Digital Women UK hosts regular Twitter talks (using the hashtag #DWUKTalks) on a topic that shows the link between creativity and social media, and highlights the women who are making a difference online. This month Joy Francis talks #trolling and tackling online abuse with our guest tweeter academic, novelist and social media campaigner Sunny Singh.
Stella Creasy MP. Blogger Mikki Kendall. Classicist Mary Beard. Three very different women, but they all share one unpleasant experience – trolling. You cannot Tweet, Snapchat or read a newspaper without seeing yet another story of a usually high profile woman being insulted, abused or harassed for expressing an opinion. What isn’t being looked at are the scores of everyday women – young and older – who are leaving social media, or not even attempting to join, due to trolling. When we launched last year, our online Digital Confidence Survey showed just how much of a problem this was, resulting in 60 per cent of the women who had been trolled being left to confront their abuser on their own. Though, on one level, it is heartening to hear that women are not being cowed, this is far from a satisfactory situation. Our ongoing series on this issue isn’t making us feel any more comfortable about speedy progress being made. So what are the best techniques or approaches to adopt to make social sharing a more confident and less intimidating experience? Sunny Singh, a trolling survivor and social media campaigner, who has produced her own set of guidelines, will help you gain clarity over your online options.
Sunny Singh was born in Varanasi, India and graduated from Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, in 1990 with a degree in English and American Literature. She has a Masters degree in Spanish Language, Literature and Culture from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and a PhD from the Universitat de Barcelona. Now based in London, she is head lecturer in creative writing at the London Metropolitan University. Sunny has produced guidelines for using social media safely with multiple strategies for different levels of abuse and scenarios. An expert on Bollywood, she is currently finalising a book on Amitabh Bachchan for the BFI/Palgrave’s series on film stars. Her new novel, Hotel Arcadia, will be published by Arcadia Books in the spring 2015.
Find out more about Sunny at www.sunnysingh.net
Read more about tackling online abuse here
Follow Sunny on Twitter: @sunnysingh_nw3
- Creating a safety enabled Twitter/social media profile, such as choosing handles and social sharing on Digital Publishing Suite so you can make an informed choice
- Understanding the psychology of trolling
- Personalised v casual v organised harassment
- Opportunities and hurdles of digital publishing
- Why a comprehensive reaction as online is not separate from IRL (in real life)
- Choosing a social media strategy that works best for you
Image credit: Walter White