Thanks to the anonymity of the Internet, rude people are more likely to let their negative feelings show. Be the better person and keep your positive reputation. Learn how to handle someone being rude to you on social media so you can stay positive and not do anything regrettable.
Delete Harassing Posts
The first step to avoiding a recurrent harasser is to delete harassing posts. Sometimes you’re unable to delete a post on your own if you’re tagged in it, and the post isn’t directly on your profile page. If the post contains language or imagery or could be construed as bullying, you may be able contact the social media website to delete the posts you can’t access.
Be aware this may backfire with the harassing poster. They could post again and be even more negative. In that case, you may want to consider blocking them entirely.
Block Combative Users
Take advantage of the blocking feature found on many social media sites to block frequent harassers. You don’t have to submit a report on the incidences to do so, although you’ll have that option. Keep in mind that although your interactions with the blocked user will be limited, there’s still a chance they’ll have some interaction with you.
For example, Mashable explains that once you block someone on Facebook, there’s still the chance their posts will appear in your feed if they’re tagged in a photo with a mutual friend or if you’re in the same group. For the most part, their posts will stay off your feed, and they’ll no longer have access to your private posts. They won’t even be able to see your comments on mutual friends’ posts. However, a determined harasser can create a new account and try to befriend you again.
Wait Before Responding
If the post isn’t overly harassing or you don’t want to make things potentially worse by deleting the post or blocking the user, you can respond. Wait a few hours before responding, though. When you first read something offensive or disparaging, your instinctive response will be emotional. You may be tempted to write an offensive post back to them. Instead, do the following:
- Screen-cap the post. This is in case the original poster deletes it and you need proof in the future you were harassed.
- Think about the situation and the reason behind the post. Is the poster angry at you or angry at a situation?
- Draft a response offline. You may or may not need to post it.
Draft Your Response Carefully
When it comes to your response, sometimes ignoring is the best option so you don’t “fuel” the anger further. If you think a post is going to help — or if you represent a business and have to respond to a complaint — compose your post offline. Read it several times. Have another person read it and see if they can find anything that can be interpreted as negative. If not, post the response no sooner than an hour later.
If you’re the victim of frequent harassment online, there are a number of things you can do to cease contact with the person bothering you. If the negative comments you receive are limited to once in a while, that’s all the more reason to step back and think about how to proceed. Whether you represent a business or your private account, be the better person and don’t let social media users bring you into a conflict.
About the Author:
Glenn Koudelka is a contributing writer and social media coach. He’s a proponent of , a social media managing system, for his clients.