When you are regularly on social media networks, you interact with many people online. While the majority of people are supportive, others may leave rude comments on the networks. These negative people are likely a minority, however being prepared for how to respond to rude comments is a good idea. You will be more confident on the social media networks and take the comment less personally when you are prepared for the possibility.
The rude comments may be in relation to a link you posted to a photo, an article or other media type. The comments may also be a personal attack to your profile photo or description. There are several ways to effectively respond to rude remarks.
Delete the Comments
One option when you receive a rude comment on a social media network is to delete the comment if you have the authority on the particular network. On Facebook, for example, you can delete comments posted on your own wall.
You may want to delete the comment rather than engaging in conversation with the writer if you consider the remark blatantly offensive and likely to offend others too. Examples include remarks that contain swear words or are racist in nature.
When you delete the comment rather than respond to it directly, you do not risk engaging in the same low level as the other person. As well, it is possible that the commenter is trying to entice you into saying something foolish and will then call you out on your remark. These people are often called Internet trolls as they post remarks to provoke people into emotional replies. Engaging in negative remarks with this person only breeds further negativity.
Block the Commenter
In addition to deleting rude comments, or instead of this action (if you do not have the authority to delete), you can also respond by blocking the commenter from your profile on the social media network. When you block a person on Google+, for example, you cannot see each other’s profiles or any public messages written by each other. Communication with each other on that network ceases.
Remember that you do have the right to block someone. You have likely not met the commenter in real life and there are countless other people to communicate with on social media networks. You do not owe the blocked person an explanation for your response. Leave behind the negative comment and communicate with more positive people online.
Have You Received Negative Comments On A Social Media Network?
Respond In a Respectful Way
Another way to respond to rude comments on social media networks is to respond in a respectful way. Do not sink to the same level of rudeness. Thank the person for taking time to comment and say that you will agree to disagree on the point in question.
You may also want to get further information from the commenter. For example, why did this person have this particular reaction? Also, you may misunderstand the comment and have attached a different meaning to the words than the writer intended. Your response is your attempt to clarify the meaning of the original comment to determine if the words are rude or not. Explain how you interpreted the words and ask if this is a correct assumption.
Again, be careful of Internet trolls, who will entice you into stooping to less respectful remarks. If the conversation does deteriorate, you are likely best to delete comments or block the commenter.
Also, you may wish to gain the information by privately messaging the user on the social media network rather than in a public forum. Use your common sense and your intuition as to how the other person could respond given prior conversations.
There are many ways to respond to rude comments on social media networks. Do not shy away from the networks as the majority of comments are positive and supportive in nature. Be prepared for any negative conversations and respond by deleting the comment, blocking the commenter or respectfully trying to obtain clarification. Speak with family and friends if you are unsure which technique is best in your current situation.
eaglegrad16 on March 24, 2020:
Trolls are total b.s. It's one thing to have a difference of opinion, but totally NOT okay to get rude and condescending. I've seen it time and again on FB posts, and its just boorish. Some just prefer to be jerks or a**holes than respectful. Simply block or delete.
Unknown on March 16, 2020:
this guy in my class is always making fun of my tiktoks so im rude back to him, is this a good idea?
deborah84 on May 23, 2019:
I like the article. Trolling is very dangeros!
Beck on October 21, 2018:
I find blocking and deleting comments is the best way to go. When i have tried to interact with them they just make up bs and it ends in a big mess. I have a friend in the same industry and she will reply. She is forever get upset about it and you can see it gets to her. Sad little trolls theae people are
Kay on June 01, 2018:
I delete the cmments. Sometimes I do believe people don't mean to be nasty but words have a way of coming across differently on social media from someone you barely know, versus if a true friend spoke those words to you in person. And it would be easy for me to respond rudely back but cheap shot aren't my style. My fule for when something upsets me on social media is this - if this person got hit by a car, would I grieve? If I don't know them well enough to grieve them, then really, they are not important enough or close enough that I should take to heart anything they say.
Deirdre on April 13, 2018:
I block them
a on February 22, 2018:
stop rudeness on social media
Max on November 27, 2017:
Have funny pictures of your day and you have fun with your friends and family fun
Maria Elizabeth from Cheshire/Greater Manchester, UK on July 13, 2017:
Really interesting article, Christy. It is reassuring to read of how to approach this. I have found that people have different ways of expressing themselves and various levels of humor but at the end of the day as you say, we are in charge; they are our social accounts.
MissCapri on July 06, 2017:
Being really condescending can work, too. I used mock pity on this Youtube troll, and he finally shut up. Making it clear it isn't actual empathy for the troll, mind you. He was expecting me to fly off the handle. Instead, he got "Oh, you poor, poor lonely troll."
Malavika Sreekumar on July 06, 2017:
I think the best approach to adopt with a rude commenter varies from person to person. There are some rude commenters who resort to character assassination when they can't handle your opposition to their viewpoint and there are some commenters who will be a bit rude but open to discussion. With the character assassinators, I feel that the respectful approach makes you look a bit like a wimp. With this variety of trolls you can do two things you can either shut down and refuse to respond to them at all (and/or block them) or you can simply tell them something like "Same to you darling." There was this smartass that I encountered once online and he tried to say something like "You shouldn't think and you shouldn't breed." I countered with "Same to you darling" and that shut him up real good. This way you can repay their sarcasm without having to think too much about a smart comeback and at the same time walk away looking like a good and decent person. With the second variety of commenters, I agree that a respectful approach works. The idea is to never lose your dignity but at the same time put trolls in their place.
MissCapri on June 12, 2017:
If you're on a site where deleting comments isn't an option, and you've tried everything and a troll just keeps going, this can be your last response that should send a message from everyone else to that troll as well, and is just funny.
Alessio Ganci from Italy on July 09, 2016:
I personally prefer to ignore rude comments, as they are made in order to make me answer. If I don't answer them, the writer gets no satisfaction.
If they contain hard injuries, I only report them to Facebook, or even a legal action if they are very serious.
FlourishAnyway from USA on April 10, 2014:
Good suggestions. I choose to delete, delete and turn the other cheek.
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on January 24, 2013:
Aw! Hi Twin :) Thanks for the comment and true about taking my own advice. Thanks hon for the reminder. Have a wonderful night xx
Dana Strang from Ohio on January 24, 2013:
Hey twin... don't ever let anyone rain on your parade! And it doesn't hurt to listen to your own advice now and then (I am still learning how to do that!).... You Rock :)
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on January 24, 2013:
Thank-you everyone for your motivating comments! Just the other day I had a bit of a bully on Facebook. I deleted the comments and unfriended the person as well. It does take courage to stand up to that person but then again why should we let him or her have the satisfaction of bringing down our positive spirits? Thanks for your perspectives, shares, and encouraging words!
stephanieb27 from United States on January 24, 2013:
Man from Modesto from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California) on January 24, 2013:
Honestly, we have to realize that haters crush down their own lives, and their demons use them to get to others. I actually enjoy it a little when I see an entire essay that contains three personal attacks in the first two lines. I stop reading it, and laugh as I delete it. Then, I forget it was ever there.
Sherri Tuck from Virginia on January 24, 2013:
I remember writing a letter to our local newspaper. The letter was only about positive things. When the letter was published, there were so many negative responses to my letter. It was amazing to read the comments some people made about my letter and the letters of others. Of course, people were hiding behind screen names. Now, our paper requires commenters to log in comments using their real names. There are not as many negative comments as before.
Audrey Howitt from California on January 24, 2013:
Sharing this! I have been lucky so far! Respect is key I think--
moonlake from America on January 24, 2013:
I have had two very rude comments on HubPages. I don't let them go through but just for my own nosiness I find out where the person is from. You can be a very nice person and never hurt anyone and you will still get rude remarks. One person called me an idiot for not selling our house on Craigslist. I didn’t let it go through but I thought it was kind of funny because there wasn’t a Craigslist at the time we sold our house. I just won’t give them the satisfaction of having their comment show up.
Dana Strang from Ohio on January 24, 2013:
Came back to visit this again and Sharing this today... Any advice that gets people to stop and thing before having a fit and being upset or flying off the handle is great advice. :)
safiq ali patel from United States Of America on December 07, 2012:
I've had some bad experiences of people being offensive on facebook. But it's not just me those people offend. They tend to make rude and offensive remarks to most people. Some days I really have to restrain my temper when on facebook because I don't want to unleash my anger at being offended.
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on December 06, 2012:
Yes hairstylistx, it may be taking a higher road to bow out rather than engaging in belittling comments with people online. I hope the next situation, if there is one, works better for you.
X from Planet Earth on December 05, 2012:
I had a situation once on a forum where someone was quite rude. I fired back, and it became a firestorm on that forum. Because I was a less tenured member there, I left. In retrospect, I should have followed common sense, which is basically what your advice is. I now don't allow much personality into my postings. Good hub.
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on August 10, 2012:
@chrisinhawaii, thanks for sharing your advice here and your own experience. Good point that leaving the comment on your hub only shows badly on that person rather than reflecting on yourself.
@Jellygator and @mmsu, thanks for adding your own views here. I hope the hub helps people to realize their options if they do receive rude comments on social media networks.
mmsu from Pakistan on August 08, 2012:
Good hub..i think one of the best ways are to respond politely,but blocking the person is the best i think!!
jellygator from USA on August 08, 2012:
I found myself wondering if kids in school are being taught these things. I have seen a lot recently about bullying, but none of it seems to have been telling kids how to ignore or avoid it.
chrisinhawaii on August 07, 2012:
I don't typically get a lot of haters on Facebook, but I've received comments from a few here on HubPages. Some I responded to with cheerful sarcasm, which did help to defuse their negativity...a little.
Others I simply ignored. Even though I had the option to deny the comment up front, I decided to let it go through and then simply ignored it. If anything, they only made themselves look dumb to everyone who read their comment. By ignoring instead of denying, I was able to defuse the situation without adding fuel to the fire (some trolls will become even more fired up by being deleted). I'm not saying it's necessarily a better approach, but it worked for me in those situations.
The best advice, as you stated so well in your hub, is not to stoop to their level. As I said to one of my Hubber friends...don't waste your time arguing with the scorpion and demanding, "Why did you sting me?" Haters are gonna hate...it's like it's their nature or something.
Anyway, that's what has worked for me. Although, if the comments were racist or way too vulgar, I would have simply deleted them as you suggested.
Aloha, Christy! Voted up and awesome!
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on August 01, 2012:
@Love, haha! I did not know about that singapore blogger - now I'm better educated. Thanks for your funny comment!
Lovelovemeloveme from Cindee's Land on July 31, 2012:
OR...OR.... another suggestion, ...build a blog and take snap shots of these f***ers , find out their background, post hilarious shit about them. Drama builds traffic. "singapore blogger xiaxue" grossed 50 000 hits in a day from bashing a guy by telling the world he made an fake online girlfriend. It was a hilarious blog and propelled her to stardom.
AND THEY said bad publicity is bad. LIARS!
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 30, 2012:
@GoForTheJuggler, This is true however it may not create closure for the person who is receiving the comment. The method certainly depends on the individual. Thanks for the comment and read, oh and vote too!
@tsmog, thanks for your thoughtful response. I hope your modified comment is well-taken by the original commenter and that he/she has moved on now. Let's move away from negativity! With two Facebook accounts you are certainly not a novice and I know you will learn along your writing journey. Take care Tim and thanks for stopping by to read.
@Jeannie, LOL those dating sites could be a whole other argument! I am not on one but from you write in your comment... Thanks for sharing my hub and your support with the advice too. You stick up for yourself and keep me laughing with your hubs :)
Joshua Patrick from Texas on July 29, 2012:
craftycain hit it right on the head - responding to trolls is a waste of time. They will get bored and troll someone else, eventually. Voted up!
Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on July 29, 2012:
Thank you Christy. I am a social klutz to begin with much less the social media circles. You advice is well heeded and now I realize in my last comment just may be construed as lambastic, although really was a reaction. I will go back and apologize.
I thank you for these helps presented from experience I would think. Your knowledge shared helps those like myself with no time to learn sometimes those amenities. I just recently decided I am going to open a second FaceBook site for family only. I got caught up in the sharing probably too much, though not sure.
Great article, great thoughts of preventative medicine. Very wise advice. I thank you
Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on July 29, 2012:
This is great advice. I typically find deleting the comment is the most mature thing to do. That does not mean I always do it though. I've been known to fight back if I have a solid argument. On dating sites, I tend to use the block feature a lot. You never know when a psycho is trying to argue with you and who needs to find that out the hard way? Awesome hub! Voted up and shared!
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 15, 2012:
Thanks Jane. I can't imagine anyone being rude to you but if that does happen you can always send them to Bertha!
Jane Carroll on July 13, 2012:
Great post! It is difficult for me to deal with negative people especially when their negativity is directed at me or my work. Although, it doesn't happen often...I will use your techniques in the future.
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 13, 2012:
@Everson, good points to share and thanks for bringing them to the page. I suppose the best route is to be respectful in conversations with the readers whether they are in disagreement with the views or not. As for deleting comments, my main point here is to give the writer the option. Often people feel compelled to respond or keep all comments and there really is not that obligation. I appreciate your views here.
@Chuck, Hehe you are funny! The more important question is: who let the Martian into the house?! Thanks for stopping by to read and for your shares around social networks too
Chuck Bluestein from Morristown, AZ, USA on July 13, 2012:
Rude comments are a sign of mental distress so they come and go. You can tell a lot about people by the comments that they leave. Like if I say that Martians are stupid and lazy, then I am prejudice against people from Mars. How can you tell if a Martian has robbed your house? Your trash will be gone and your dog will be pregnant.
Everson on July 13, 2012:
Deleting comments is not really a great way to turn down the heat on a conversations. Particularly for brands. It removes authenticity and shows a skewed perspective on a platform. Negative comments are a guarantee on a social platform. Most recent studies show that being open with people who post negative comments on a page promote a brands willingness to talk with their users/fans/etc. It is better to learn how to defuse a situation and know when to pull a user aside (so to speak). Only interacting with positive comments is a limiting perspective, there is such power to knowing how to deal with negative comments. It can potentially change the mind of said rude commenters into being fans. If confronting them yourself is not a tactic you want to use, don't be afraid to bring in your brand ambassadors to help defend your case. People will always have differing opinions, so leave room for people to discuss them while minimizing the rude accusations.
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 08, 2012:
@chuckd7138, I am sensing a rude comment in your past! Hope this hub helps you for next time. Remember to breath before hitting the 'send' or 'publish' buttons :)
@lovedoctor926, Glad you enjoy the hub and thanks for the vote!
@unknown spy & Sdwachira, Thank-you both for the comments and support here.
@DDE, I also received negative comments and want to help other people with more positive ways to react. Thank-you.
Charles Dawson from Bartow, FL on July 07, 2012:
Great hub!!! Thank you for sharing. I should've used this advice last weekend.
lovedoctor926 on July 07, 2012:
Thanks Christy. This is very helpful information. Voted up!
Life Under Construction from Neverland on July 07, 2012:
very excellent and helpful tips christy.
Danson Wachira from Nairobi, Kenya on July 07, 2012:
These are nice tips ChristyWrites, i can't see any benefit of writing rude comments other than being a sadist. voted up.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on July 07, 2012:
I have had experiences with bad comments and deleted it thanks for this Hub
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on July 02, 2012:
@EuroNinila, yes the comment can be useful but other times it is meant to be mean (trolls). I am glad you enjoyed the read, thanks for taking time to comment!
Fotinoula Gypsyy from NYC BABY on June 30, 2012:
Nice hub, for me, it depends on the comment, if its simply to be mean then I ignore it or delete but sometimes they can sure be interesting.
Thanks for the advice!
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on June 22, 2012:
@Docmo, Thanks! I had recently received a few rude comments which prompted me to write this hub. I appreciate the read and vote, take care.
@Vellur, I do hope it is useful!
@Heather, You got that right! Thank YOU for stopping by.
@Kelley, Yes I have received rude comments on Reddit as well. I think it is the nature of that site or perhaps I have not been on it enough... keep writing Kelley and thanks for stopping by here :)
Mohan Kumar from UK on June 21, 2012:
Sound advice, Christy. I have not really received many rude comments but occasionally I have seen people but borderline offensive remarks in others statuses etc. I see more of this in 'opinion' hubs whether political or religious. I usually stay away from them as they are highly inflammatory areas! very well said Christy. voted up!
Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 20, 2012:
Great hub - useful pointers on how to react with unpleasant encounters on the social network.
Heather from Arizona on June 20, 2012:
Great advice. It can be hard to not say what you really want to at times. This has been helpful! Thanks.
kelleyward on June 20, 2012:
My most viewed hub received several rude comments. I decided to leave them unless they were off subject etc. Most of the rude comments I had were really just rants about how close minded I was etc. Thankfully they took their anger out on the comment section. :) I've also had a couple rude comments from Reddit but overall most of the comments are great! Great hub! Voted up and shared! Kelley
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 24, 2012:
@Karen, that is awful that your children received those comments. I do feel that there is enough negativity in the world and we can do our best to spread the positive vibes instead. Thank-you for the comment.
Family Black from Dallas, Texas on May 24, 2012:
Hi Christy! Thanks for writing on the subject. Our daughters have seen hateful remarks and it's very disheartening to receive them. Thanks for the practical actions we can take. Karen
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 04, 2012:
Hi Dana, you are a sweety. Thanks for commenting and for linking back to your hub. I really do believe in the positive spirit and in starting at the individual level. I do wonder if your daughter felt obligated to keep up the comment in fear of creating tension with the 'friend' who posted it?! BTW I can tell we are going to get along great, you have such a sunny spirit!
Dana Strang from Ohio on May 03, 2012:
This is great advice. Especially for those who are new to social media. My favorite part is that you started off by saying to just delete the comment. Perfect!
This reminds me of a very vulgar comment posted on my young (15ish years old) cousins facebook page. She left it up there and friends and other students were commenting on it. I pointed out to her father that she knows that the comment can be deleted and the fact that she didn't do it shows poor judgement on her part and he should talk to her. unfortunately he didn't listen to me. At least I tried.
I am going to go back to my hub: Turn a Negative Comment into Something Positive, and link this to it.
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 02, 2012:
@greatstuff, thank-you! On the tech hubs right now there are not sharing buttons as they slow down the speed of loading the pages. I hope they bring back the buttons to encourages shares. You can manually share with cut and past of the link. Take care.
Mazlan from Malaysia on May 02, 2012:
Good advice and tips. I wanted to SHARE this but in technology hub, they don't have the share button (or I don't how to do it?) Voted useful.
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on May 01, 2012:
@moneytoplist, thanks for the comment. Stick to the positivity!
moneytoplist on May 01, 2012:
I believe people writing rude comments are not worth of our time. I simply ignore them.
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 29, 2012:
@Marc, yes I know you enjoy the hatemailers! I think you may be in the minority on that one but yes at least it gives you more topics to write about! hehe. Thanks for the comment buddy.
@swb78, I have gotten a few negative comments on Reddit too. If I post there I don't usually read the comments - on purpose! Thanks for the comment and I agree that HubPages has a great community :)
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 29, 2012:
@Teaches, thank-you for your loyal reads and well-written comments. Your intelligence shines through!
@Rebecca, I'm glad you found the hub useful for you!
@Bill, yes I have also unfriended a few people on Facebook. Let the positivity shine on! Thanks for stopping by to read.
Christy Birmingham (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 29, 2012:
@Debbie, You are a kind spirit and I am not surprised by the positivity and support that surrounds you. Blessings to you as well.
@craftycain, thanks for sharing another point here! I have noticed that some hubs have the same option to disable comments. I appreciate the info!
Marc Babineau from Cornwall, Ontario, The Seaway City on April 29, 2012:
I actually like negative comments, they make for great and fun posts to come!
Scott Biddulph from Gainesville Georgia on April 28, 2012:
The most negative and disrespectful trolls are on Reddit.com. I just stopped using that media outlet for the most part. Hubpages is a tight community of very thoughtful writers--very few negatives here. WP
Dianna Mendez on April 28, 2012:
All of your ideas are ones to use in responding to negative comments. I usually just ignore the comment as I do not consider it worthwhile to engage in negative conversations. A well written hub and one that will give some helpful support to those who may have to deal with such a circumstance.
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on April 28, 2012:
Good suggestions for using social media.I need to brush up on the different privacy settings that are available. Thanks for these tips. Voted up and useful!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 28, 2012:
I've only had two rude comments on HubPages and I just left them. On Facebook I un-friend anyone who is rude of obnoxious. Life is too short to put up with that kind of behavior.
Great message and tips Christy!
Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on April 28, 2012:
I have been really blessed on the Hub Pages, I don't really have bad comments. I hope I don't have any at all but who knows. Thank you for writing this hub. It is great
craftycain from Los Angeles on April 28, 2012:
I recently wrote about commenting as well. Besides the tips you wrote, one option is not allow comments altogether. I disabled commenting on some of my blogs to save me the headache.
I can't be responding to trolls all the time. Great hub!