How to Respond to Hateful Comments

Social media can be one of the best platforms for bringing people together. It unites people who share the same interests. It connects long-lost friends and acquaintances. It can create unexpected relationships.

But unfortunately, not all users see social media as an opportunity for growth. Some seem to only use it to spread hate. This negativity typically appears in the form of comments on posts or videos, but it isn’t only limited to comments.

Responding to this negativity can be a challenge for digital influencers, but at some point it may be necessary.

No Response

As I mentioned before, sometimes on social media, it seems like accounts only exist to spread negativity. If users leave repeated derogatory comments on your posts, this is one indication that they have nothing better to do and they only use their account to make others feel bad.

Insignificant comments like these really do not require any attention. In this case, it is usually best to simply delete the comment and provide no response. Giving any kind of attention will probably incite the user more.

Private Response

In other cases, hateful comments may be tailored to the content of the post. This typically makes them more hurtful since they feel personal and specific.

Sadly, I see this on occasion with the fashion bloggers I follow. When influencers post content every day, it is more likely for them to make a mistake in the caption or in editing the photo, simply because of the amount of content they post. I’ve seen Instagram users point this out in insensitive ways.

If this ever happens, and the comment truly hurts, consider sending a private message to the user. Not everyone who reads your post needs to see this discussion, which is why it might be handled best as a direct message.

Public Response

If a hateful comment is left on one of your post’s in response to another user’s comment, this is once scenario when it may be best to address the issue publicly. The user who was targeted will want to feel loyalty from you as an influencer, and no one wants to deal with that kind of humiliation. As an influencer, you can reassure your follower that you don’t condone or tolerate that kind of feedback.

Another situation in which public response may be appropriate is if a user gets the attention of a large number of your followers with their hateful response. If many of your own followers noticed a negative response and pointed it out to you, addressing it all at once could help abate the situation.

Of course, all of this always depend on context and it can drastically vary between comments. The suggestions above will not always apply to these kinds of situations. And if a user takes this hate to an extreme, it is best to report the comment and the user so the social media outlet can address it themselves.

What are your strategies for responding to negativity on social media? Tell me in the comments.

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