just one piece, but a whole library of them. Continually. Also, they continue to send nasty PMs to anyone who does not share their point of view. Blocking does not work, because they simply open new accounts and send PMs from them. I know this - on both counts - have been the victim of it. Yes you can just keep blocking accounts - yes you can monitor their posts and review anything derogatory about you that they post - but then they simply get their friends to report your review. Charlie does not look at the review if it is reported multiple times, he simply deletes it. Again, I know this from experience. My review was not hateful, did not attack, and did not mention names - but because it was reported by multiple people it was simply pulled. No notice, no explanation, nothing. Also unlike the cyber bullies, people have lives outside of here and simply do not want to have to invest that sort of time to defend their reputation. Then there is the word of mouth thing, or keyboard I suppose. They whine to whomever will listen (mostly to friends of one they are bullying) telling lies and alienating them. Again, been the victim of this. I do not really know exactly what all the answers are - but it is not as simple as tolerating a bad review and blocking them. With the ability to have multiple accounts, the blocking feature here is a joke. Anyway, I do applaud you for speaking out and taking a stand. Kudos.

Posted 11 Years Ago

4 of 4 people found this review constructive.

Thanks, Sio.
To expand on Sio's and Anne points - this system is also diametrically opposed to those who DO give the tough honest critiques. Some people cannot handle the truth and feel the need to return a bad review, whether it is warranted or not. That is human nature.

My main focus is on the bitter misrable people who have nothing better to do that to spew hate, use the forums to incite a verbal free for all and use it to call out other members and create drama.

This is SUPPOSED to be a site for serious mature adults - let's start acting like it

Posted 11 Years Ago

3 of 3 people found this review constructive.

You know I'm behind you in this. I'd rather see this place cleaned up and the focus back on writing instead of on dealing with drama than see it close or have to leave myself because I'm weary of dealing with immature little crapheads.

And I agree with Anne--the system is set up to reward those who have a larger friend base and friends who aren't willing to give honest ratings and reviews. That was the point I tried to make last year. There's just gotta be a better way...

Posted 11 Years Ago

5 of 5 people found this review constructive.

You know, I like what you say. You are straight shooting here. No mud-slinging, no name-calling. Overall a positive message and that's what we most need. The cafe is what we make it. You and me and her and him. It has nothing to do with site owners or administrators or the cute little picture of the tree. Thanks much!

Posted 11 Years Ago

5 of 5 people found this review constructive.

how well you speak here my friend,i agree with every word you say..
I think one of the most important point you did not say is most on this site are not writers whatsoever..a writer really respect himself and others even if he does not like their works he will just keep calm and keep away..thats how i do it ,thats how i see it..when i see a nice work i feel so happy that i am on a site with such great talents,very few here think this way..
most here never like it when they see good works ,i swear i have seen it even among those i thought were friends.
writers are some great personalities they will never care for such stupidities..they love to see others better..and they could never hurt others,thats why i was myself so happy when i first checked into here..i thought then everyone is so mature and charming like its always on a real writing places..but its never the case since anyone could come in..they could easy hit at you and you are always a soft target as i see myself becuase i did not come here to fight,i came to create and learn from some here who are much more better than me,who when i read them they really dazzle me with their great work..i could never fight bullies cause i was never made like that have to be a bully yourself to stand against them and that we cant..i swear when i log in ,i am always afraid that anytime i would be hit real bad..and i was hit real bad so many feelings were injured so many times i lost count..i wish you tell me how to fight them ..for i dont think there is ever a way to do it...these are like some professionals ..they could hit where it really hurts..they have no manners no nothing.
i am only here cuase i like literature..i said that a thousand times,literature is my life i like to read wonderful works here,thats i have to stand and bear all the hurt and pain those bullies always cause
i dont think there is any way to deal with them ..its just a hopeless case
what a wonderful write if you speak my mind my friend..thank you

Posted 11 Years Ago

6 of 6 people found this review constructive.

And you, Rachel are one of my oldest friends here. I remember when you were the subject of a hateful attack - the cowards that put the racial "KKK" cartoon and telling you to get off the site, along with the other garbage being spewed. That turned my stomache. The way you took a stand was inspirational and taking that bigoted piece of drek and turning it into a positive about inner stregnth STILL stands out in my mind.

Like Anne, I value your council and guidance to make sure what happens here doesn't happen on IWN

Posted 11 Years Ago

5 of 5 people found this review constructive.

There is also another kind of bully/attention w***e type on this site; those people who bully about popularity that doesn't have to do with ratings, but with their need to control all of their friends all of the time. They get mad and upset when friends don't return comments or friend people they don't like, even going to the point of calling people on the phone - those who have been foolish enough to get close enough to consider them real friends and give them their phone number - and harass them with phone call after phone call about why are you friends with this one and don't you know they're my enemy and on and on.

These types think everything revolves around them and do their level best to make sure others believe that too. There is a stalker who comes on site here every so often. She has two many targets, but sometimes targets their friends. One of the people she stalks lays low and doesn't post anything or do anything until the site owner appear and takes care of her. This has been their stance every time the stalker appears, while the other person publicizes it...Hey my stalker is here again! to everyone they know. This person even contacted me and we weren't even on speaking terms at the time. I remember thinking why that was, and then I realized that they wanted me to know because on some level they were enjoying the attention. Having a stalker makes them feel special and everyone must know and see it. So they respond to her publicly even though they've been warned not to, because well, everyone must know that they have a stalker.

"Look at me...I'm popular. I'm special. Someone cares that much for me."

This same person reported me to the site owner when we were having an argument that began over some attacks on me and then deleted all of their words leaving only mine up. The site owner didn't check into things and issued me a warning when if you look you can clearly see that I am responding to someone.

I probably shouldn't be writing this because I am feeding into this person by writing this. They will no doubt read it and then have all of their friends read it as well...because people have to know how popular they special they are. Look Blackbirdsong wrote about me again.

Then there will be a blight of "He's so wonderful" poems by this friends - mostly female - who will sing of his gentlemanly qualities when in truth he has written erotic poetry to minors and has also sent photos of his genitals (he offered to do that for me so I know of what I speak) to various women on this site.

There are others like him on here of course. I could go on about the ones who write endless 'poems back and forth' praising their buddies that end up flooding the top ten list which essentially bullies and pushes aside the quality writing that deserves to be there instead. That's myspace behavior and not something that belongs on a writing site. Love your friends. I'm glad you have wonderful and supportive friends, but enough already. Seriously.

I will probably be back to write more since this is an endless subject.

As always Gary you have my support. As a moderator on a couple of writing sites and as your fellow moderator on one of them I know you as an honest and trustworthy man.

Posted 11 Years Ago

6 of 6 people found this review constructive.

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12 Reviews
Added on February 15, 2009
Last Updated on February 15, 2009


Mad Dog Wilson
Mad Dog Wilson


Thanks for coming to your senses and re-instating the fourms and giving the community their voice back, dude more..