How to deal with online bullies.

Not sure if the pandemic is really to blame, but in recent years we have noticed an increase in online bullying, particularly on some social media channels that we manage. 

At this point, we need to state that at Footprint Social Media, we are against bullying of any kind and cannot condone the behaviours of people who think it’s ok to say things that are rude, hurtful, aggressive, unfair and/or controversial. In addition, we abhor the spreading of malicious and abusive rumours, harassment, intimidation, blackmail, grooming, trolling etc.

Online bullying

Be nice

Some people think that because they are hiding behind a keyboard/screen/internet connection that they are invisible and what they do and say does not matter. Others seem to find that hurting others makes them feel more in control powerful. This is simply not the case. We encourage people to be kind when communicating online and if you haven’t got anything nice to say, to simply scroll on by and say nothing.

We work with a company that sell titles, this means that once you purchase a title, you can call yourself Lord or Lady etc. And you can even put your title on your passport, driving licence or bank card. 

Having an opinion

Recently we had an instance on the client's Twitter account where someone said that what had been posted was rubbish. She said that only the Queen could grant titles. A reply was sent thanking them for their opinion, but she came back with something else equally rude plus stating that it wasn’t an opinion it was a fact. Once again, a thank you was sent saying we had many satisfied customers, but again another abusive comment came back saying we had no authority to do what we were doing.

This then left us with a dilemma. This is obviously not good behaviour, and her comments were not acceptable, but how should you deal with this type of conduct? Because not only is a lot of time and effort involved in communicating with her but it could be seen as damaging to the business.

Upon consultation with our client, we thought that she wasn’t going to give up and was in effect spoiling for a fight. The client agreed with our advice and the lady in question was ultimately blocked. 

Right or wrong

Of course, many major brands have instances where people complaining about their services/products are persistent and don’t seem to want to go away. In some cases, people may have a point but, in a few instances, it can just be trolling.

Our advice for tackling situations like this is simple:

  1. Don't take it personally
  2. Respond quickly and with kindness
  3. Look into the matter
  4. Try to help out
  5. Take the conversation to a private platform if you can
  6. Own up to a mistake if one has been made
  7. If all else fails, block them

Have you experienced this online?

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