I cracked the Facebook cyberbullying algorithm for autistics to stay safe. There is a sacred geometry that is applicable to the dance of autistics staying safe on the Internet. The algorithm for cyberbullying involves the detection of the bait, the self-regulation to execute safety nets, and to emerge autonomously empowered for the next onslaught. It is not passive-aggressive because I have to be aggressive with myself to remain passive. With intentional unschooling, I can steer my focus to my inner strengths, and derailed emotions fade into a new pastel. Sometimes, seeking alternative choices is a way of reaffirming the control one has come to trust within themselves. The objective is to find all the safe spaces, with the goal of expanding them until safety is the preferred norm.
The Tools, in Short:
(1) exercise physical and chemical restraint so as not to interact at all with the cyberbully’s posts and comments.
(2) start generating excellent content to invest in karma.
(3) bump up other posts in that group with positive contributions so the cyberbully’s threads get swallowed.
(4) actively monitor the assault without interacting directly.
Step One: Exercise Physical and Chemical restraint so as not to interact at all with the cyberbully in any place.
- Remove yourself, physically away from the computer/phone/device.
- Use sleeping pills, cannabis, and go low on the caffeine to minimize stimulants. Consider music-making to cancel the trigger of the notification alert sounds.
- The association with sound triggers may have been established when cyberbullying in the past has led to a profuse stream of alerts, and so frequent notifications, past and present, will represent a potentially unsafe situation unfolding. The reaction is a fight mode, where the body must respond to the alert, and investigate the safety levels at all times.
- Checking out and going off the grid is not possible for a marginalized group of people, who can experience escalated character assassinations without their knowledge, or while they are asleep. Oftentimes, low social interaction levels will contribute to being the last one to get the memo!
- Journaling in a notebook may build positive associations with the sound of your writing instrument. Coloring books and art mediums, and even sculpting, can immerse you in the physical productive state, where a more preferred physical reaction to cyberbullying is concretized. Instead of the mouse-hand wanting to go and click, your hand will joyously reach out for molding clay, and rewire a physical fight response to your medium of choice.
- At last, once the fight response is reworked, the narrative of the trigger becomes meaningless in daily life.
Step Two: start generating excellent content to invest in karma
- Setting the intention to pay it forward when you have it good is an investment in good karma to come back to you. The intention for this step ISN’T about pushing bad karma onto the cyberbully. In this way, this step of generating positive content is overwriting the emotional reactionary processes to associate with creating intentional safe spaces instead. Specifically, summoning good karma is the antidote for the aggressor’s intention of releasing bad karma onto you.
- If you are not reacting with the cyberbully, your spoons are all yours to generate knowledge that has the potential to be meaningful to a wide array of individuals. Go beyond your special interest, and realize the other reader’s most pressing need, and aim to nourish that.
- For example, if your autistic friends are having a very single-channeled panic about the Coronavirus, they might have a concern about obtaining enough of their 4 safe foods, given dwindling supply. Finding resources and sharing them on your public page, and then within your groups, is the objective of this exercise.
- Produce blog posts and/or social media posts about the right information needed to have a discussion about the topic.
- For example, if it’s about the Coronavirus, share bullet points and ideas about the needed information to give to your audience. For example, if Kraft mac-and-cheese is now suddenly available at the local food banks, please inform your friends who have sensory-prohibiting feeding needs. A major concern shared by many autistics (who are often isolated socially) is that their steady food intake requires as much independence as possible, to avoid the added stimulation to the feeding situation.
- Asking the autistic to hunt and gather is a secondary objective and an added burden to the physical task of staying nutriated and hydrated. Resources that point the autistic to the low-interaction high-yield access to sensory food supply is a noble endeavor and builds good karma.
- Investigating the resources before you share them:
- Do not share unreliable information. Check to make sure your sources are reliable. If the topic is shared via multiple news sources simultaneously, and you recognize those media outlets as free to the public (i.e. NPR, BBC, CNN, Vox, etc.), then the source is generally reputable.
- News sources need to be checked for scientific accuracy if the source is new to the audience. A title that screams provocatively will stimulate an awe factor in you, and compel you to click, and even share. Realistically, if the title provoked you, it is probably clickbait and also fake news.
- Determining primary sources of ongoing coverage for the Coronavirus requires quick and intuition-driven explorations to get to the source. Henny Kupferstein recommends on “Autism and the COVID-19 Coronavirus”:
- Limit your review of conspiracy theorists who make political arguments. Discussing how the global economy is involved in the spreading of the virus, may offset the energy you might otherwise devote to following pertinent information about a medical emergency.
- Investigate the author by checking which organizations, universities, and research agendas that they are aligned with. You may explore their research by searching for them by name on Google Scholar, ResearchGate, or Academia. A spectator is someone who uses their knowledge or professional position to generate an opinion, often to gain more power (also called a pundit).
- Facebook top 10 Tips to Spot False News – If the story is reported by multiple sources you trust, it’s more likely to be true.
Step Three: Bump up all the posts in that group with positive contributions so the cyberbully’s threads get swallowed.
- Bump up all the other posts in the same space where the cyberbullying is occurring. This action will directly activate the Facebook algorithm and put it to work for you.
- Be mindful of your comments and interactions, and limit yourself to perhaps animated gifs only. This serves to bump your contribution while at the same time, staying under the radar from the cyberbully who might misinterpret your comment as a showdown of who is the bigger hero.
- Keep your street cred authentic and compassionate, by congratulating people who have shared positive news about their life.
- Make sure your Facebook settings will list the discussions by most recent, descending. You want to be reactive, and caring, and resourceful to EVERY post, the moment it appears in the group’s timeline.
- If posts are not frequent, keep scrolling through the timeline and find posts that have a discussion going. Do not bump posts that, as yet, have no comments. If you are the first to respond, it will be perceived as aggression by the cyberbully, who is watching your activity closely.
- This task is an active state of meditation, where your dance between the spirits serves to round up the powers that are generative and continue to evolve. Hey goddess, I want to be on your flight!
- The fight-flight-freeze response in the brain may be rewired to activate positive associations in moments of trauma. Executing this algorithm distracts each of these response mechanisms as a part of the rewiring process. For autistic people, the protective mode of the limbic system is heightened by the memory of marginalization, oppression, and bullying from the past.
- The freeze-mode is particularly under-discussed in mainstream psychology research. When the targeted autistic avoids or isolates, the cyberbully successfully reinforces the loop of internalized oppression in their victim. Executing this algorithm serves as an antidote to cyberbullying. Reclaims the autistic person’s good karma supports how the autistic prefers to conduct themselves on social media.
Step Four: Actively Monitor the assault without interacting directly:
- Keep multiples tabs and devices on different pages to keep monitoring all the goings-on.
- Keep a tab open in that group with your name and cyberbully’s name in the search box. Refresh the search function every 15 minutes to see if they started another discussion about you. You may also need to do this on their private profile, public profile, and other social media accounts where they are currently active in, at, or with.
- Screenshots rewire the freeze-part of your heart and your will to live. They are needed for evidence; however, they can be re-traumatizing.
- Repetitively checking your camera roll to recount your evidence is an attempt to compensate for the loss of the amygdala’s proprioception or “freeze” in social ecology.
- Do not review your camera roll, and trust yourself that you have documented everything you will need.
- If you must satisfy the physical demands of this task, then treat yourself to printing pages for introducing proprioceptive evidentiary stimuli to your mind.
- For anyone with fine motor concerns, alternate between cellphone screenshots and computer screenshots. It is tedious to attempt to activate two function buttons simultaneously if you have dyspraxia.
- On a MacBook, consider accessibility “sticky keys”, which allows you to hit any functions and gives you the time to find the next keystroke necessary for the task.
- On the Mac, you can hit Command, then Shift, then the number 4. This will convert the mouse pointer into crosshairs. Place that in a starting corner of the area that you wish to capture, and click-drag until the dotted lines of the mouse frame is where you need it to be. Release the click to capture the image. It will save to your desktop.
- Windows users may screen capture by holding all three keys at once: Control+Alt-PrintScreen. Note, windows will only capture the image, but you will need to “paste” into any type of blank page or image canvas to save the capture on the clipboard.
The Morning After the Battle
These four action items hopefully served to empower you into a place of intentional reframing. Only you, and you alone, should be involved in self-regulation and moderation of your thoughts and associated actions. If you have a set of rules that feel assistive and not restrictive, follow them and document the results. Once you have built a solid toolkit, you will reach for it sooner and witness reliable outcomes, as those are the mathematical rules of an algorithm.
Now you are left with just a few more spoons to make it to tomorrow. A cyberbullying attack can shift suddenly from causing extreme duress to becoming completely back-burnered. Such a rapid pace compares to how the Coronavirus became more discussed than mittens for the koalas in Australia. “Oh yeah, right—whatever happened with that?”
Resetting your emotions should involve an internal dialogue. Find a unique positive reframing concept to counter feelings of violation and loss of control. For example, “I am allowed to say what is important” or “I am not always the one who has a Enproblem communicating.” These mantras will support any circular self-referential negative self-talk patterns. When the chatter is buzzing in your head, pause to reflect and evaluate if you are taking the bait of an aggressor. Once identified, activate your tools immediately. It is better safe than sorry to initiate this directive intentionally than to wait until more evidence emerges.
I am pleased to report that I discovered a natural space bubble with amniotic fluid in my garden. The garden provides physical separation from my devices. I am forced to wear gloves that do not work on the touchscreens. I am chemically activated by the sun to produce Vitamin D, which restrains sluggishness, or freeze, as I am stimulated by the flood of chemicals. Uprooting ginormous weeds, with the biggest power tools you have, reframes the newly introduced stimulus as the object you now must remove from the ground. A physical release of microaggression is a non-toxic chemical and physical antidote for full-on emotional and physical aggression elsewhere. Rewire a physical fight response by planting young seedlings that need a gentle touch. I bow to you, precious flower.
Cultivating a natural garden area, overwrites the emotional reactionary processes to associate with creating intentionally safe spaces instead, and preferably, away from the noxious stimuli from the devices and their designated stations. Introduce your Poofy Pikachu to your new pet rocks who live outside. You want to always be in charge, instead of passively inhaling from the fan that was hit.
Please join the “Asking Dr. Henny 🏋🏻♀️ re: Cyberbullying Autistics” facebook group for application of this method.