Random musings: If you troll me…

Once upon a time, you could publish and be damned only if you wanted to be damned.

Okay, let me put that slightly differently. If you were the Editor of a newspaper, for example, you could decide to publish only rejoinders you wanted published. The harsh, unpalatable ones, you could simply trash, especially if you’re lucky to escape a solicitor’s letter.

Dodging is not so easy anymore. Once you have a digital footprint – and at least 5.35 billion people have – your trail can get so long, shaking off unwanted comments doesn’t come that easy. The comments, in fact, feed the traffic!

It’s one time you can’t afford to get near the kitchen if you don’t like the heat. Does that justify the stalking and sometimes outright vile attacks that tens of hundreds of innocent Internet/social media users face daily online?

Of course not. The right to disagree does not include the right to verbal or physical attacks. In fact, a recent book, Happiness in journalism, edited by Valerie Belair-Gagnon and others, has a collection of articles on the subject of promoting mental and emotional health in distributed world.

For many years, I dilly-dallied on the edge of how far I really wanted to dip into surging waters of social media. I was happy with emails and normal texts. I wasn’t sure I had the appetite for the fury of the deep end, which for me included the microblogging site, WhatsApp, and of course, X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, Instagram and so on.

Recently, I had very useful chats with folks who have been there long before me and who have had firsthand experiences in trolls and attacks online. Each one of them seemed to have a different story, a different way of managing the situation.

You would find all of their experiences valuable. I’m sure of that. If you would like to share their stories, get a copy of my book, Writing for Media and Monetising it, and read Chapter 8. You will absolutely love it!

Azu Ishiekwene is a veteran journalist with over 35 years of experience, currently serving as Senior Vice Chairman/Editor-In-Chief of LEADERSHIP. Azu is a prolific author, columnist, and co-founder of The Interview magazine, Azu's influence extends beyond borders, shaping the global media landscape.

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