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Online bullying: Q&A with Sam Renke

SamanthaRenke16 Community member Posts: 2 Listener

Hi everyone,

I'm Samantha Renke. You might recognise me from the Maltesers adverts that launched around the Paralympics. I've been speaking in the Huffington post about my experiences of trolls and online bullying.

Sadly, I know that my experiences are not unique, and many disabled people experience bullying. I believe that it's really important that we continue to talk about it and raise awareness of these problems.

I'd really like to hear your experiences and thoughts on how we can tackle bullying and hate speech. And do ask me any questions you may have on the subject of online bullying or anything related.



  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,671 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @SamanthaRenke16 so great to have you here!

    What are your thoughts on tackling online bullying? There is the phrase 'don't feed the trolls' but is that the best tactic, or should we call people out on there opinions and comments if we think they are hurtful/offensive?


    Senior online community officer
  • SamanthaRenke16
    SamanthaRenke16 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    I would say it's only human to want to defend yourself when you are being targeted by hate speech. My initial reaction was to respond to the trolls but I didn't want to lower myself to their level so firstly I took screen shots of the comments and sent them to a close friend. I then reported and blocked the trolls. I think it is important to tell someone if you are receiving hate speech. 
  • Zec Richardson
    Zec Richardson Community member Posts: 154 Pioneering
    I would say don't respond and block!
    I have only had it twice and fortunately it didn't continue.
    It is so sad that these cowards feel the need to do this, but that is exactly what they are cowards! They feel they can say things they wouldn't say to people face to face and somehow derive pleasure from doing so!
    I run a Facebook group and the other day we had a very nasty case of racism, the guy who posted it left the group immediately to avoid facing the backlash and that tells you everything you need to know about these people!
  • Katie Fraser
    Katie Fraser Community member Posts: 5 Listener
    I think that bullying needs to be talked about particularly for those with learning disabilities like the customers I work with in the scheme I am working in. I would agree with not respondingand blocking people if they are nuisances. 
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