Action, protest, campaigns, demos and issues magazine features, photos, articles, stories photos of London, New York, Wales, England and photography features music, parties, clubs, events, records, releases drug information, harm reduction, no-nonsense guide punch a celebrity football, features, issues, cardiff city games, useless games and diversions technical info, web authoring, reviews and features site news, updates and urban75 blog urban75 community news and events urban75 bulletin boards join the chatroom search urban75 back to urban75 homepage
London features, photos, history, articles New York features, photos, history, articles Brixton features, photos, history, articles panoramas, 360 degree vistas, London, New York, Wales, England Offline London club night festival reports, photos, features and articles urban75 sitemap and page listing about us, info, FAQs, copyright join our mailing list for updates and news contact urban75
urban75 info, faqs, bulletin board info, posting rules and legal info

» Posting FAQ
» User names FAQ
» Reported posts
» u75 dictionary
» Feedback forum
» Your copyright
» Legal statement
» Posting problems
» Online bullying
» Privacy statement
» Post like a Pro

» Legal/copyright info
» Basic libel laws
» Crisis/support
» Conspiraloons

« info homepage

« u75 boards
« urban75 home

Cyberbullying - online bullying
Dealing with cyber bullies, flame mail, hate mail
(adapted from Bully Online, reproduced with permission)
Updated: Aug 2009)

The Internet provides the perfect forum for cyberbullies, individuals whose aim is to gain gratification from the distress caused by provoking and tormenting others.

The anonymity, ease of provocation, and almost infinite source of targets means the Internet is full of predators from pedophiles targeting children to serial bullies targeting ... anybody.

Cyberbullies get a perverse sense of satisfaction (called gratification) from sending people flame mail and hate mail. Flame mail is an email whose contents are designed to inflame and enrage. Hate mail is hatred (including prejudice, racism, sexism etc) in an email.

Serial bullies harbour a lot of internal aggression which they direct at others.

This may include projection, false criticism and patronising sarcasm whilst contributing nothing of any value. It may also include a common tactic of "a number of people have emailed me backchannel to agree with me". This is standard bully-speak which I've experienced on several forums.

In every case it's a fabrication or a distortion - usually the former. It's also a variant of the serial bully head teacher who says "a number of parents have complained to me about you...". When challenged, the identity of the alleged complainants can't be disclosed because it's "confidential".

The purpose of this tactic is to wind people up. Don't be fooled into believing it has any validity - it doesn't.

People who bully are adept at creating conflict between those who would otherwise pool negative information about them.


The method of creating conflict is provocation which bullies delight in because they know they can always coerce at least one person to respond in a manner which can then be distorted and used to further flame and inflame people. And so it goes on.

The bully then sits back and gains gratification from seeing others engage in destructive behaviour towards each other. This is known as trolling - see: Trolling The Web for more information about their tactics.

Most serial bullies are also serial attention-seekers. More than anything else they want attention. It doesn't matter what type of attention they get, positive or negative, as long as they can provoke someone into paying them attention.

It's like a 2-year-old child throwing a tantrum to get attention from a parent. The best way to treat bullies is to refuse to respond and to refuse to engage them - which they really hate.

In other words, do not reply to their postings, and on forums carry on posting without reference to their postings as if they didn't exist. In other words, treat nobodies as nobodies.

The anger of a serial bully is especially apparent when they come across someone who can see through them to espy the weak, inadequate, immature, dysfunctional aggressive individual behind the mask.

If you receive abusive posts or hate mail from someone on the urban75 bulletin board, use the 'report this post' function, inform a moderator or mail the admin team

If you are receiving persistent abusive emails , forward them to abuse@isp where "isp" is the service provider the abuser is using, eg "" or "".

Although Internet service providers may not act on every complaint, the more complaints they receive about a particular individual (with examples of abusive email) the more likely they are to close down the person's account.


The objectives of bullies are Power, Control, Domination, Subjugation. They get a kick out of seeing you react.

It doesn't matter how you react, the fact they've successful provoked a reaction is, to the bully, a sign that their attempt at control have been successful.

After that, it's a question of wearing you down. The more your try to explain, negotiate, conciliate, etc the more gratification they obtain from your increasingly desperate attempts to communicate with them.

Understand that it is not possible to communicate in a mature adult manner with a disordered individual who's emotionally retarded.



1. The Number One rule for dealing with this type of behaviour is: don't respond and don't engage. This is not as easy to do as it sounds. It's a natural response to want to defend yourself, and to put the person right.

However, never argue with a serial bully; it's not a mature adult discussion, but like dealing with a child or immature teenager; whilst the serial bully may be an adult on the outside, on the inside they are like a child who's never grown up - and probably never will.

2. The second rule is to keep all abusive emails. Create a new folder, perhaps called "Abuse", and move hate mail and flame mail into this folder. You don't have to read it.

When the time comes to take action, this folder of hate mail and flame mail is your evidence.

Bullies, especially cyberbullies, are obsessive people and if their account is closed down you may start receiving mail from another address.

This can later be compared to the abusive emails you've already received to identify the perpetrator. You'll find the same words, phrases and strategies occurring.

3. The third rule is to understand bullying. Read through Bully OnLine carefully, understand the profile of the serial bully.

4. Rule four is get help. If you're a young person, this is essential. Even mature experienced adults often cannot handle bullying and harassment by themselves. Sometimes you are dealing with a severely disordered and dangerous individual.

5. Rule five is become alert to provocation. It could be called "The Baiting Game". A provocative comment is made and those who respond spontaneously in irritation (eg non-assertively) are then encouraged to engage in conflict with those who respond without irritation (eg assertively).

The provoker watches, waits and stirs the pot with the occasional additional provocation. What interests me is the sense of gratification that a provoker gains from watching others indulge in destructive interaction initiated by him- or herself.

In this context, gratification is a perverse form of satisfaction akin to, but distinct from, pleasure.


6. The sixth rule is become an observer. Although you may be the target of the cyberbully's anger, you can train yourself to act as an observer. This takes you out of the firing line and enables you to study the perpetrator and collect evidence.

When people use bullying behaviours they project their own weaknesses, failings and shortcomings on to others. In other words, they are telling you about themselves by fabricating an accusation based on something they themselves have done wrong.

Whenever you receive a flame mail or hate mail, train yourself to instinctively ask the question, "What is this person revealing about themselves this time?"

7. The seventh rule is decide if you want to take action, and if so, prepare carefully and strike hard. Sometimes refusing to respond and engage will result in the cyberbully losing interest and going off to find someone easier to torment.

Sometimes though, especially if there has been interaction in the past, the cyberbully is so obsessed that s/he cannot and will not let go. You will have to make that person let go, but only through swift, hard, legal action, and only when the time is right. Don't deal with the abuser yourself, use a third party such as a solicitor.

Bully OnLine is a gold mine of insight and information on bullying which identifies the different types of harassment and bullying, and exposes the principal perpetrator, the serial bully.


External links
Teen becomes first jailed in U.K. for cyberbullying [CNet Aug 2009)
Staying safe in cyberspace
Conflict in Cyberspace: how to resolve conflict online
The Psychology of Cyberspace
Links to stalking sites

  » back to bulletin boards

urban75 - community - action - mag - photos - tech - music - drugs - punch - football - offline club - brixton - london - new york - useless - boards - help/FAQs - © - design - contact - sitemap - search