How to Repair Your Reputation if you are Harassed or Cyber Bullied on Twitter
8 Tips to Help After a Negative Tweet Goes Out
See Related Article: How Poor Online Reputation Management Ruined Business
A recent client came to me upset: they were a victim of harassment or cyber bulling.
A horrific tweet, that seemed to come out of the blue, was vile, personal and disgusting.
It not only interrupted their day—to say the least—but it also impacted their online reputation. Suddenly, HUNDREDS of their followers were exposed to the untruths in an instant. This tweet could then be picked up by Google and start to show up in searches. A business associate or client could then see the negative link, think twice about working with them again, and their business reputation is tarnished further.
Essentially, one tweet could destroy their online reputation.
What to do?
Here are eight tips that I used that might be helpful for you.
See Related Article: 25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools
1. Stay Calm
If someone writes a damaging, offensive or harassing tweet, stay calm.
It probably with bring up feelings of anger, rage, and fear. What else will they do? Why are they doing this to me? What should I do now? The most important thing is to not do anything—for the moment, and just pause. Go for a walk to clear your head or call a close friend or family member if necessary to calm down.
2. Don’t Respond Immediately
The immediate impulse is to respond. Don’t. Sending a tweet back does two things: it might give you a temporary feeling of satisfaction but in reality it only satisfies the cyber bully, and second, it only makes things worse. So, again, don’t write a retaliatory response back.
Also, realize that it’s not personal. The internet and social media, including Twitter, are like the “Wild West,” and nearly anyone can say nearly anything for what ever reason. In that spirit, try not to think that someone is targeting you personally.
3. Copy or Screen Shot the Tweet
Next, copy or take a screen shot of the offensive or negative tweet. This might come in handy later. Perhaps you need this as further proof if a problem crops up (unlikely) again, or it’s helpful to save the message to analyze later.
4. Block the User
You can easily block the user or report the message as spam.
How to report spam:
If you think you’ve found a spam profile, follow these steps to report it:
- Visit the spam account’s profile.
- Click the person icon. This brings up a drop-down actions menu (see image below).
- Click on Report @username for spam.
A blocked user means that they can not follow you or reply to tweets. Note that reporting an account for spam does not automatically result in suspension.
5. Delete it and Ignore it
Quickly delete the tweet after being sure that you saved it. Removing it should ensure that it won’t get indexed by Google and show up in a search down the road, which could be disastrous, It also prevents other Followers from seeing it.
6. Change your Twitter Settings
Review your Twitter account, and change your privacy settings. Make your tweets Protected so that only your followers can see your messages. By default, your tweets are Public, meaning that they are visible to anyone, whether or not they have a Twitter account.
To make your tweets Private:
- Go to your account settings by clicking on the gear icon at the top right of the page and selecting Settings from the drop down menu.
- Scroll down to the Tweet privacy section and check the box next to Protect my Tweets.
- Click the blue Save button at the bottom of the page. You will be prompted to enter your password to confirm the change.
7. Report it to Twitter, If Necessary
Some other resources to consider:
- Stop Bullying | @stopbullyinggov
- National Crime Prevention Center on Cyberbullying
- Cyberbullying Research Center
- Connect Safely | @connectsafely
8. Move On
Finally, if you did everything above, then move on and forget it. Try not to think about it and just continue to aware of any problems—as you should always be—and not that things just happen.
Steven W Giovinco