As the camming industry continues to expand, due to the popularity of sites like Chaturbate, CAM4 and MyFreeCams, parallel technological advances by companies like Fleshlight and CAM4VR invite fans to close the virtual gap and become even more intimate with their favorite models. While this fosters a better overall experience, it also creates challenges regarding the privacy and safety of models, thereby increasing the chances of cyberbullying.
That being said, the vast majority of fans are wonderfully generous people who truly care for the models they adore. But all it takes is a tiny fraction of the audience harassing and insulting models to have a very negative impact on your long-term happiness. From social networks to chat rooms, cyberbullying can take the form of derogatory remarks, sex-negative comments or threats. And, recent media studies have found that nearly two-thirds of surveyed respondents have experienced some form of digital intimidation.
One thing new models may not realize is that the ‘mean’ people in your chat room are never ones who will pay you any significant amount of money. The money you actually give up by blocking bullies is pretty much zero! -Mia Saldarriaga, JuanBustos
So, how do the most prominent stars of the cam industry deal with bullies? Well, the crème de la crème all share a common trait. Rather than allowing themselves to be pushed around, they choose instead to stand united against all forms of degradation that can lead to a performer being silenced, intimidated or prevented from exercising their freedom online. As she recently stated in an article of her own, LiviaChoice said that cam models should educate users firmly, but politely, and not be afraid to lose money from blocking and ignoring unkind visitors who persist. One thing new models may not realize is that the “mean” people in your chat room are never ones who will pay you any significant amount of money. The money you actually give up by blocking bullies is pretty much zero!
She also highlighted the need to be clear in the biography section of your webcam profiles about what you expect from followers and fans. This knowledge could well be applied to the management of social networks as well. Each model should ask themselves: What do I want to show on my social networks? What will I gain from them? And who is my target audience? The answer to these questions empowers models to block, avoid and eliminate comments from followers that exceed their intentions. After all, negative comments from visitors can have a draining effect, until you realize that you’re not required to please every single follower. Detractors and harassers end up costing you an unnecessary amount of effort with little or zero reward for trying to keep them happy.
It is also important to ask cam networks what tools they already have in place to prevent verbal harassment, so you can take full advantage of them. Regardless, future technologies and networks will likely have to find innovative ways of smoothing away the rough edges of our audiences. However, when it comes to solving the societal issues of cyberbullying the real answers likely won’t come from any new sort of tech — they will come from models fostering a positive culture on each cam site and studios working to educate the cam community overall.
Mia Saldarriaga is an accomplished cam model, brand ambassador and entrepreneur who has ascended the ranks of Colombian camming powerhouse JuanBustos.com to become its COO. She contributes regularly to XBIZ Cam World with her candor and wit.