Being the target of online abuse is not easy to deal with. Knowing the appropriate steps to take to address your situation can help you through the process.
What is considered online abuse?
Blab is a conversational platform and you might not agree with what is being discussed.
Blab defines abuse as:
systematic and/or continued actions that which torments or demeans anyone on Blab in a way that would make a reasonable person conclude that Blab is not a safe platform to express their ideas or participate in the conversation, or fear for their safety or the safety of those around them.
Someone that follows an individual or group of users, online or off, to the point where they no longer feel that it’s safe to be on Blab or are in fear for their physical safety is considered abuse and should be reported to Blab. If you feel in danger, you should contact your local authorities.
What is not considered online abuse?
The nature of the content/conversations on Blab might be funny, professional, spiritual, serious, heated, dramatic, animated, or anywhere in between. Being generally annoying or participating in a heated discussion do not constitute as online abuse. Sometime users will join a Blab with the intent to disrupt the conversation. Disrupting a conversation is not abuse either. Hosts can respond to this type of behavior by banning users from the room by clicking the warning icon on their profile card.
Team Blab will not moderate disagreements, drama, etc within any Blab. The Hosts of the Blab are the moderators and are responsible for their Blab. If you are not the host of a room, you can leave and choose to participate in another Blab. Vote with your time.
What can you do before you report it?
Don’t engage abusive users or those who are trying to egg you on or try to disrupt the flow. By not responding to abuse the abusers will typically lose interest. If the user in question is a friend, try addressing the issue offline. If you have had a misunderstanding, it may be possible to clear the matter up face to face or with the help of a trusted individual.
The Host(s) are the moderators therefore are responsible for their Blab. If a host deems it necessary, they can Block and Report user(s) within their own Blab. Blocking prevents users from further disrupting the Blab.
When should I report it?
If you continue receiving unwanted, targeted and continuous abuse on Blab and feel it constitutes online abuse, you may report the behavior to Team Blab here. Please ensure you have screenshots or other proof available.
“I’ve reported an issue and nothing happened!”
Not all reports will be responded to. If action is necessary we will take the appropriate actions. Sometimes additional info will be requested (screenshots, recordings, user profiles, etc.) If what has been reported does not break TOS or is reported from a bystander, there’s a possibility your report will not be responded to.
Witnessing abuse vs. being abused
If you are witnessing someone be abused, you can encourage them to report the behavior to the proper channels. Reporting on another user’s behalf will hold less weight. Because things are happening live, and chat can be taken out of context, it’s important to understand what you’ve witnessed might be something both parties are willingly engaging in.
Take threats seriously
If you believe you are in physical danger, contact your local law enforcement authorities who have the tools to address the issue. If you have filed a police report, please let the Blab team know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you decide to work with law enforcement, make sure to do the following:
- enable record to capture verbal / visual abuse
- document the violent or abusive messages with print-outs or screenshots
- be as specific as possible about why you are concerned
- provide any context you have around who you believe might be involved, such as evidence of abusive behavior found on this or other websites
- provide any information regarding previous threats you may have received
Reach out to the people you trust
When dealing with negative or hurtful interactions, it can help to turn to family and friends for support and advice. Oftentimes, talking with your relatives or a close friend may help you figure out how you want to handle the situation or let you express your feelings so you can move on.
Open a private discussion with 1 or 2 other users who you can trust. Having these discussions in a public Blab can likely make things worse. Do not respond or engage publicly when dealing with abuse.
Trying to figure out how to help someone in such a situation can be daunting.
If you see a violent or abusive message directed at someone else, communicate your concern to the recipient and encourage them to contact Team Blab and their local authorities.
Helping a friend or family member with online abuse
Being the target of online abuse is not easy. If someone you know is being affected by online abuse, here are some ways that might help, or make the situation easier for them.
If you see someone being abused online, try to remain positive and refrain from joining in. While it is frustrating, it can be tempting to join in and retaliate against the abuser. There is no need to further add fuel to the fire. Often times, this is usually what the abuser is looking for.
Rather than joining in, encourage the host(s) to kick the abuser from the video seat and/or Block and Report them from the Blab. If the host(s) are not immediately available, encourage the person being abused to leave the Blab and join you in another location (pick a destination like an Unlisted Blab) to try to understand the situation and encourage them to get help.
Just because the abuse is happening online, doesn’t make it any less real. If a friend or loved one seeks your help with an abusive online situation, listen to what they have to say and take their situation seriously.
Encourage them to get help
While it’s important to be there for them, encourage them to seek professional help, whether it be a counselor, therapist, lawyer, law enforcement, or other trusted individuals. If you know the individual online only, suggest they seek people offline they can talk with.
Do not report abuse by:
- @ mentioning a staff member directly in chat
- calling @help in chat (this is used for technical emergencies)
- tweeting @blab
Report abuse by:
- E-mailing email@example.com