Tim Rogers, FUSION

Everybody gets trolled from time to time. It's part of the digital world we live in.

And it sucks.

We try to pretend that cyberbullying doesn't affect us, but it often does. Social media platforms created to coddle us in daily affirmations can quickly turn into brutal bullying zones. It's hard not to read the comments. It's hard to ignore the hate.

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Repeated studies have found that nearly 30% of middle school students report being bullied online, and adolescent girls get picked on disproportionately more than guys. Women are also targeted by predators; 25% of young women say they have been sexually harassed online, according to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey.

It's not just teens involved in bully culture. Adults are pretty awful creatures when it comes to trolling each other too. Just this week CNBC news anchor Kelly Evans and comedian/actress Leslie Jones both quit Twitter.

Jones signed off in tears after receiving a ruthless and racist barrage of hateful comments for her work on the Ghostbusters reboot, but rejoined two days later on a wave of public support. The incident, which led to Twitter banning the infamous blatherskite Milo Yiannopoulos, has sparked a wider debate about the roles and responsibilities that social platforms have in curbing bullying and hate talk.

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It's a conversation that's long overdo. But given the current mood of the country, cyberbullying will probably get worse before it gets better.

More people will get piled on, and more people will delete their accounts in self-defense. The bigger someone's online profile is, the more susceptible she or he is to being targeted by a digital lynch mob.

That's particularly true for women. The more online content that women create, the more vulnerable they become to trolls. Nearly two-thirds of women journalists polled say they have experienced intimidation, threats or abuse in relation for their work, according to survey by the International Women’s Media Foundation and the International News Safety Institute.

Michelle Ferrier, an associate dean at Ohio University's  Scripps College of Communication and founder of Trollbusters, an anti-cyber harassment project for women, says a lot of trolling is about racist and misogynistic men trying to get women to "shut up." Troll activity, she says, "intersects with gender, occupation, and visibility as a public figure."

"If you are a woman online, you are at higher risk of being a target of online harassment," Ferrier told me in an email. "If you are a woman of color, that risk goes up even more. If you are a woman with an opinion, that risk increases. And if you are a woman of color and have an opinion…"

When it comes to some of the worst hardcore trolling, the misogyny and violence hurled at adult film actresses and webcam models is next-level crazy. Although many porn stars and cam models maintain some level of anonymity behind professional monikers and stage names, they're still dependent on maintaining an active social media presence to promote their content and make a living. And when you're literally baring it all online, you really expose yourself to all sorts of crazy haters.

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So to get some real pro tips, I asked some of the adult industry's leading porn stars and camgirls attending last week's Latin America Adult Business Expo in Colombia for advice on how to deal with trolls and cyberbullying. They've spent more time thinking about this than most people (in fact, the most widely attended panel at last week's adult business expo was on this very topic), but their advice applies perfectly to those of us who wear clothes to work.

VR porn star Ela Darling says that "people who are cruel to you are not entitled to your time and attention." She says women who are trolled should never "internalize the nasty things that people say to you, and NEVER internalize misogyny."

It's also important for women to stand together and not become agents of misogyny themselves. "Take a stand, and let it stop with you," she says.

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Darling says the porn industry has taught her that all women and body types are beautiful, so women should always be comfortable with their bodies, and never body-shame others.

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Women are on the same team, and should reject the toxic culture that encourages them to be cruel and catty with one another, says cam model Sophie. She says there will always be people who try to drag you down on social media, but it's important to maintain a positive attitude because "acting sad and complaining online only invites more sadness from empty people."

Miserable people attract miserable people, Sophie says. Stay above it.

It's also important to stop haters dead in their tracks and prevent them from getting inside your head or heart, says camgirl Millie Martins. In her chatroom on Chaturbate, Martins can use a single keystroke to instantly silence and ban trolls, and eliminate their entire comment history.

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While the online tools for dealing with trolls are far better in adult chatrooms than they are on mainstream social media, Martins says women need to take a similar approach to dealing with bullies everywhere they appear. Haters should always be "deleted" from their lives, because there's no point in letting them hang around. Kick them to the curb right away, Martins says.

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It's also important to be intentional about your online persona, because ultimately you're the one who's responsible for the image you create for yourself, says Little Red Bunny, the 2013 Webcam girl of the year.

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Although she's been camming for seven years, Little Red Bunny says she has always kept her real identity a secret from her tens of thousands of followers, and not even her family knows what she does for a living. Despite stripping on camera, she remains a very private person on social media by choice.

Little Red Bunny says mind your online brand, and always be thoughtful about the type of content, pictures and videos you post of yourself. It's how the world will know you.

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But most importantly, don't let other people define who you are, says porn star Esperanza Gomez.

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"There will always be people who call you a slut or a prostitute—and they're not just saying this to porn actresses, but also webcam models and even mainstream models on TV. We're all called prostitutes. But I challenge anyone outside of the industry to try to sleep with me —because you can't, not even for millions of dollars," says Gomez, who is one of the few adult entertainers who uses her real name.

Gomez's advice is to always know who you are, and love yourself above all else. Because if you don't, nobody else will either. You gotta look out for No. 1, and don't let the haters get the best of you, she says.

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