Don Schindler

Executive Reputation Coach & Digital Marketer

Tag: negative comments

How to stop the trolls – dealing with negative comments on the internet index

stop trolling

Trolls are definitely part of the dark side of sharing online

Recently I’ve noticed that extremists have kicked up their online bashing and trolling of some farmer pages. I really hate that – it’s a crappy tactic. But it does really show how the extremists are not interested in people having a  choice, they are interested in  people subscribing to only their choice. It makes them look like a crazy cult and that’s fine with me.

But because this is happening, I decided to re-release some of my past posts that deal with how to handle negative comments. Consider this kind of a quick index of negative links.

I will say though that you don’t have to read all of these to understand what I’m getting at. When handling negative comments or an online bashing by trolls, it’s pretty simple.

  1. If they aren’t attacking you in an obvious way, make sure to check their profile so you know they are a person and they seem normal. Usually extremists can’t hide the fact that they dislike your way of life and animal agriculture.
  2. If they are attacking – don’t answer them. Just delete the comment and block the person. Don’t feel bad about this. This is exactly the way they handle us when we question their logic or facts (at least what they consider facts).
  3. Answer only people who are asking questions in a normal way – respectful of opinions, curious, find the common ground, share your story kind of stuff, etc…

Here’s a bunch of pass posts dealing with negative comments.

You just received a negative comment online, now what do you do? – This post goes through the steps and also provides a quick social media response flowchart.

How To Handle Negative Comments On Your Facebook Profile – How to hide and unfriend people.

How To Handle Negative Comments On Your Facebook Page – How to  respond, block, delete, hide and just deal with the  trolls on your page.

How To Handle Negative Comments On Your Twitter Profile – How to respond and block if need be.

How Should You React to Cyberbullying – When Negative Comments Turn Ugly – How to dig in and find an attacker if things get real ugly. Also I never  recommend handling it yourself – there are law enforcement that handles these types of things. Let them deal with it.

If you  need help, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’ll do what I can.


Snap Chat, iMovie, and Dealing with Negative Comments top my 2015 posts

It’s always kinda cool to go back and see what really worked with my posts and what didn’t. Things that I think people would really want to see aren’t normally the ones that they do. And, of course, there are older posts that just seem to work in an evergreen way. I didn’t include those, just the ones I wrote this year.

Anyway, here they are.


Customers don’t care about your brand if you don’t care about them.

1. It’s not “If You’ll Be Disrupted”, it’s “When You’ll Be Disrupted” – Crowd Companies at SXSW 2015

This posts hits on the disruption of the Collaborative companies and it hit a nerve with the industry. I’ve also become a member of Jeremiah Owyang’s Crowd Companies Innovation Council and gotten to meet a lot of smart people working to disrupt not only competition but their own companies in order to figure out where the world is going. Getting to peek under the hood at AirBnB and Uber was pretty cool as well.



Ask The Farmers

2. Is dairy farming a one-sided conversation?

With this post, I spoke about how sometimes it seems that I’m on the defense when it comes to conversations about food and farmers. And I talk about how to overcome that but where to reach out to for help. Essentially, it’s about who are the dairy farmer advocates that you can rely on in the digital world and I list them out and link to them.



3. You just received a negative comment online, now what do you do?

We teach a few classes on how to handle tough questions and this post came out of that class as well as a few others. It runs down the process but also includes a helpful flowchart of how to handle a negative comment. If you treat comments like this as objectively as you can, then you can calm down your emotional response, which is extremely tough to do.


snapchat home screen

4. Show Me Your Farm in Two Seconds. How to Set Up Snapchat For Your Farm

Now I didn’t write this article because I’m not a Snap Chat user. I mean I have snap chat but none of my friends really use it (because I’m old). But Jamie, my co-worker does, and she lays out a great argument of why you should be using it (because the younger people do) and then how to set up it up.


5. How do you make a movie with the iMovie App on the iPhone 6?

I loved this post. Not because it’s a great post but I’ve had so much fun with the staff making movies on my iPhone 6. It’s so easy to do and it doesn’t take that long to do them. Why not edit out the boring parts and get right the good stuff. With iMovie, it’s not as hard as you think.

So that’s it for 2015. Can’t wait to see what rocks everyone’s world in 2016.

How To Handle Negative Comments On Your Facebook Page


This is an entirely different realm because this is a public business page. If you are accepting comments (which I think you should) then you can expect this type of thing happening.

Now if you are listening to the major social media marketing companies and experts, they are going to tell you that you need to do a couple of things right away.

  1. Response immediately.
  2. Acknowledge the issue.
  3. Apologize sincerely.
  4. Try to take it offline.

I completely recommend this line of thinking for an actual customer who’s upset with your product or service.

But that’s not always the case when it comes to farm/food company pages. You may be getting negative comments from people who have never used your product or service and never will. They think they can come and tear your business a new one based on their philosophy of life. And I don’t think these type of negative comments should be handled in this fashion. Continue reading

You just received a negative comment online, now what do you do?


Whoops! Guess you pissed somebody off. Cause you just got a seriously negative comment on your post. Or did you?

Listen, these things are going to happen. Especially if you are making a difference in the world. There are always going to be naysayers and critics. You can see them as a worrisome burden or an outstanding opportunity. Or you can see that as what they really are in most cases – attention.

Much like there’s no such thing as bad press, negative comments mean that people are paying attention. How you deal with that attention especially negative attention says a lot about your character.

I know it’s tough to not put on your gloves (I love to box and counterpunching is how a lot of  fights are won according to my trainer) but this is a social world and everything you say can be spread virally. With this in mind, we’ve put together some guidelines that may help you when you run into negative feedback.

First things first:

Evaluate the messenger – definitely go check out their profile before you answer. Most detractors have a lot of things on their profile that will let you know that they aren’t here to just ask a few questions. They are here to argue with you about what you do. As my friend Kim Kirchherr says you don’t have to attend every argument you are invited to. If there isn’t any chance to persuade or give them insights into what you do, there’s no reason to engage.

Use your listening skills – with just text, it’s really hard to tell if they are being inquisitive or sarcastic. People forget commas and write like they talk. Say it out loud in a couple of different tones. I always try and think that most people have good intentions but they don’t write them that way.

Ask more questions to clarify what they are talking about – don’t just make assumptions. You could be off by a mile and a half and you just wasted a ton of your time and you didn’t answer their question.

Be respectful and polite – farmers are some of the most respected people on the planet. Don’t soil yours as well as your fellow farmers’ reputation by getting into a name-calling, ALL-CAPS shouting match.

Use your own experiences as examples – you can prove how you take care of your animals by posting pics and videos of them. You’ve got tons of stories of leaving your warm bed to stay up with a sick calf. That’s a big deal and people sympathize. Continue reading

Are negative comments really negative? Sure they are but you can change them.


Photo courtesy of Sharon Mollerus (creative commons)

Yep, they are negative. It says so right here “negative comments”. But you can approach them as if they were a positive and I think you should because:

Negative comments are an opportunity to connect with people.
In a world where engagement is so very important, any opportunity to connect and engage is definitely worth the time.

It’s like when my wife says, “I wouldn’t tell you this if I didn’t care about you.”

So sometimes the purpose of a negative comment is to communicate about something an outsider perceives as negative to your business or image. You probably don’t want to hear about the negative but by learning about it you can make things better for the future.

Negative comments are an opportunity to share your passion and understand theirs.
Listen, if people didn’t care, they wouldn’t leave comments. You could take their negative comments as “I wouldn’t take the time to say this to you if I didn’t care what you are talking about.”

This means they are passionate about what you are talking about. I believe that people are as passionate about food as they are about religion, music and sports. You need to be sensitive to this information – passion can start a conversation with someone – even if it starts in a negative way.

Ray Prock, dairy farmer from CA, says this about negative commentary that he’s ran into:

“Don’t write off a relationship with someone just because they have different beliefs.  Do you remember that magnet experiment in science, the one where the same polarity repels itself and the opposite polarity attracts the other? The same can be said for relationships, find common ground outside the subject area involved to connect. Work towards a trusting friendship then use that trust to help re-enter the polarizing conversation.

Do not be afraid of taking time to build the relationship, Rome was not built in a day and you will not change someone’s beliefs that quickly either. As the relationship grows the trust will soon give way to influence and that is where you can work to help someone understand why you believe what you believe.”

Negative comments are an opportunity to share your insights into how your farm works, how their food is made, how your cows are treated, how much you care about your business, etc…
A negative comment can come off from someone’s lack of understanding – and you can share insights into how your farm operates.

I prefer to share insights over informing your readers that you are going to educate them on food production. By the simple fact they are reading and communicating with you, you can assume they are educated and informing them that you are going to ‘teach’ them usually gets them defensive.

Their thoughts and opinions may differ from you based on where they have received their information so approach those differences by sharing, not attacking their knowledge or education level. People need to know that you care about their opinions and that you empathize with them before they’ll care about your opinion.

Negative comments can give you insight on how you are coming across to others.
I think Mike Haley sums up this point best in his blog post on AgChat:

“The first step begins as you are writing the blog post, as the tone in which a post is written can set the stage for others to comment, either positively or negatively. If a post is written to talk WITH the readers and respect their opinions, instead of talking AT them, readers tend to think more critically about what was said. It encourages your readership to engage in positive and constructive conversations that remain respectful, even when opinions on the subject can defer greatly.”

I’ve seen Mike in action on blog posts and in comment sections, talking with people in a very respectful manner about their point of view. So I thought it would be great to interview him for this post and ask him directly about how he deals with negativity.

He says, “The biggest goal to any type of online social conversation is not converting people to your point of view rather it’s about opening up the dialogue – it’s a two way street.

Don’t spend so much time trying to get people on your side, instead spend quality time on the conversation. Everybody can be right – everyone’s opinion matters. When you treat negative comments in this fashion, then it’s much easier to get common ground.”

Janice Person, who has a great deal of experience with negativity, is in agreement with Mike. Her best advice comes down to:

“When you look at comments, it’s important to get a little broader perspective when the critics pop up. Maybe they have just heard something for the first-time and are really upset. If you always treat people respectfully, you are more likely move the conversation forward. They may seem aggressive or emotional to me but I need to think about how everyone else reading the exchange will view it. If I set the baseline of respectful dialogue, I can help hold others to it. That means I need to know when to step away for a bit sometimes as people may be pushing my buttons.”

Sometimes negative comments are NOT an opportunity.
Sometimes when you answer back and try to listen the other person will not engage, they are looking to just to use your platform to get their point across.

We call these people trolls.

All they look to do is to use your platform to attack you, to hijack other conversations, to incite anger in you or others and, generally, just be a nuisance.

When it comes to this type of behavior, you don’t have to put up with it or engage in it – actually, that’s the worst thing to do because that’s what the troll wants. To actively see you get upset.

How do you know if someone is a troll?

Check their information with a simple Google/social media search. If you can’t find them, then consider the conversation is over. Remember you can always walk away – it’s tough sometimes but it might be better in the end.

As you get more experience on the internet, you’ll start to know who are trolls and who is genuinely interested in having a conversation with you.

How to deal with troll comments, posts and tweets?

There’s a old saying out there that “never wrestle with a pig, you are going to get dirty and the pig likes it.”

In other words, don’t stoop to their level of fighting because your reputation will be damaged more and that was their intention in the first place.

Carrie Mess has a great point on how to deal with trolls.

“Don’t be afraid of the delete/block button. Some people’s comments are not adding to the discussion. If a comment is completely out of line, insulting or over the top, delete it and block them.”

So what do you think, do you think negative comments are opportunities to engage or should we avoid them at all costs?

In my next post, I’ll go through the steps that I use when dealing with comments – it’s a simple social media flowchart but it can help guide you on whether you should answer back or delete that comment.

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