Monday, 23 March 2015

Stop Cyber-Harassment

Words are so wonderful.
Words are very powerful.
Words can heal.
Words can kill.

Cyber-bullying is the use of information technology to repeatedly harm, hurt, harass, embarrass, malign other people deliberately.

According to U.S. Legal Definitions,  
Cyber-bullying could be limited to posting rumors or gossips about a person in the internet bringing about hatred in other’s minds; or it may go to the extent of personally identifying victims and publishing materials severely defaming and humiliating them.
Building from Bullying #1000Speak
Source: IndiBlogger
As per the Wikipedia:
The practice of cyberbullying is not limited to children and, while the behavior is identified by the same definition when practiced by adults, the distinction in age groups sometimes refers to the abuse as cyberstalking or cyberharassment when perpetrated by adults toward adults.
Some people misuse their right to freedom of speech and expression by sending or posting rumors and untruth to damage reputation or cause hurt.
I have been a victim of cyber-harassment.

I was new to Blogging, and had won some prizes in Blogging contests. 
One blogger publicly accused me of an unthinkable offence on a public forum.
I tried to reason out with the blogger privately on a one-to-one-basis, explaining that the charges were baseless as firstly, I had not even read the post & secondly, my Blog followed the "Pacific Standard Time" and not "Indian Standard Time", which meant that my Blog's Time was 13 and a 1/2 hours behind IST.
The bully continued the public tirade. Some others supported the bully.
They thought I was guilty as I said nothing in my defense on the forum. They didn't know of my private communication.

Though I blocked the bully's Social Media account & mail, the bully-
- continued to harass me using other email account, especially when I won future contests!
- called me names and used offensive language.
- accused me of begging for prizes- something that the bully was indulging in!
- claimed that an IP address was mine & accused me of visiting the bully's blog, while I had not visited!
- threatened me for legal action for crimes I had not committed!

I felt so terrible that I wanted to quit Blogging.
But, I realized that if I quit, then everyone will believe that the bully is right!
If I quit & let the bully win, means I lose- honesty and truth lose...

Building From Bullying
I motivated myself- 'Winners never quit & Quitters never win'.
I put in a lot of time & effort and explored my creativity by writing posts like-
Truth Wins?
Following my Mom's advice, I tried to be like the Lotus that blossoms in adverse surroundings and remains unaffected by external disturbances.
My posts earned Votes & Comments & my Blog got richer with more awards, posts & page-views!
One blogger commented anonymously on two of my posts in my blog. The bully had an issue with my looks!
What relation do my looks have with my words?

Building From Bullying
I wrote poems about beauty and my self-worth!
I, Me, Myself
The above Case-2 incident also inspired me to suggest the following topic for IndiSpire.

My Post- #TreasuredAssets

Recently, another idea of mine got voted as an IndiSpire topic after a gap of 23 weeks of the last voted one  (as above). One blogger wrote a post on the same topic and used unkind words for me (directly referring my name) & my topic-suggestion. As per the blogger, my topics get selected every month as I have a "monthly one prompt contract"!

I replied to the mean and unfair remarks/allegations as a comment on the said blog. I quoted the last para from Dr. Ryan's post- The Response! that we must not insult fellow-bloggers. I informed that my idea had been voted after 23 weeks & only 4 of my ideas have been voted so far! The bully did not publish my comment!

I remember the same person had issues with a fellow-blogger, Anmol, when the latter's topic- Virginity & character-certificate- was  voted & selected as IndiSpire topic. This was Anmol's response: Virginity: The Issue.

Building From Bullying
It is IndiSpire, not IndiSpite - INSPIRE, not SPITE!
Bullies inspire me to be more creative, fly  & enjoy my flight!
There's very little doubt-
That the bullies want us OUT.
They may want us to suffer/cry.
Let us power our wings & fly!

Here are some quotes-
'Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.' -George Carlin   
'Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.' -Mark Twain 
'I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.' -George Bernard Shaw
'Haathi chaluchi bajaare, Kukura bhokuchi hajaare'.- An Odia saying
 English Translation- "When an elephant walks in the bazaar, a thousand dogs bark."
Hope we all are strong like the Elephant and keep walking though the dogs are barking!
May we all LEARN, HOPE & COPE.

Top post on, the community of Indian Bloggers
Linking with-
Two Shoes in Texas- OUT

#1000Speak - Building From Bullying
Bloggers can link their #1000Speak posts here.
IndiBloggers can submit their posts here.

Note- I have faced a lot more. I would have never shared all this but for this month's theme for #1000Speak.
Have you faced cyber-bullying? Do share in the comments below.

Let us blog and share #1000Speak


  1. An important post. We all need to be aware of this especially in this day and time!

    Hope you find a hummingbird to take a picture of soon...have a great spring.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by & reading & sharing, Marie!
      CyberBullying is a sad reality. Many break down & don't share their stories...

      Spotting a hummingbird will be wonderful! Thanks for your wishes :)

  2. an important post !
    friend to foe to friend was amazingly crafted .. :)

    1. Thanks for your kid words & appreciation, Ankur :)
      Glad you liked!

  3. I must say, Anita, that you are lucky person for having lots of opportunities. I mean bullying three times!

    Jokes apart.... A calm sea never makes great mariners. Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees. A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with bricks others have thrown at the person. I'm glad being in company of one such person. :)

    A great post indeed :)

    1. Thanks for sharing your wise & motivating words, Ravish!
      Yes, the key is to make use of the brickbats!

      When life serves us lemons, better to relax and enjoy the lemonade! :)
      Writing a post on the lemonade experience is refreshing!
      Delighted that you liked reading this!

  4. A great post, Anita. The bullies are unhappy people who feed on others' self-esteem. Good that you didn't give up.
    After I won the contest, I never participated in any other Indiblogger contests. I decided, writing means more to me than silly arguments.
    Have a wonderful week.

    1. Hope & pray that the bullies use their time, energy & powers wisely to be kind & heal, rather than hurt & kill...
      Our world will be a much better place...

      Now there are arguments regarding so many things!
      Though I took part in many after the Vote contest in which we both won, I didn't win any subsequent ones.
      The Vote one was the last IB contest in which I had won a major prize :)

    2. I hope so too.
      Yes, there are arguments, and there are arguments. I don't mind healthy debates, but personal attacks, and accusations are ridiculous. Conversations should help people grow, not hurt them.
      The vote one was fun. I enjoyed writing for it. :)
      Hope you win a grand prize soon.

    3. Yes, I agree with you.
      May there be healthy debates, suggestions & improvements.
      Vicious personal-attacks & unfair allegations speak poorly.
      Ditto! Even I enjoyed writing for the Vote & Elections topic. I loved your post!
      Thanks for your kind wishes!

  5. Cyber bullying is very common and easy to get away from...
    You have effectively talked about it...
    I wish that stringent laws and controls are enforced on this

    1. Truly Satya.
      We need laws in place.
      Cyber-bullying is harmful, though some perpetrators feel i is fun & harmless...
      Cyber-bullying has claimed enough victims...some have paid high price- like killing themselves.

  6. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, dekte rah gaye woh bandar. Hats off for your spirit. It is said, Winners never quit and Quitters never win. Keep rocking and the other rocks that try to stop you will fall.

    1. Thanks a lot for your inspiring words & appreciation.
      I often remind myself of the Winners & Quitters quote. That keeps me going!
      I love the movie- 'Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar' :)
      May we all keep rocking! Imagine if there are no bullies, no no one throws any rocks! All keep rocking :) :)

  7. These bullies crave for attention and therefore resort to such tactics.
    Best to ignore them.
    Well written post Anita.

    1. True Indrani.
      That's a quick and easy way to gain attention.
      But, it turns into notoriety and may prove to be terrible for the one who resorts to such cheap tactics.
      They might get affected by the following-
      "Law of Karma"-
      "As you sow, so you reap!" , "One who digs pits for others, himself/herself falls into it"...

  8. I have learnt so much from this post Soul-sis and I salute your reaction and way of response to such incidents. I am with you always :)

    1. Even I learnt a lot from these experiences! Thanks for your support, Soul-sis :)

  9. You are so kind, Anita... You could have revealed the details of the person and conversation with proof. But, you didn't! This shows your greatness. That person would have lost interest in the game as you didn't respond in the social media and stayed cool. Ignorance kills such persons.
    Happy that you shared your experience and your attitude towards such negativity people try to spread. This post is very inspiring not only for the beginners but for others too.
    TC! Keep smiling :)

    1. Thanks for your kind & supportive words, Sindhu.
      I would have never expressed all these experiences & never published to my Blog.
      But, I felt I had to share all this for this month's #1000Speak.
      I have read many news-reports about victims committing suicide or suffering from depression after such cyber-bullying cases.
      May all have a good support-system and a chance to prove the truth or their worth.
      May we learn from the experiences of others. That was a motivating factor too for me to share.
      I believe- "Never give up".
      TC! Keep smiling :)

  10. I have heard of cyber bullying but this is the only first person account i came across.It is very sad.I wonder who it was.

    1. Having experienced it, when I read in the papers, I can identify...
      They have one name & identification- Bully.
      Hope all use their powers & intelligence for kind words, Induji.

  11. Wow....what an ordeal! Ive had a troll that I ended up changing my blog to get rid of... drag!

    1. Thanks for stopping by.
      Sorry to learn. Sad when people are so insensitive.
      Hope all is fine now. May there be no bullies.

  12. Nice post Anita. Some people are really shameless. I mean, it's one thing to debate or discuss and it's a whole different thing to pin point someone and use those immoral words in your post. What image are you projecting of yourself. Why do such people are usually found to be using an alias instead of their original name?

    Thank you for mentioning what happened with me :)
    That lady is either out of her mind or an attention seeker. In either case, she is best left ignored.

    I hope it does not happen with you again and even if it does, you're strong enough :)

    1. Thanks for your encouraging words & support, Anmol.
      Alias & anonymity seem comforting to some as they can safely attack!

      If we don't like something someone has suggested, we have the option to stay away and not take part.
      Why insult the idea-proponent? After all, the topic has been voted by so many!
      Though we are all entitled to our personal opinions, people must be SURE of facts and the truth before making any such statements.
      I feel unfair name-calling & allegations pollute the cyberspace.

      Hope nothing like this ever happens with anyone.
      Hope all are kind and heal with words, rather than speak/write ill & hurt, harm & kill!
      Words can break. Words can also make & remake :)

  13. I think you did amazingly well in trying to handle these bullies in the best way, and in not letting them drive you off the Internet. It is amazing the lengths jealous people will go to. You have let these situations make you stronger, and more convinced to know and do what is right. I think you are AWESOME! :-)

    1. Thanks for your nice & kind words as usual, Josie!
      As you had shared in one of my previous posts, I am aware that you have been through such situations yourself.
      I consider these as experiences and lessons to learn and become stronger & better :)
      Thank you so much. I feel you are AWESOME :)

  14. you have handled these bullies very well...even I had a brush with a guy who put nonsense comments on my blog posts ( that is why i started moderating them)....then there are some who blatantly dismissed and labelled me as 'just another food blogger' .....I guess we need to give these people a fitting reply whenever possible and not let the nonsense affect us in any way !

    1. Thanks for your maiden comment, Sweta.
      Yes, I know about the person, who had written those baseless comments in one of your posts. I found out as he had written the same in mine too & when I did a Google search, I found your post with that person's similar comment!
      Can't help if some people have trouble accepting the truth!
      I agree with you.
      We must calmly carry on. Nothing defeats the bullies better!

  15. The best thing to do with cyber bullying is to ignore it completely and remove comments on posts from your blog. It only encourages them to receive any response whatsoever as this then goads them on to do more. It is your blog and you control it.

    1. Thanks for your suggestion. In a way you are right. We do have the controls.
      There are many Bloggers, who have advised me the same.
      May we keep walking like elephants!

      Bullies intend to hurt/malign us. However, if we are silent and simply delete their comment, other Bloggers will not be aware and may face similar ordeals from the same bullies...
      I feel if the bullies read/learn what people feel about them, they may not dare to bully others.

  16. It is unfair to be bullied for any reason. I am glad you continued to blog and did not let the harassment affect your purpose, dreams and goals.

    1. True. May there be no bullies, Val!
      Luckily, I have a good support-system, a never-say-die spirit & an optimistic attitude :)

  17. I think its exemplary, the way you dealt with cyber bullying. Kudos to your invincible attitude!

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Vyomi.
      We can't change/control others or their behaviour, but we can decide how we react :)
      I think many have faced far worse incidents, but many don't report such & we never get to learn...

  18. Anita, I absolutely love your attitude! I'm so glad this month's topic gave you the opportunity to explore these events and how beautifully you handled them. Thanks for the inspiration. I look forward to reading your future #1000Speak posts!

    1. Thank you so much, Jen!
      Delighted to have you & your maiden comment here :)
      Bullying is so insulting that victims normally do not discuss it & keep it under wraps...
      The damage is done. They don't even let out the hurt & humiliation from their system.
      Thanks to this #1000Speak topic, I got an opportunity to share...
      Thanks for your support & inspiration. Hope to take part.

  19. I am curious to know who the bully was... but more importantly - what's your pen name???? :)

    1. Bullies have one identity- BULLY :) Universal problem- Gender, Age, Nationality, Religion... no bar!

      That was a 'Fiction', inspired by this incident -
      Tried to make creative use like making & drinking lemonade when life served lemons :)
      Yet to write a book. And when I do, I'll use my real name & definitely inform you, Sreesha!

  20. I think this is an important issue, We should all work together against CYBER BULLIES.

    1. Totally agree with you, Mary.
      Hope there are no cyber bullies...

  21. Did this happen to you Anita. I thought that the blogosphere is a place where all the fellow bloggers respect each other and have mutual admiration. Sickening to know that you had to go through the bullying factor.

    BUt am glad that you survived. Keep high the spirits.

    1. Unfortunately yes, Ajay. It happened to me.
      A few people cannot take away the shine!
      Our Blogosphere is a great place with wonderful & supportive people like you & me! Country, gender, age, religion... no bar!
      Proud to be a part of this extended family :)

  22. This happens often.. Most of the time ignoring them would do the trick as they are just attention seekers. general readers can figure out who is genuine and who is fake,

    1. True.Yes, ignoring is a solution. Hope truth wins!
      Thanks for sharing, Shrinidhi.

  23. Great post indeed. A must read.

    1. Thanks for reading, Ashish :)
      Glad you liked it!


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