Social media engagement insights, news, and tips.
Is there such a thing as social media bullying? There is, even though most people will know it by the name of cyber bullying.
According to the statistics published on InternetSafety 101, 95 % of social media teen users have witnessed cruel behavior on social network sites, and 66% of them have seen others joining the bullying, while 22% joined themselves the harassment.
These statistics also show that the most common reasons why cyberbullies have engaged in cyberbullying was to get back at someone (58%), because they deserved it (58%), for fun (28%) and to embarrass them (21%).
One of the main reasons why bullying has moved from real life to social media networks is because, as the bullies have confessed, it’s much easier to get away with it online as online it’s easier to hide.
Most social media bulling acts include posting a negative comment on pictures, posting abusive posts on someone’s wall or using their pictures to make fun of the user. And, of course, this cyberbully behavior is blooming on one of the most popular social media sites, Facebook.
According to a report by the Washington Post, 9 out of 10 teen Facebook users have reported they have witnessed bullying on this social media site, which is an astonishing number!
The bulling movement has also recently found a new more efficient place to engage in their harmful behavior and that is on brands Facebook pages, where there’s a much bigger crowd to see offensive comments and where their comments may reach millions of people.
When it comes to Facebook brand pages, bullying is in most cases done for the mere "fun" of it, especially when brands feature success stories in their Facebook posts such as "Look how much weight Susan lost when using our product"(weight loss brand) or "Here's Jim enjoying our home-cooked bacon" (supermarket brand). These types of posts often receive negative comments such as “Susan still looks fat” or “Jim is bald and ugly”.
Are these negative comments on Facebook brand pages considered bullying? Absolutely! Is there something page administrators can do about it? Should brands take some sort of action against these increasingly frequent social media situations? Absolutely!
Well, the answer is simple. These bullying comments come to dismantle everything the brand is building up through their social media networks and the brand is making a silent affirmative statement by not removing the harmful content.
When the targets of bullying are success stories (such as weight-loss Susan) or customers (such as Bacon-Jim), not removing the harmful comments may cost the brands their most loyal customers. Other people reviewing the horrifying comments may also perceive the brand as if it does not care for the wellbeing of its customers, as it is not investing resources into protecting them.
Comments bullying a brand’s employees are also quite typical. Comments such as; “Jenna from customer support is perhaps the most ridiculous person on earth.” lower employee motivation and also may scare prospective employees away from applying to the company.
Brands should pay greater attention to this type of behavior and take the necessary actions to stop it as soon as possible.
So, what can a brand do when they witness bullying on their Facebook page?
#1. React fast to minimize the harmful consequences! For brands receiving a lot of comments, moderation around the clock is essential.
#2. Hide the comment if it is not severe, as then only the commenter and his/her Facebook friends see the comment whilst it is not visible to anyone else or immediately delete the comment if it is severe.
#3. If a certain post is receiving a lot of bullying comments, it may make sense for the page administrator to make a statement by posting a comment on the post asking everyone to behave when commenting and then removing the bullying comments.
#4. Another option is to delete bulling comments and then sending a private message to the bully giving him or her a firm warning that they will be banned from commenting on page if they don’t behave. Facebook also offers the option to report the individual so in case he doesn’t stop the bullying, Facebook will take the necessary measures to stop their behavior.
Of course, it’s paramount that you don’t address the bullying by responding to the bullying comments in a childish or aggressive manner. This isn’t the professional way of handling it, especially with all these users/followers/fans watching your every move.
However, never forget! You are responsible for managing and moderating the activity that goes on your Facebook brand page. This means you need to keep a close eye on it, react fast and take the necessary measures to prevent bullying.
It’s up to brands to make sure that they prevent and stop bullying on their Facebook pages. Social media bullying may be one of the newer forms of bullying, but it could prove to be one of the most serious, considering the amount of time users spend online.
Considering the situation and all the stats, greater attention needs to be paid on what’s posted on our Facebook brand pages and immediate reactions are required.
Stay vigilant, keep a close eye on your Facebook brand page and eradicate bullying before it gets to its victim. Act professionally and adopt a moderation agency to take care of your page if you don’t have the time and resources available for in-house moderation.
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