Gamification Expert &

Behavioral Designer

yukai chou gamification

Reputation: How to deal with Bashers

I got bashed

Recently, I wrote a blogpost titled The Government should pay entrepreneurs a very low salary to save the economy. I wasn’t saying that this plan is 100% correct, but it seemed logical to me, so I wanted to put it out there to see what people think about it. At least I had some support from a Stanford Researcher and an Ex Venture Capitalist and BCG Consultant.

After a while, this professor from Belmont University Jeff Cornwall wrote a blogpost about how terrible and out of my mind I was. Shortly after, a lot of his readers started mass commenting on my blog and his blog saying they are “disgusted” and that I’m promoting socialism (note: I am not suggesting the government fund those who are unproductive…I am suggesting the government make it possible for more people to create jobs and enhance a form of capitalism).

What do you do when that happens?

11 Tips to turn the table around and make bashers supporters

  1. Thank them for their time and effort
  2. Apologize for things that you clearly did wrong or by mistake
  3. Address every single one of them
  4. Be polite
  5. Ask them to specify the things they are bashing about (most will just throw vague insults without clarifying why they are insulting)
  6. For those who actually explain, clarify all the misunderstandings or misconceptions
  7. Address your fundamental differences, but don’t be an jerk about it
  8. NEVER become emotional
  9. Stay cheerful
  10. Thank them at the end and encourage more constructive criticism
  11. Don’t be shady

I have seen forum threads that were pretty much devoted to bashing me anonymously. I pretty much used these exact tips and dealt with the “trolls” straight on. After 2 long replies addressing every single person, I ended up with only supporters in the forum and the bashers almost felt embarrassed to say more (since the most 2nd response addressed their first reply attempt)

Gary Vaynerchuck also had a crisis where his website got hacked and redirected to a porn site. He also managed it in a way that helped him gain more followers that respect him.

Your reputation is one of your biggest assets. It’s your job to guard it with your life.


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13 responses to “Reputation: How to deal with Bashers”

  1. Hey Yu-kai,

    Thanks for directing me to your video although your email was already extremely helpful and informative. 🙂

    It’s great to see the examples of how dealing with bashers in a polite and respectful manner and being open to what they have to say changes how they think and act towards you.

    Great tips! Thanks,


  2. Hey Patrick! Thanks for the support.

    Haters are actually great for building trust and respect to observers!

    Let me know if I can help you with anything!

  3. Hey Yu-Kai!
    Great post, and I fully believe that the gouvernment should do something about our fellow entrepreneurs, we are the solution to the problem!
    Also thanks for this post, it explains a lot how to get over the fear of being judged on the internet by the whole world. Remember that haters are haters and there will always be haters anywhere you go!

    Take care and good luck with your business!
    (ps: you dont suck and you look like your a great entrepreneurs)


  4. Hey Yu-kai,

    Useful insights. As I am following you on Twitter, I read professor’s post before you posted this blog post and I pretty much know what you meant. I liked the way you have written down your thought and reply to him.

    There would always be differences between two people: whether it’s at thinking level or different opinions on various things. As long as you respect other person’s outlook, you should be fine. At the same time, you also have to know how to construct your feelings and thoughts without attacking other person and protecting your image.


    • Hey Pritesh,

      Thanks for the encouragement! Wow, I didn’t know people actually read my tweets (and consecutive ones).

      Yea, there are differences between people. I think if Jeff disagreed with me, he could have pointed out my flaws in logic or what not, but the intent of the post was mockery, which isn’t always necessary. The “mutual respect” part on peoples’ differences weren’t really there. But yea, I’m young and he’s an established professor with strong credentials, so I don’t take it personally. I just hope that he is willing to discuss with me why he thinks I am wrong to the extent to deserve such mockery.

  5. Hello Suki!

    Nice to see you visit my blog 🙂
    Yep, and how you deal with criticism is often more important than how you deal with supportive comments.

  6. Nice insight. Useful for you to put these thoughts out in one list. It’s especially pertinent for food bloggers since food writing is so opineated. I’ll RT this

    • Hahaha, really? I never imagined that food bloggers can be bashed. “NO!! That is not the way you eat this food! It will fail and destroy society!”

      Thanks a lot Aaron. You’ve always been very kind to me.

  7. Good stuff man. It will be nice to see your company to expand. Wonder if there is anything I can do to help.

  8. this is very useful. it’s true. when you have an online presence, you expose yourself to not only supportive comments, but also criticism.

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