Should you respond to trolls on Social Media?

  This is an interesting one. I’ve always been of the opinion that you should never argue on social media. The main reason being that…



This is an interesting one.

I’ve always been of the opinion that you should never argue on social media. The main reason being that the arguments rarely end with both parties coming to either a mutual agreement or deciding that they both disagree but that’s okay.

I’ve seen it happen many times. They usually end with one trying to one-up the other.

I’m over this now, bye.

I can’t be bothered with your drama.

I’m done, peace out.

Everyone is always trying to be the bigger person.

But I found myself caught up in a Twitter war a few days ago. So I wanted to talk about it.

responding to negativity on twitter

I don’t need to go into the details, but a few weeks ago there was a comment left on my blog that wasn’t very nice. This comment was also tweeted to me by the same person. Call me wrong, but to comment and tweet the same thing seemed like this girl definitely wanted to get my attention/reaction!

I tweeted back/replied to the comment and asked the person to clarify. The person instantly back-tracked and tried to make it sound like she wasn’t being bitchy with the comment. Which I still firmly believe she was.

Ah, fuck it. To give you some context, this was the comment:

You’ve gotta admit it, 95% of bloggers have that typical cliche going on though

The girl then backtracked when questioned and said she meant in a good way. Most bloggers are all a cliche in a good way. She said she meant with how all our photos are the same, bright photos, marble backgrounds. Interpret that as you will. It’s not my place to tell you her intended meaning.

I advised her to be careful of how she worded things because they came across as rude and offensive. Then that was it.

The end.


I didn’t tweet her back after that. I didn’t feel any anger or anything towards her. As far as I was concerned, we had a conversation and although I didn’t believe she meant the comment in a good way, I decided not to bother getting into a debate about it because it’s just not worth my time. It looked like she had upset some other people too and was trying to defend herself from them. This was nothing to do with me. I wasn’t involved in that and they weren’t involved in our interaction.

I forgot about it and was enjoying a hungover day on the sofa when someone screenshotted this girl’s Twitter and sent it to me. She was using a screenshot of the comment on my blog and my reply, then talking about being ganged up on and bullied.

That’s when I lost it.

Should you respond to trolls on Social Media?

I’m sure most of you know I’m a chilled out person.

I’m sure most of you also know that my blog is my favourite thing.

So to see someone bring my site into question on a public form of social media and mention words such as ‘ganging up on’. No. That’s not cool.

I couldn’t respond or see the Tweets myself because I was blocked.

So I tweeted that I had no idea what was going on with the screenshots.

A few hours later, I was unblocked and had replies from the girl. Again backtracking saying that she didn’t mean it like that. She didn’t have anything against me.

This girl tried to turn around the whole thing saying she’s the one being targeted by bloggers! Saying she felt attacked and overwhelmed.

  1. This girl started it by commenting and Tweeting me.
  2. This girl put screenshots of my blog on Twitter to show examples of being bullied and ganged upon.
  3. I’m not responsible for other people. Those people that shared their opinion did so off their own back.
  4. She blocked me, so clearly did have something against me.

I’m blocked again, thankfully. Because this girl just didn’t get it. This is why I don’t usually get involved in drama online. We were going in circles and all she did was deny her intentions, backtrack, say she didn’t have anything against me and dared to say I was rude to her. When I was very rational, I believe. I was direct, but not rude.

If this girl had stood by her words, I would have had a bit of respect for her. But to continually say nasty things but then backtrack when questioned, then try to play the victim, that’s not on.

As far as I’m concerned, she got exactly what she deserved. She could have let it go and left it at our first interaction but continued to tweet about it behind my back while I was blocked.

I’d love to say that I’ve learnt a lesson here never to interact with people like that. But I’ve not.

I think I’ve proved to myself what I already knew. That I know when to respond, and when not to.

I responded because I was being accused of something that wasn’t true. It was personal to me and included screenshots of my website.

and I would respond again.

I also kept calm, I didn’t beat around the bush and I said exactly what I wanted to say without getting into name-calling.

Now, you might think I’m drawing attention to the whole thing by writing a full blog post about it. But that’s because I wanted to share what happened to those of you that may have seen snippets, or seen conversations she’s had with others about me. Which I can’t see because I’m blocked.

Also because it’s very out of character for me to get involved in anything like this so I just wanted to clarify that this isn’t usual behaviour for me. I get on with most people. There are a few bloggers I don’t agree with but I feel no desire to confront them because I’m an adult and realise it’s okay to have a different opinion on things. I’m more than happy to exist in a community of people that don’t view the world the same as me. That’s life.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, please remember this:

  • You have the right to defend yourself.
  • You have the right to an opinion.
  • You have the ability to say what you need to say without being rude.
  • There is no need to name call.
  • Disagreeing with someone doesn’t mean you have to dislike them as a whole person.
  • Do not reply when angry, wait until you are calm.
  • There is no need to reply to other people that try and get involved.
  • Stand by your convictions. If you’re not willing to, then don’t stay it publically.
  • Do not play the victim.
  • Stop using things going on in your personal life as an excuse to be a dick.
  • Recognise a debate can be just a conversation between two people.
  • If you don’t feel strong enough to deal with the possibility of backlash, just walk away.

So there you have it. My experience of my first involvement in Twitter drama in 4 years of being a blogger.

Have you ever found yourself caught up in online drama? How did it make you feel?

I’d love to keep the comments around how you would deal with negativity in social media, rather than the particular incident I was involved with as that’s in the past now! 

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  1. I saw this on twitter, I thought it was odd. You weren’t rude and you had the right to ask her to explain further. She just came across as someone who creates fires then watches them burn whilst claiming the victim. I wouldn’t put much energy into her that isn’t needed. Of course defend yourself, but let her play this sad game on her own x

    1. This is a great post on how to deal with a negative interaction on your blog. It can so easily devolve into name-calling and fingerpointing, but it sounds like you handled it calmly. It’s worrying how easily someone can take something you say out of context to defend their behaviour. Not cool! I’m sorry you had to deal with that!

  2. I hate getting involved in drama. I simply can’t be bothered and I’m not the most articulate person, meaning whatever I say usually gets twisted into something I didn’t mean. Also, like you say, it can bring my blog into disrepute and as a blogger who would like to work with companies, I don’t want to come across as unprofessional.

    That being said, I saw the entire thing blow up on Twitter and I’m a little puzzled to be honest. I don’t think her using your reply to her comment was the best example to have used as an example of being ganged up on. I don’t feel you were rude or bullying in your comment. It looks as though she made a comment on your blog, you asked her what she meant because it seemed ambiguous and it blew up from there.

  3. Saw all this on twitter, and as someone who has only spoken to you a few times, I’ve never found you rude at all! I also agree that you have to pick when to reply or not, and love the list at the end 🙂 Tania xx

  4. I’m usually the confrontational type but if someone pulled this with me, I think I would react the same way you did. When someone is rude like that, you really do have no choice but to defend yourself and call them out.

  5. I only participate in conversations I think are worth it. Sometimes that involves in participating in drama but most times it doesn’t because usually I find the effort not worth the end result. Great summative list at the bottom there.

  6. I try not to get involved in drama; I just don’t have the time or patience for it. But if I saw someone posting negative shit about me/my blog/both? I’d have to say something then. Like you said, I think it’s very much about knowing when to say something and when to stay quiet. x

  7. I hate that a positive space can be ruined and tainted by bitchy girls. Why do we do it? If someone is doing well men are generally really happy for one another. Girls/women another story the nails come out and they want to butch and ruin someone. You did the right thing to defend yourself. I just wish girls/women could be different and celebrate someone’s success and achievements rather than being a bitch Lucy x

  8. My curiosity got the better of me and I went on Twitter and check wtf happened and dang, she went 0 to 100 in a few tweets. I avoid Twitter because people have the tendency to over react on everything but I honestly don’t see you being rude. You asked for clarification and you were direct but rude? No, far from it. I must say she lovessss playing victim and I wonder if her arms hurt from all the back paddling that she’s been doing?

  9. I ignore trolls, but there are times I want to defend myself. I’ll get a random tweet calling me stupid because I tweeted about going shopping or something equally as mundane. Your story definitely makes me want to stick to my ignore the trolls policy, but still, a part of me feels like by saying nothing I am giving them the power. It’s a tricky situation. I feel the term bullying is being thrown around way too often, but I do think the world could use a course in good manners.

  10. This is awful. I hate getting into arguments on social media because most people feel authorized to say horrible things they would never dare to say to you face to face. But I would have probably done the same thing you did if I felt that I was personally attacked…

    Bella Pummarola

  11. I usually let these things go whether on social media or elsewhere. I believe that what goes around comes around so snippy wee madams get their come uppance without me getting involved. I don’t have the energy for smart alices these days. On the other hand, you’re young and strong so go for it! 🙂
    And I think getting a Twitter account should be conditional on absorbing and following your advice.

  12. Aww, it sounds very unpleasant. I avoid twitter drama, usually I would not respond. If someone is nasty, I don’t think I can make them change their minds by a few 140 characters lines.
    Who knows why she did all this, maybe to get attention, maybe she hates light photos and marble background. Each to their own.

  13. You seem to get a nicer calibre of troll than I do! Not that I’m trying to belittle your experience – I’m not, and that girl was bang out of order. But the level of trolling I’ve had (I’m a book blogger) tends to involve a lot more swearing, obscenity, and threats of violence. While I’ve had worse than a lot of book bloggers, I’ve also had it exceptionally easy compared to some bloggers. The book-blogging/online-bookish community has some… issues… at the moment (mainly with bigots and Nazis, in honesty.) It’s interesting to see the differences in different sections of the blogging world – does it ever get that heated in lifestyle blogging?

    1. Oh wow, that’s horrible! I don’t think it gets that bad in lifestyle blogging. The kind of stuff I tend to see are disagreements about plus sized related topics and touchy issue like sex or womens issues, most get resolved pretty quickly or one person ends up blocking the other and it’s forgotten about. I’ve seen a few times non-bloggers attack bloggers for no reason. They seem to just be troll accounts that like to come along and say bloggers are just looking for free stuff and say things they know will wind them up. Of course that’s just what I’ve seen, I’m sure there’s things that’s happened that I’ve not witnessed.

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