AdviceColumnsSelf Care

How To Win A Facebook Fight

By Rachel Fogletto 

If you google reasons not to argue online, you’ll come across many cartoons, memes, and quotes about arguing with idiots. For instance, Mark Twain once said, “Do not argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” Or maybe he didn’t because a lot of famous quotes are drastically exaggerated and taken out of context. The truth is, everything can be done within reason, and you can google a quote to support anything you want.

As a woman on the internet, pretty much everything I say can be challenged at any moment whether it’s a post about rape culture or about what I ate for dinner. Just because I expressed my love for duck burritos doesn’t mean there’s no reason for someone to call me a crazy bitch. I’ve found that Facebook is very visually conducive to online fighting and developed some techniques for FB fighting etiquette and best outcomes.

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Manage Your Time

Is this shit-storm brewing in the middle of an important project you’re working on, or are you involved in some other commitment? Consider how important it is that you make your point. Did some rando just comment #fap #sexy to a profile pic of you in a turtleneck (or whatever)? Consider just deleting the comment. Not before taking a screenshot, of course. You’re not an amateur.

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Strategy

Have a few personalized memes or jabs to throw out there when you don’t have time to engage but you really want to. This saves an incredible amount of time and says a thousand words in a mere sentence fragment. I post a lot of jokes online. This may surprise a lot of you but I commonly have people either explain my jokes back to me or try to one-up them. I made some custom memes to save the time of addressing this over and over.

Ladies, you can have this one:

Combating the Obvious

You posted a vent status about the guy standing outside Dunkin Donuts who grabbed his peen and asked if you needed extra cream. A guy you don’t really know comments something about how #notallmen and, does that really happen? Your first instinct will be to lay in on him, because “of course you misogynistic fuck, that really happened….this is what rape culture is made out of and so is your comment, Andrew….was it you? WAS THAT YOU OUTSIDE OF DUNKIN DONUTS???” But instead, I would strongly urge you to respond in gifs only.

Gif responses are reserved for strangers, trolls, and people you actually know who are fucking terrible. Anyone you know IRL who posts antagonistic comments is probably someone you have a personal beef with and chances are you’ve already been to facebook war. Do not re-engage. They know what that Rihanna BBHMM gif reference is, and it’s all you need, frankly.

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Flip The Script

The internet is full of people trying to pull you into their narrative and drag you into their own inner turmoil. At some point, someone who is beyond your basic troll will become incensed by you and everything you stand for. They may comment with something like thinly veiled insults they read about in a Pick Up Artist article because these kinds of people often can’t tell whether they want to fight or fuck someone. This can be true for any gender but let’s be real, mostly cis-men. If you decide to engage, use very very dry sarcasm, and show no emotion. This person is trying to get you to lose your mind publicly by any means necessary. In the age of screenshots and clickbait, it’s very easy for a person to take your response out of context and try to make you look pure Crazy town.

If you keep engaging, this person will eventually straight up insult you in the last chance effort to get you to unravel. This is gaslighting in its most modern form and if you confront it you have to fight fire with fire. Don’t insult them back right away but ask questions that flip the narrative, like “Steven, you just called me a cunt, is it because you are becoming emotional?” Stick to this and you’ll have him killing himself all over your thread in no time. Don’t forget to screenshot!

Etiquette

Don’t tag people into FB drama, especially if you’ve started it. Especially don’t tag someone into a shit-storm about sexism or racism or some other form of marginalization they suffer from, especially if you do not personally experience it yourself. If someone volunteers to be tagged in, that is fine but also prepare to fight your own battles, since tagging in another person who is not as strong can actually drag you down. You will need emotional support sometimes, and you should pick a few trusted friends to vent and talk shit to while the fight is happening.

Via Pinterest

Trust No One

Not completely. Unless you’re chatting with your true BFF.I’m talking blood oath ride or die level friend. Anything you type can and potentially will be used against you. No one is perfect and everyone is at risk, but you can reduce your risk simply by being aware and practicing what I call “safe text.” Like sex, nothing is totally safe but you can use judgment and take precautions. Choose wisely who you want to risk trust breaches and screenshot leaks with when you’re venting on the sidelines. Avoid names when possible and pay attention to how you word everything. 

If you follow these basic guidelines you can expect the ideal outcomes from a Facebook fight. The prize for winning is your sanity, and don’t let anyone try to tell you this is not valuable.

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