Bullying hurts whether it is online or off-line

By Liu Jianxi Source:Global Times Published: 2016/10/31 22:13:39

An article in your  newspaper discussed an interesting phenomenon about online trolls last week. Under the guise of "justice," these sharp-tongued netizens curse celebrities, verbally attack innocent sports players and mock other people's achievements, and thus are dubbed "keyboard men" - using a keyboard as their weapons and the Internet as protective cover.

Cyber bullying is terrible enough. Worse still, these keyboard men seem to have never realized how annoying they are. They insist what they have done online is justice-driven, and those feeling hurt are too fragile to squarely face criticism. Bearing their "lofty" missions in mind, keyboard men are increasingly unscrupulous, and vent their anger on innocent people online.

More frustratingly, the Internet is not the only place where keyboard men launch their "sacred" battles. They are active fighters in the real world, maliciously commenting on innocent people's private lives.

A close friend of mine is a victim of these "right-minded" fighters. As a good-looking girl in her 20s, she is always sexily dressed, wearing heavy make-up, 10-centimeter high-heeled shoes and short skirts. Although "provocatively" dressed, my friend is a simple person and has a good character. She is easy-going and always ready to help those in need. Not surprisingly, she is quite popular among her male colleagues.

However, such popularity has only brought nightmares to my friend. It seems that the more popular she is among male colleagues, the more female colleagues dislike her. One day, she came to my place and cried heavily about how she had been treated by an intimate female colleague of hers. She overheard how her female colleagues cursed her when she was in the bathroom stall. Those girls maliciously commented on her sexy clothes, and one of them even cursed her as a "whore" without realizing that my friend was sitting in the stall.

What makes my friend even more heartbroken is that one of her closest friends also joined those girls. Not until then did my friend realize that her seemingly friendly colleagues are two-faced - amicable to her in face but stabbing her in the back, just like the keyboard men.

"Yes, I wear sexy clothes, but my style of dressing is none of their [her female colleagues] business. I dress to satisfy myself, and have no intention to seduce anyone. Why they attack me so viciously?" she cried to me.

Keyboard men can be our colleagues, friends and other companions in the real world. They have low tolerance, and are always jealous of other people's achievements. They vent all their anger, dissatisfaction, upset and stress in their personal lives on innocent people. They are cowardly, cursing others in private or anonymously, but obsequious to their victims' face. Shielded behind the Internet, these trolls are more rampant in cyberspace.

Although a number of countries have introduced regulations to curb cyber bullying, it is hard to distinguish verbal bullying from the freedom of speech. And this is why keyboard men are still active in both cyberspace and the real world.

So far, there is no good solution to eradicate the verbal bullying. What we can do is to stay immune to these keyboard men, become strong enough to resist their verbal attacks and dare to say no to verbal bullying. In the meantime, we should behave ourselves and not join the army of keyboard men. With the development of society, the number of keyboard men may decrease in the future.

Liu Lulu, a free-lanced writer based in Beijing

Posted in: LETTERS

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