Can You Tell a Troll from a Cyberbully?

Can you tell a troll from a cyberbully? And do you know how to handle both?

While thousands of churches now fully embrace outreach through social media, not so many can trust their online interactions to people who know the difference between cyberbullies and trolls and, more importantly, know how to respond when confronted with a nasty social post.

To help church staff members and volunteers responsible for their ministries’ social channels, the United Methodist Church (UMC) has published a thoughtful guide: “How to encourage positive social interaction in the age of trolls and cyberbullies.”

“According to a Pew Research study, 73 percent of adult internet users have witnessed online harassment, and 40 percent have experienced it. The numbers continue to grow, and churches, pastors and ministry leaders are not immune,” the UMC reports.

The guide contains suggestions for engaging people online and for keeping the conversation civil, even in the face of trolls and cyberbullies. You’ll find the guide here.

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