Do You Punish People With Your Social Media Practices?

Ironically, WordPress trolled me and decided to publish this when it was only a title, proving the publishing status of “draft” completely useless. Not Punishing People Rule #1: Don’t send title-only posts to your followers’ email.

Sorry, email followers.

Stupid WordPress.


I’m here today to discuss how people punish their followers with their social media practices. Keep in mind: it’s unlikely that people are intentionally irritating their friends and fans. My hope is that in pointing some of them out, you can see if you may be guilty of some of these practices and improve your online presence.

1. Ha Ha Ha! You interacted with my post, and now you’re part of a bullshit scheme to “raise awareness”!ackbar

This is a Facebook thing, though I suppose it could exist elsewhere. It occurs when a friend posts an exceptionally bizarre or amazing status, and when you like or comment on it, you get a private message to the effect of “you shouldn’t have liked my status! Now you have to choose one of these as your status: I got a lego stuck in my ear! or Guano is actually quite tasty!”

My standard response is either to ignore the message or say I don’t participate in that crap. Though I have considered adding the Admiral Ackbar photo to status updates where I know this is happening. I don’t, because then I’ll get the private message.

status2. Allow me to piss and moan all over the interwebs.

This usually occurs as a vague post: Ugh! Kill me now! or This day can go suck it!

I get it. We all have crappy days, and sometimes we want to share our misery, because misery loves company, right?

That may be true, unless posting vague, drama-laden status updates is a daily occurrence. If you want to share your struggles, add two things: 1. specificity – tell us why the hell the day can “suck it”, and 2. try not to do it too often, or you become annoying white noise.

3. You think I’m real, but I’m just an automated spam-bot! 

I think this is mostly a Twitter thing. I’ve been on Twitter less than two months, but that’s long enough to realize some “followers” don’t actually “exist”. You follow them, and then you get a direct message telling about their book or their Facebook page or telling you about a service that direct messages your new followers, which you should totally try! Not. Someone needs to shank those automated direct messages in the kidneys, post haste.

The thing is, I literally just started following you. I don’t know you at all. Let’s get to know each other before you smash your online content in my face, mkay?

4. Doing any of the above things when you’re trying to promote yourself.

If you’re an author, artist, business owner, or must professionally promote yourself in some other capacity, annoying your followers will only hurt you. If your gut says you shouldn’t post that or automate that, don’t.

What did I miss? Are there other punishing practices you see on social media? 

15 thoughts on “Do You Punish People With Your Social Media Practices?

  1. Pingback: Searching the Reader – Long Tail Tags | Professional Licensing Helper

  2. Good Day to Everyone,

    I have avoided social media for a long time because of all this “white noise”.

    My Twitter account is less than a week old. In that time I have gained a small list of followers (even though my activity has been more in the non-active status).

    Some of these followers are welcome and valued, like Allison (Thanks Allison!).

    I have respectfully followed those who follow me in return, because it seems like good practice to acknowledge them.

    Allison’s upcoming post, to include “Twitter Lists” is very anticipated indeed!

    My sort of “pro-active anti spam” Twitter List, comes to mind. These bots/spammers aren’t so smart. It will be easy to weed them out of my list, just by the pure number of tweets.

    I would like to ask them:

    “Why are you even here? Do you really think we will pay attention?”

    Comment spam on my blog is also a big pain. I’m thinking of a standard line or two to put at the end of my posts. What do you think about:

    “If you leave a comment, and don’t see it within a day or so, use the Comment Form to tell me. If the WordPress algorithm and my spam widget puts it in my Spam Folder, it will be deleted after three (3) days. You have that amount of time to prove your comment is not spam.”

    Then I can just use the date stamps to manage all that spam (pages of it), without wasting my time.

    Do you think this approach would be too harsh?

    My Best to You


    • WP is good at filtering spam – they have a screening service for it. I’ve only had about two real comments accidentally get filtered out. I have it set up so I approve all first-time commenters but further approval isn’t required. I never see the blatant spammers because of WP’s screening service. I’ve been happy with it and haven’t needed any extra messages to commenters.


      • Hello Allison,

        My spam filter catches the spam, it just turns into pages of it in the folder. The first time I started the blog, a little over a year ago, for some reason, the site kept getting hit by what appeared to be compliments.

        It wasn’t long before I started noticing that a lot of the URLs in the comments were leading to the same type of “who-is” or similar “listing type” of non-WordPress sites with nothing but a person’s name, like a registration site. They were very generic, and were just spam.

        It got to the point that I decided to change to a “static” website. A lot of pages were deleted, all comments were deleted, and comments disabled at that time. I was very discouraged, with no time, family illness…you get the idea.

        My retirement marks a new beginning, with more time, while being able to take better of family by staying home.

        The other day there were 2 pages worth of spam comments. I’m just not going to deal with the spam. The template page with the message to use my Contact Form, if a comment doesn’t show up on the post within a day or so, and the notice is pretty much as written above, and will show up just above where “comments” start.

        Scrolling through all that spam, trying to sort it all out is just too hard on my eyes, just like trying to deal with the spam bots in Twitter. With Glaucoma, it is necessary to pick and choose how I manage this, in order to continue to function. It is a huge problem for me, but I’ve dealt with it for years. I doesn’t keep me from applying myself online, just slows me down a little.

        Sorry about sharing so much. Sometimes it seems better to just be up front about it, so that an understanding can be established right off. I have no problem being open about it. This is another reason why it has taken me so long to complete the “tag” post following assignment for class.

        The last tag leads to a web book, which I’m reading before posting. It is only fair to the author, and I’m learning something in the process.

        Thank you again for your time and support. If I can ever be of assistance to you in some way, don’t hesitate to ask.

        My Best to You

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually can’t stand any of these – both the things you mention in your original post Allison and also all the comments here too.

    And I absolutely HATE number 3… It keeps happening to me as well – I start following someone on twitter and immediately get some kind of “Thanks for following! Let’s connect in MORE than 140 characters now! Like my Facebook page/sign up for updates/be my friend/tell me I’m pretty!”

    Altogether too many exclamation marks for my liking.

    I haven’t actually heard of number 1 before (what can I say? Maybe I’m not that popular…), but it sounds like the kind of thing that would really annoy me. Although ironically I did spend most of my childhood with lego in my ear, so I would at least know which status to post afterwards…



  4. I can’t stand it when people post status that say, “If you….then share this.” or “Only 1% of people with repost this…”. I especially get annoyed when these same people decide to tag you!! Really? What they are essentially doing is causing me to dig my heels in and rebel against actually “sharing”, even if I agree or like the status…


  5. I actually loved seeing your headline-only post this morning on my blog-feed. Made me laugh 🙂
    Hate the twitterbots, and twitter-spam. Sometimes it’s a fine line between promotion and spam but… often that line isn’t leaped right over.


    • That title only one went away, right? I deleted it right away.
      IMO, the line between promotion and spam is crossed when the person ceases to do anything but promote. They don’t let anyone know anything else about them as a person.


      • I think the title-only one went away — I saw it when I was on my phone during my morning commute, so probably just in the short span that you had published and before you deleted.
        I’ve seen a few people who do a minimal amount of personal stuff on their twitter, but still overwhelmingly promotional clutter. It can get a bit murky, feel like there’s probably a chart that could be made about the proportion of personal versus advertisement before you end up being a spam-tweeter


        • It is murky, and honestly, I ignore most of it, I hate to say. I want to support other authors, but there are just so many links and pushes for books that my eyes glaze over. I’ve decided to support the ones I know, because I know they’re actual people. And I’ve gotten to know a few.


          • That’s what I’ve done. There are a few that I keep in my main feed because, sometimes, they have something to say that I’m interested in, but the ones that provide actual interaction have made it to my “Pat Attention” list. So I can actually hear people through the clutter.


  6. Man, but this day has sucked for me, the persona known as Humanoid Meatcreature 4387. If you want to make it better for me, like my status about Spambot Colon Cancer, rarest disease in the United States of Spampeople. Don’t worry about the details, I’ll PM you later about them. Alllllll of them. With pictures I drew myself. Of Spambot colon cancer.

    🙂 Sorry, couldn’t resist. Twitterbots are the WORST, though. Especially all those ‘I can bring you 10,000 followers for $10.00’ types. What is this, Dead Souls?


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