Unfortunately it's a different kind of blog today. Today I am speaking on behalf of my friends and for my friends, myself and even people I don't know.
Trolls definition: to antagonise others by deliberately posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or disruptive content. Trolls engage in the most outrageous and offensive behaviours possible.
Being a dog professional unfortunately means we are targets for trolls on blogs, lives, reviews, groups, everywhere…
Social media is rife with trolls and there are some things across social media we can do, such as Facebook we can block or they can be reported to Admins within groups etc and the same for Instagram and TikTok etc. But it doesn't lessen the impact it can have and it is still unnecessarily time consuming.
Social media is becoming a really unpleasant place for many of us to be even though social media can do so much good at the same time. Some social media channels are better than others.
Did you know that Google is the only social platform that does not protect people from trolls? They have no means of contact other than reporting trolls. There is no human on the other side so of course the troll never ever suffers for the consequences of their behaviour. This makes them feel that they have won and continue to collect more victims.
Because that's what it is, a victimisation of an unknown person or individual.
Facebook, TikTok and Instagram you can block people, but only after they have hurt you. Which does protect you from future attacks and removes their vitriol but doesn't take the pain away.
Some people feel really brave behind a keyboard and say the most awful things about people that they have never met in most cases and do not know.
They take great pleasure in hurting another person and in most cases will gladly take on anyone who dares to defend them.
It's so bad within the dog training community lately, one professional went to the papers about this. Because we are not protected. It must have taken this person a lot of guts to go to the papers about this as it's not easy to share.
The amount of professionals being targeted across all industries is horrendous and there is absolutely no need for it.
Those of us who are accredited and professionally assessed within the dog training industry spend our extra time and money on furthering our education to help your dogs.
Victimising a self employed or small business is the worst and the lowest of the low. These people are not billionaires or large companies.
Trolls are everywhere and find lots of ways to target others, whether it is via their Facebook pages or groups, a live or a seminar and of course reviews.
Trolling can begin with a nasty comment on a video or a post, a nasty message just because they're bored or they go the next step with a fake review.
Many reviews come simply because the self employed person did not reply to their message in the time they deem appropriate. This isn't talking about weeks of waiting but a 24-48 or even 72 hour waiting time is standard for any self employed or small business to respond. Many, many businesses I communicate with all state this.
Self employed people are also entitled to days off which maybe and are interchangeable, entitled to sick days and hours when they are unavailable. But some people feel the need to see every single business as a fast food service, not an individual or a small team behind a business name and when they decide they aren't happy because they had to wait for a response, they damage a business by leaving an unkind and biased review.
Dog Trainers and Behaviourists are not the only industry victimised, every industry is attacked. This is for all self employed people regardless of trade or service. This has worsened since covid and a movement and belief system of "be kind" is only held by an ever growing smaller number of people.
Dr. Sophia Yin killed herself in 2014 due to the pressure that this particular job brings with it. She never should of died and not one more person should commit suicide because of the pressure or this ever evolving unkind world of social media.
This industry is hard, it can be so draining and most of us are in it because we love animals and we want to help every single dog and their family. We don't need trolls and bullies on top of our commitments to what we already do and I want to take this opportunity to shout out to my amazing colleagues in the Force Free industry, you are all amazing and you are seen.
Our industry particularly is sad to think that we work with the loveliest animals who have no agenda and give constant and unwavering love, they aren't judgemental, unkind or actively seek ways to hurt others.
But some humans who own them or work with them are hurtful, unkind and generally not nice people. The complete opposite of a dog's behaviour and nature.
When amazing Professionals also give up their time to do lives and seminars for people and get attacked, this isn't OK. Comments can be seen popping up as people speak and it can already be super nerve wracking and scary and to have unsolicited and unkind comments pop up can really add to the angst.
Sharing educational videos for free to help others are attacked, quite recently sadly disabled people have been the target. The most awful things have been said and again not just the Dog Training Industry.
Especially within our industry we should be supporting one another and praising our colleagues for their hard work and dedication, not tearing them down.
The world needs to do better. If you see someone being trolled, step up and help them. It takes five minutes to show support to a fellow human being. You never know you might just save a life!
Image id: Troll sat at a computer ready to write horrible things. The troll is green with a purple hat, pointy ears, orange boots and sharp teeth. The image is titled trolls with speech bubbles surrounding the troll highlighting the key areas in this blog.