It was fun! Why do people behave the way they do online? Are they going to change their mind? What do you do if you're suddenly in a social media storm? And how do you recover afterwards?
Part of the purpose of the workshop was to help people recognise that not responding is a response. And a choice. And there are quite a few choices.
Here are the slides as a PDF.
To reiterate: if you find yourself in the middle of a social media storm, rule number one is step away from the keyboard. Don't respond immediately. This is not a logical, rational chat with your friends, whilst you're sitting on a park bench taking in the sunshine. Those who post hostile or aggressive comments on social media are highly unlikely to be change their mind. Or even listen.
Rule no two is to protect your soul. Give yourself permission to be angry, frustrated, sick to the stomach and then, like Taylor Swift, shake it off. Play that video. Sing along. Dance along. Do it now.
It's hard to shake it off but you have to try. Take the dog or the kids to the park. Book in a pedicure. Go to yoga. Or as Brene Brown does do chocolate and Downton Abbey. Don't let your world become small.
Remember: most likely this is not about you. It's about them.
In the slides I show how there are several strategies you can employ. I tend to do a bit of one, and if that doesn't work or it escalates then I move to another. Until it's over. It will be over. And when it's over, don't go back and read the posts/tweets. Just. Don't.
Here are some very handy links to help you if this ever happens to your world.
- It may feel like you're on a rollercoaster and you can't get off and the world is against you. But you do have some control, even though it may feel like you haven't.
- Nothing on the internet is private. If it's a secret group on Facebook, so the content can't be shared, or a Snapchat that disappears in a fewseconds, people can still screenshot it and share that screenshot. No email is ever private. Write every email as if it could be evidence in court.
Here are some helpful links:
Brene Brown: here's the link to the Psychology Today article that talks about what is driving people today. And here's the link to her website. I love Brene Brown. Such sensible views! If you have Netflix (or a friend with Netflix), her talk on there is excellent.
Kate Toon: nothing on the internet is private. This is her blog post.
Nora Roberts: here's her rebuttal in the plagiarism scandal. Stylish, articulate, logical.
Staying safe online: here's a link to a general page in the website of the eSafety Commissioner.
Dopamine: here's more about dopamine from The Guardian newspaper. And the piece from Harvard's website.
Elle Darby v White Moose Cafe: google for the whole story which played out over days and days, but here's a story from the Independent, in the UK. It includes the 17 minute video.
Penguin Random House: this is the article that Alison Stuart (published by Penguin Random House) sent me when she knew I was doing this workshop. Some excellent points and thought starters.
Australian Community Managers: yes there is a body to represent those who are community managers and here is their code of ethics, which is very useful. Not least, if someone calls you on something you can quote this as a third party, objective, professional code. And not something you dreamed up over a bottle of good Irish whiskey one night.
Australian Community Managers: yes, there is such a thing and they have a code of ethics.
Set your language level (profanity filter) and blocking words: here's how to set your language level. Any comment that is 'too hot' for the level you've set will be hidden and you'll see it as three dots in a row in the middle of the newsfeed stream, between two comments. Click on it and you can unhide it if you wish. Note: this seems to have changed recently and now I can see the comment but greyed out ... but you can hide and unhide in the same way. The word blocking is on the same page.
Block an individual: You can block an individual, regardless of whether they are a follower of your page or not. Here's how.
List of bannable words: To save you having to think of every bad word you've ever heard, others have done the work for you. Google will find them, but here's one that's described as Christian-friendly from FrontGate. WARNING: the list needs to come with an X rated label. It's pretty horrible and definitely not to be opened when the kids are around or if you have a sensitive disposition. Scroll down to the bottom of the article and it's the blue link Terms to Block in the penultimate sentence. Some software will add quote marks around the words. If that happens do a search and replace where you search for " and replace it with a blank.
Disable all comments: you can block (disable) all comments. If you are being bothered by an individual or are in the middle of a storm, you can switch commenting off. I wouldn't switch it off forever, though. You want people to interact and engage. So pin a post to the top of your page explaining why you have switched off comments and then leave them off until you think it's safe to turn them back on again. The storm may have passed. The idiotic individual may have moved on. If they haven't switch them off again, and wait a while before trying again. Most of these ranters and warriors will move on.
Close comments on a post: you can also close comments on a post, but annoyingly this now seems to remove all the comments, which isn't what you always want. For example: if you ask a question and someone correctly answers it, you may wish to close comments as it's now done and dusted. But if you do that now the comment with the correct answer is now hidden so no one knows what that correct answer was. But if you wish to close comments this is how:
Unpublish your page: If you need to take a breather, the nuclear option is to unpublish your page. This doesn't delete your page but just takes it off the system until you say otherwise. Here's how. When you turn it back on (republish it) it will return exactly as it was before. Bear in mind though that when you unpublish the page any links you have elsewhere pointing to it will now be dead links.
Reviews: sneakily, trolls can leave you a bad review for your page. I had that happen! Here's how to turn that off so no one can post a review (good or bad!). Reviews can't be removed.
Block an individual: you can block an account on Twitter and here's how, but bear in mind the caveats in this explanation. Don't then think you can trash that person because now they can't see what you are tweeting ... erm ... no, they might still be able to see those tweets. So block someone, but keep it nice.
Mute an individual: this removes their tweets from your timeline. Here's how. Again, check out the caveats. Great way to remove ridiculous nonsense from your timeline. Pro tip: if you mute someone they aren't advised. If you block someone they are. They can then go onto Twitter and yell about how you've blocked them. So mute is the best first option.
Deactivate your account: you can deactivate your account, ie delete it, BUT you have 30 days to change your mind. So: deactivate it, and put in a diary reminder to reactivate it in a couple of weeks. Here's how to deactivate it. Here's how to reactivate it. Hopefully, in two weeks the storm will have blown over.
General advice on how to manage your account: this is useful info.
Instagram: you can't block all comments on Instagram. You can only block individuals. To be honest, Instagram tends to be a nicer place than Twitter and Facebook, with less trolling and general mean-ness, so it's probably not as critical but.... you can still get d*ckheads who want to send inappropriate pictures and comments. Just block 'em and this is how. That link includes how to report people too.
Disable the account: info is here
And if you still need some cheering try this: