How to Deal with Abusive Tweeters

One thing that is important to remember when running a Twitter account for a business is to include “tweeting hours.” This is especially important if you are an organization that has a lot of people tweeting you, complaining and engaging. This is crucial for when you have a rogue tweeter being aggressive, abusive and angry. Recently, I dealt with a situation and it went as follows:

  1. An angry tweeter was sending aggressive and angry tweets after office hours. To be exact, there were 4 tweets sent back to back using profanities, questioned the organizations competence and full of aggressive comments.
  2. I consulted with the decision makers via email (that night- after hours) explaining that I would be following the next few steps (below) and that we didn’t need to respond until 8am, which was when we resume tweeting for the day.
  3. Sent a tweet to complainer directing them to fill out a complaint report at 8am.
  4. Waited a few hours to make sure user saw the tweet.
  5. Sent a Direct Message explain that due to the ongoing abusive language used in their tweets they will be blocked and future complaints can be emailed or called in.
  6. The user was then blocked. When you DM a user and then block them, they still can see the DM but not any tweets nor reply via DM.
  7. I made sure to screen shot the tweets and DM before he was blocked, for our records.
  8. Once the processes were complete, an email was sent out to the management team about notifying them about each step.

It happened. People can be assholes. You need to know what is considered a valid complaint, what is abusive and what needs immediate action. Don’t rush into dealing with users like this and if you are unsure of what to do, consult a professional. Do you have anything to add?


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