What is a ‘Trojan Horse’?
After a fruitless 10 year siege between the Greeks and the independent city of Troy the Greeks came up with a plan. The Greeks built a huge wooden horse, left it outside of the gates to Troy and then sailed away.
The inhabitants of Troy saw the Greeks sail away and pulled the horse into their city as a trophy for winning the war. What they didn’t know was that the Greeks sailed back in that night and that inside the horse were 30 Greek soldiers who opened the gates to Troy from the inside and let in the rest of the Greek soldiers allowing them to enter Troy and win the war.
Although this happened a long time ago the term ‘Trojan Horse’ is still used today to describe any tactic used to enter a secure place by tricking their way in.
In the past if someone was being bullied they were able to enter a place of sanctuary – usually their home – and avoid the bullies. Today they are unable to hide from the bullies as the bullies enter in their ‘Trojan Horse’.
The modern ‘Trojan Horse’
The ‘Trojan Horse’ today takes the form of the internet and in particular social media. This Trojan Horse allows bullies to connect with their victims 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no longer a place of sanctuary for victims.
It might be simple to suggest turning off the devices or disconnecting from social media. There are a couple of problems though. Firstly, why should they? Would you want to be forced to do something you didn’t want to do by a bully? Secondly, psychologically it is very difficult to ignore something that in your mind you know is there. Think about a wobbly tooth, you know it’s there and it hurts if you wobble it. But you can’t ignore it, you have to keep wobbling it to see if it is still wobbly and still hurts.
Thirdly, quite often the bully and victim have never met and often don’t even know each other. Without making excuses for the bullies, sometimes the bullies forget their is a person at the other end. They may make a derogatory remark about a photo they have seen on social media, but remarks are not about a photo – they’re about a person!
It is amazing how bullies have fitted the same profile throughout history. Pick on those weaker than themselves and/or surround themselves with a ‘gang’ (again independently weaker than themselves) which boosts their own lack of self esteem. Not many bullies work alone and not many will pick on those stronger than themselves. That profile is still much the same with cyber bullies, although they feel they have the advantage of anonymity, the reasons for bullying are still there.
They bully to look good to their ‘gang’. They are egocentric, need adoration and being weak themselves surround themselves with weaker people so they feel good about themselves and feel popular. Not having the intelligence and being too lazy to work towards being good at something like sport or music they take the ‘easy’ option and belittle others to make themselves feel good.
It is sad that others have to be hurt to make someone feel good and whilst it could be easy to advise victims of cyber bullying to just delete, block and ignore hurtful posts, if you were bombarded consistently you would need to be a very strong individual to ignore them. Particularly if threats turn to suggestions of physical violence.
Stopping the bullies
It might be tempting to try and belittle the bully with words, make the bully look silly to their ‘gang’ by picking them up on spelling, grammar etc. but it would be very hard for a bully to retreat with their ego intact so is more likely to escalate.
Removing the trojan horse would be one place to start. This is an area for cyber security experts to jump in. I do not have the knowledge to know what is or is not achievable. I would suggest something along the lines of anyone wanting to enter the internet must have their fingerprints entered into a database, using fingerprints to log onto the internet would help identify offenders and access to the internet denied when fingerprint tries logging on.
I know they could get other people to log on for them, but again if any offence was committed, that fingerprint would be locked out as well. Many people would not want to lose their access to the internet for someone else. Fingerprints being locked out could find themselves unable to access the benefits system, exams, driving tests, phone contracts, smart tv, internet gaming etc. etc. Maybe this would be enough of a deterrent! What do you think?
As I said before I don’t know if this is even possible but seeing as my phone uses fingerprint recognition it does sound plausible – to me anyway. I also know trying to build a database of every person on the internet would be a mammoth task and that those who feel they are not doing anything wrong would not want big brother watching. I also do not like the idea of big brother watching, but if you are not doing anything wrong then there is nothing to worry about.
Your thoughts and comments? Please let me know what you think. Am I living in cuckoo land? Do you have a solution? Please share with us, your idea might save victims of bullying and make the internet a safer place!
Thanks for reading.
Justin – founder of www.twitway.com