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Conflicts on the net

3 minutes reading time
11-17 years
Social Media
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Under YouTube videos or in social networks, you often find comments from people who are upset, insulting or just ranting. Many users have already had contact with bullying – with themselves or with others. It’s not just people who are in the public eye who get clobbered by other Internet users. Is that just part of life?

There are always people behind conflicts – even online

It’s not the Internet’s fault that people clash or want to harm each other. On the net, however, it is particularly tempting for some people to cheat, insult or threaten. It’s easier for them to instigate conflict when they don’t directly realize that the other person is suffering. Yet vulgarities are no less bad just because they take place online.

The Internet is by no means a lawless space and no one should have to fear going online. The same rules and laws apply as usual, and it is important that everyone knows and abides by them.

Conflicts are everywhere

Conflicts always arise between people, even children and young people argue. This is quite normal, and it’s how they learn to deal with conflict – offline and online. However, it is often more difficult for them to assess how far one can go and at what point limits are exceeded. Especially with hate messages and bullying, children and teenagers are sometimes very mean without even realizing it.

The older your child gets, the more he or she is online and can also get into conflicts with adults there. In their teens, children are using more and more platforms or apps where they may encounter messages, comments and content that spread hate, agitation and untruths. It is very important that you do not leave your child alone in this process and prepare them in time on how to deal with it.

Dealing with conflicts

The most important thing is that your child knows that you are approachable and supportive when problems and conflicts arise. Children and young people only gradually learn to assess risks and dangers well and to deal with conflicts. Various strategies can be helpful in this regard:

  • Communicate without violence. Even if it is sometimes difficult, you should always remain polite yourself and thus not further fuel the conflict.
  • Prefer face-to-face. Online, misunderstandings quickly arise. In addition, the inhibition threshold for vulgarities is lower. It is better to resolve a conflict in a direct conversation.
  • Name the problem. It is important to call a problem even if you discover insults, threats or hatred.
  • Set boundaries. You have to make it clear to the other person when a limit has been reached. Sometimes this already helps to contain a conflict.
  • Get help. You don’t have to do everything on your own. You can look for friends, family, teachers or even other people in the network to support you.
  • Support. Sometimes you witness a conflict but are not involved yourself. Then it is important to offer help and support the affected person.
  • Disagree. If you dare, you can also discuss and disagree. The best thing to do here is to set clear boundaries and name problems.
  • Report. All platforms on the network offer that content is reported. So if you see insults, hate content, fake news or something similar, most of the time the platforms will also take care of it if you let them know.

More on the topic of “Conflicts on the Net” can be found at the following points of contact:
– Dealing with hate in social media at the Amadeu Antonio Foundation.
– Bullying at Juuuport.
– Dealing with fraud and misinformation at Mimikama.

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