My First Cyberbully

Opening Remarks

This has been a slightly troublesome post to write, as befits the slightly troubling experience which it reports. The motive for writing this post is to illustrate a perhaps subtle approach employed by a bully.

For the sake both of protecting identities and of brevity of language, I refer to the other person concerned as “Mr Ully”. Mr Ully was the first tweeple in the slightly over 2,000 that I follow who behaved like this.

The Lead In

I was using Twitter, and had just made the acquaintance of Mr Ully, and I was going through the usual sort of exchanges that you do when engaging with somebody new. The conversation then turned to the matter of education. Soon afterwards, Mr Ully came out with this little gem:clip 1which I found somewhat confronting. It was a harbinger of what was to come.

It was a classic example of first befriending someone, and seeking to impose your own world view on them.
I have included the exchange in the panel on the right in case any reader wishes to study the exchange in detail.
Mr Ully was working very hard at undermining my confidence in my mastery of English, and seeking to impose his own understanding on me, this prompting me to tweet “has just blocked a tweeple who tried to bully me into accepting that a specialist word in my area of trade does not exist.”.
This produced this wonderful response from James Greenwood (web site:, twitter @jpgreenwood) “@philhart Wouldn’t lose much sleep over it… you were perfectly coherent.”.
As I am a mature individual, Mr Ully’s efforts got nowhere. I also found James Greenwood’s tweet to be heartwarming.

Think of the Children

I now come to the main point of this post. Some young people may lack the developmental maturity to recognise such a form of bullying and to deal with it accordingly. This is something that I will now be very much more conscious of in the future.
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The exchange

6 thoughts on “My First Cyberbully

  1. Thank you for reminding me that children may not have the social maturity to deal with a cyberbully. Teachers need to be aware of this, but they also need to be trained in how to help students deal effectively with a cyberbully. It’s not as easy as telling them to just ignore it.

  2. Hi Phil!

    I am really sorry you had to face this kind of behaviour from someone on Twitter. It disturbed me a lot and I would say that you approached it very well. I absolutely agree with your last comment, about how children lack the maturity to face such a situation.

    Thanks for talking about this experience, Phil and I hope it never happens again – to you or anyone.

    Kindest regards,

  3. Hello Denise,

    You were already one step ahead of me: I’m still playing catch-up with you on this one. 🙂

  4. Hello Vicky,

    Thanks for your kind and thoughtful reply.

    People’s responses to this post has taught me something important: it is okay to report on bad experiences, and I like to share with others what I have learned from those experiences.

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