Tips for Dealing with the Anti-Vegan Twitter Troll Horde
So… I recently joined Twitter, which has been an experience!
Facebook is lovely, the Facebook community is strong and supportive
Instagram is full of supportive bots that feel obliged to comment on all of your pictures… Which counts for something I guess!
But Twitter… Twitter is a war ground where the two sides come crashing together and spewing their ideas and ideologies onto each other. It is bloodthirsty, ruthless, merciless…
That’s what Twitter is about! Everyone comes together to share ideas at rapid fire. It becomes like a real-life discussion and when it’s used well. It can be a really enlightening platform. However, not everyone does use it well.
Oh yes! Everyone’s favourite wasters! They don’t really have anything useful to contribute to the discussion. You can spot one by their typical “mmm… bacon” tweets.
It is INCREDIBLY frustrating and you wouldn’t be wrong to assume that it is nothing more than a form of bullying once it reaches a certain point.
There are some that are just incessant. They pick and choose their battles and feed on the negativity that spawns from their childish, feeble-minded comments…
Now don’t get me wrong! I totally stand by Jack‘s blog on a new approach to vegan advocacy which can be applied to vegans representing ourselves on Twitter. So no matter how infuriating they can be. We need to deal with them appropriately. Hence this blog…
Tips to consider
- Think first! Consider if this really is a troll or someone sharing their point of view. If it’s someone sharing their view then, by all means, discuss with them as much as is rationally feasible. Nature of the beast is that it will descend into carnage at some point but encourage it in a healthy manner. Trolls, you can be a bit more firm with. (hooray!)
- Educate them first and foremost. Encourage them to use their minds. Their base arguments are really not founded on anything. See if they are prepared to engage in something that actually uses their mind. If not, it’s really up to you at this point if you feel you want to take this fight on.
- Plan A has failed. They’re still coming at you with “Oh GOD IT TASTES SO GOOD MMMM”. Try and home in on what has or hasn’t worked so far. Have they displayed they couldn’t care less about animals? Move on to diet or the environment. Global-warming isn’t happening? See if there is perhaps a deep-seated compassion for animals or they are worried about their health and so on and so forth. There are so many different arguments to get them on.
- Gather your facts. Hit them with some statistics. REAL un-biased statistics. Time and energy have gone into making sure these insights are idiot proof and cannot be argued. Best case scenario, it overloads their brain and they have to go and have a lie-down for a while.
- Silence is Golden. If everything goes quiet, you have won… You won’t convert these people, but if you get the last word in, you’ve given them something to think about. That’s the best you can hope for. Now, there is something that I would like to clarify. As someone rightly pointed out to me, on initial survey, getting the last word in does sound, perhaps, a little childish. In a discussion, of course, setting out to get the last word in IS childish. However, we have to remember that trolls are much different. They are like children, and as a parent wouldn’t leave a child’s remark unchallenged, neither should we when dealing with these people. You don’t HAVE to get the last word in, but if you do, it’s a much clearer indicator that they have a) run out of anything to retort and b) they might be thinking about your argument.
If you are getting ganged up on. When there’s nowhere left to go. Don’t let it get you down. You can’t win every time. But if you are upset it shouldn’t be tolerated. Twitter is very liberal with its freedom of speech. They will let pretty much anything fly so don’t expect Twitter support to be of any help.
Draw on the vegan community. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help because we are all here. Some of us are peaceful, preach the love kind of people, some of us are militant view-sharing vegans. We all have our moments and we are all willing to support a fellow vegan in need. Whether it’s moral support or another voice in the midst.
Last, LAST Resort
I came up with a fabulous idea with @ahwhynot_goon. If they just don’t get the picture and leave you alone… throw all else out the window and “nuke” them – THIS IS THE LAST LAST RESORT – Select a tweet from the thread and retweet it. Invite all the vegan bloggers to share their recipes on the thread in a bid to turn them vegan. We love a bit of publicity! Chances are we will all look at each others blog posts and the troll will get drowned out, get bored, and walk away.
However, it’s not all fun and games. The loneliness that comes from being a vegan against the world can be quite overwhelming at times. I mentioned this on my blog about “The Hardest Part of Being Vegan”. There’s a really helpful video on there that is worth watching if you’re ever feeling down about things.
- The Value of a Life
- 5 Vegan Clothing Brands to Try
- Can My Pet Live on a Vegan Diet
- Vegan Advocacy
- Why aren’t more men vegan?
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