It is an unfortunate fact of life that an artist’s work will be publicly criticized. Heck, sometimes the artist is personally criticized. Hopefully, the vast majority of the criticism received is positive or at least constructive. Naturally, that’s not always the case. Sometimes criticism is a blatant attack on the artist. Even worse is when a criticizer obviously did not read the work in question.
There have been many blogs and articles written about reviews on e-retailers and how to deal with those negative reviews. (I’ve even written one myself here.) I’m not going to discuss those types of issues here. Instead, I want to focus on comments on social media. Specifically, when is it okay to delete comments? Before I get into whether it’s a good idea to delete a comment or not, it’s important to know whether it’s even possible!
On Facebook and Instagram, you can delete comments without any administrative nonsense. See below. On the left is Facebook, on the right is Instagram. Easy Peasy.
Twitter doesn’t allow you to delete tweets from other users – which is how others ‘comment’ on your tweets. You can, however, report a tweet. Alternatively, you can also block or mute another person.
Now that we know how to delete or report comments on social media, the question remains: should we?
Initially, I was very hesitant to delete comments. I want readers to understand I’m a real person and not some polished version of myself. *Snorts at the idea of being polished* But then, I got my first ‘Mom comment’. Like most women of a certain age, my mother is a little confused about social media etiquette. All caps comments and comments ending with LOVE YOU MOM are the norm. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. A bit embarrassing, but definitely ‘real’. I left that first comment, but the next comment from mom had nothing to do with my post, let alone with me as a writer. (It was a request to call Dad for Father’s Day.) I deleted that comment as my readers didn’t need to read that. (And yes, I called Dad.)
Are there other comments I delete? For sure! The tagline for my latest novel, Searching for Gertrude, is “How far would you go to find the woman you love?” I recently did a Facebook ad using this tagline. The first comment? “No woman is worth any effort.” It took me approximately 2 nanoseconds to decide to delete that comment. The comment had absolutely nothing to do with my novel or my author platform (and it pissed me off). Why should I keep it?
The final category of comments I delete is spam. I’m actually quite chuffed to receive spam on my posts. My social media accounts are worth spamming! In some perverse way that makes me feel like I’m doing something right.
What comments do you delete, if any?