Paul Haarman: How to handle negative comments on social media

In view of the recent events surrounding a post by a vlogger named Tanya Burr, where a screenshot of a private conversation between her and a friend was posted online and sent to the media causing Tanya to lose over 3 million subscribers on her channel, it has forced social media users to look at their own comments before sending them out explains Paul Haarman.

This is not just limiting to YouTube but all social media platforms. In this article, I aim to provide advice on how you can handle negative comments/comments that may be offensive or upsetting from being read by anyone but yourself.

Precautionary measures:

Before reading any comment ever made about you take precautionary steps so your viewing is private. To illustrate this point, let’s imagine that you are viewing your Facebook profile and see the following comment on a post you made:

“You’re such an idiot”

To make sure that no one else can see this comment but you, take the following steps:

  • -On desktop: Right-click on the comment and select “Copy link address.”
  • -Then, open a new tab and paste the link into the URL bar. Press enter and it will direct you to that specific comments page. Once there, click on “Settings” in the top right corner, and under “Who can see this?” change it to “Only me.”
  • -If you’re using the Facebook app on your phone: Tap on the three lines in the top right corner of the post and tap “View Page.” Scroll all the way down and select “Edit Options” then change it to “Only me.”

Alternatively: If you do not like using Facebook and want a more thorough solution, download the app called Hide It All (available on both iOS and Android) or Ugly Mail (iOS only). These applications allow you to block people from even seeing your profile/posts in the first place says Paul Haarman. This application is very useful for when receiving negative comments because these apps can keep them private until you decide you are ready to confront them.

How Tanya Burr handled her situation:

For many bloggers or social media users who receive hate online, they get upset but never say anything back towards that individual says Paul Haarman. However, Tanya Burr took a different approach and decided to reply to the person who left the comment. In her reply, she was very polite and even thanked them for their feedback. Her reply can be seen below:

Although this is a great way to deal with haters, it’s not for everyone. Some people may feel that replying will only make the situation worse or they may not have the energy to deal with it. If this is the case for you, I would recommend just blocking/hiding that person instead of engaging in a back-and-forth chat.

How to deal with negative comments:

There are three ways that you can handle negative comments on social media: Ignore them, reply back in a polite manner, or block the person.

You can decide to do any of these three things but in my opinion, I would suggest ignoring them because it is simple and easy to do so you won’t receive notifications when they reply to your post or comment on something else.

Paul Haarman says if you want to ignore them but still reply back, this is an amazing way to “stick up for yourself” without stooping down to their level. The downside of ignoring someone can be that it eventually leads to a full-scale war between the two sides; where both sides attack each other with rude comments and personal attacks. This will not end well and if possible, avoid doing this at all costs.

If you like replying back in a polite manner Do it! This is not only beneficial to you by allowing you to speak up for yourself but the person who left that negative comment may learn something from it and may feel bad about what they said.

If you want to reply back in a rude way: This is not recommended because no one likes being attacked and if possible, avoid doing this at all costs.

If you prefer blocking/hiding: Simply block or hide the person and go on with your day! This will cut out any unnecessary stress and drama that could arise from engaging in an argument online.

My example of how I handled my situation:

I had posted a picture of myself on Instagram wearing a Halloween costume. Someone commented on my post saying, “You look like Pennywise.” Although they didn’t say it in a mean-spirited way, I still felt insulted and wanted to reply back.

After rereading their comment, I noticed that they actually complimented the costume by saying that I looked like Pennywise. This meant that they were not insulting me but rather telling me their opinion about my outfit; something I should’ve listened to before reacting.

Instead of replying back in anger, I decided to ignore them. If anything this person probably didn’t even notice or care about my reaction because this person was most likely sitting at home on the computer when they left this comment online.


Paul Haarman says there are many different ways that you can handle negative comments online but in my opinion, the best way to deal with them is by ignoring them. This will prevent any possible arguments from happening and will keep you from receiving notifications every time they reply to one of your posts or comments. If you want to reply back in a polite manner, go ahead! This can be beneficial for both you and the person who left the negative comment. Lastly, if you want to block/hide the person, go ahead and do so! This will cut out any unnecessary stress and drama that could arise from engaging in an argument online. Just remember: don’t feed the trolls!


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