I just had my first experience with Internet Trolling. A story I wrote for Yahoo Travel about traveling in Pakistan has been misinterpreted by some. I woke up to nasty tweets and emails.
I thought long and hard about what to do. Of course I wasn’t going to answer it tweet for tweet and get into the shit-show. That would be insane. I know this is a fight I can’t win. My inclination is to take the opportunity and turn this into a bigger conversation, beyond this story. I even drafted a version of what I want to say. After sitting on the rebuttal for 48 hours, I’ve decided not to post. Can’t convert the haters into lovers and on the other side I would be preaching to the choir.
Instead, here are a few things that could be helpful, should you ever find yourself in the middle of an online stoning:
Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking. No stranger to online bashing, she has found a way to jujutsu the attention and negativity into something else. It’s brilliant. She’s brilliant.
Monica Lewinsky’s TED Talk: The price of shame. She is Patient Zero in Internet shaming and public stoning.
This American Life: Ep 545, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, SAY IT ALL IN CAPS. There are some crazy people out there.
“Mute Button” by George Packer for The New Yorker, a great essay about the challenge to free speech in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo.
Seth Godin, Five Steps to Digital Hygiene. Step 5 is particular helpful, “Spend the most creative hours of your day creating, not responding.”
“The Complete Guide to Not Giving a Fuck” by Julien Smith. It’s brilliant and spot on.