Teens are lying about being cyberbullied now, or something?

A writer wrote about a predominantly teen issue in a way I found offensive so I wrote a rebuttal. The writer found it and countered, clearly still missing my point.

Because it looks like I have to spell everything out in really plain text, here we go:

Let’s say you write about a web community as an unbiased journalist; if the piece you wrote was an accurate reflection of the community, someone somewhere within the community would have something positive to say about your piece.  Something like, “hi, thanks for writing this!” at least.

But what if ALL the feedback you receive from the community is negative?

Well, then you did something wrong, something got lost in translation. (Did anyone from the 1D Larry community say anything positive about the article? I looked and couldn’t find it.) We’re not talking about one or two trolls, we’re talking everyone had a problem with it.

Further, if feedback from said community uses words like “bullying,” “harassment” or “victimized,” how can you not realize you did something wrong? If it is minors saying it, well, …shit.

Whether you meant to bully or not does not erase the experience thousands of young women said they had. Did thousands of teens (tweens and 20 year olds too) secretly conspire and all agree that article you wrote about them made them feel ashamed of themselves and their internet activities? Was it all a grand conspiracy to accuse a journalist of wrongfully cyberbullying them? No, obviously not. These ideas must have come from somewhere, from somewhere in your post.

The writer of the post in question wrote of her piece, “It explicitly avoided shaming the practice of shipping Harry/Louis.”

If it explicitly “avoided shaming the practice of shipping Harry/Louis,” then why did the people in the community reading it take it that way? Are they just all making it up?

Again, I repeat so it sinks in: Just because you say it isn’t so does not make it so. Just because you said you didn’t bully or shame doesn’t mean anything if thousands of young women are crying about the words you wrote about them. Teens don’t casually accuse journalists of bullying or shaming them, and dismissing and denying their complaints comes off like you don’t respect them. Denying it does not make their trauma, their pain and frustration any less real, either.

It makes you look like you think they are crazy, at best.

Wait, they already think you think they are “crazy”…

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