Cyberbullying has become a very serious issue for many in Second Life. Model’s Workshop and others partnered with Model’s Giving Back in the Speak No Evil Anti-Bullying/Anti-Cyberbullying Campaign that was started by Jamee Sandalwood and ran from February 7 – February 28 to bring awareness to and help combat the growing trend of cyberbullying.
In support of the Speak No Evil Campaign, Model’s Workshop held an Anti-Bullying Workshop on February 28 at 11AM and 5PM (slt) to help educate its members on how to recognize and understand cyberbullying and what to do to stop it. MW members came out to learn, listen…some even shared their own experiences.
The presentation was done by yours truly, Jena Adder, and I invited Suki Rexen, CEO & Co-Owner of Model’s Workshop, who is also formally trained in psychology in real life, to offer her expertise on the psychological aspects of bullying. Also on the panel was Rhiannon Colclough, Model’s Workshop Staff, who did extensive research on slander, libel and anonymous threats online and wrote a very informative article on the topic in the December 2016 edition of L’Amour Diversity Magazine (Page 126).
The Workshop was meant to provide information and resources to victims of cyber bullying so that they can take the necessary steps to pull themselves out of the situation.
The presentation explained the three players in most bullying situations: the bully, the victim and the bystander. I talked about the various scenarios that bullying might occur: from hate, jealousy, as revenge, to fit in with friends or for fun. Suki explained why some people bully (low self-esteem, they too were bullied, they have unresolved issues), and why some are the perfect victims (lack self-confidence, easy prey, plays the victim). Rhi explained the options people have when slander, libel and criminal activity come into play.
Other things like what bullies typically do and say to their victims, such as repeatedly criticizing them (in person and publicly), calling them hurtful names, trolling, shaming and telling lies about them. I also showed examples of how bullies use social media to spread damaging statements, rumors and photos and in some cases use fake profiles to do so.
It is very shocking to know how easy it can be for someone to bully others online and why bullies think they are protected somehow by the anonymity the internet gives them. It’s important for victims to know their rights, what options and recourses they have and how bystanders can help the victim by taking action as well.
In the case of models in Second Life, we are constantly criticized for our performances and talked about on social media platforms like Facebook and blogs. Sometimes those criticisms do bring to light our mistakes and some of us might use this as an opportunity to improve our skills. However, sometimes those criticisms become malicious and are done simply to hurt us or ruin our reputation. It doesn’t only happen to models but to business owners and other professionals in fashion. It is cowardly behavior and it has to stop.
As a victim, don’t respond to bullies, especially on their own terms and in their environment. If they are spreading lies, calm down and assure others around you that the person’s statements are false. Take control of the situation…the bully might be harassing you to get a rise out of you, so calm down, leave, walk away from the computer…take 15 minutes to get your thoughts together. Do another activity that brings you peace of mind.
Research and understand your rights on the website or social media platform where the bullying occurred. Keep all evidence of it and REPORT the bully, and include all the damaging statements, conversations and pictures with your report. Know and understand your rights in the country you live in and the local laws on online bullying or harassment.
Speak to a friend or family member…do not stay silent. Mute/Block your bully and their friends from your social media accounts and Second Life.
Don’t let the bully stop you from LIVING YOUR LIFE!
Bystanders can help by being a friend to the victim by offering assistance and also reporting the bully.
Whatever reasons people have for maliciously targeting someone, bullying is NOT COOL! It is NOT RIGHT. It shows a lack of compassion and maturity and an obvious need for attention. The fight doesn’t have to end after one month. We at Model’s Workshop vow to continue to stand up for victims of cyberbullying and hope the entire fashion and Second Life community will as well.
Thank you to my guest panel, Suki and Rhiannon, for their input and expertise on the topic. Thank you to the guests for sharing their experiences and also offering some helpful tips for victims. A special thank you to Jamee Sandalwood for taking a proactive role in the fight against cyberbullying.
Below are some resources to learn more about bullying and cyberbullying.
MW COO & Co-Owner
REPORTING ABUSE / HARRASMENT
(ON SOCIAL MEDIA)
Here are links to the Abuse section of some of the more popular social media sites. (Note: some of these sites may require you to log in to access the information below.)
This entry was posted in FASHION COMMUNITY NEWS, General Modeling Info, Guest Lecture - Modeling, Workshops and tagged Anti-bullying, Bullying online, Cyber Bullying, Cyberbullying, Jamee Sandalwood, Jena Adder, Monica Balut, Rhiannon Colclough, Suki Rexen.