“You suck!”

“This content is 💩 !”

“You have no clue what you’re talking about!”

“You’re dead wrong. I tried it once and it worked. You clearly don’t understand how this works!”

If you’ve been on the Internet for ten minutes, then you’ve encountered negative comments on your blog. Negative replies to a social media post. Negative feedback to an email you sent.

The negativity? It can be deflating. At times, infuriating. Of course some of it is just spam but I’m talking about real people trying to cut you down.

Constructive criticism? Bring it. I’ve been wrong a million times and I’ll be wrong a million more.

But the negativity meant to put you in your place? Aimed at tearing down what you’ve spent years building up? It sucks. No two ways around it.

But there is a way to turn it on its head and make something beautiful out of something very ugly.

An Alltimer

If you’re a fan of Boston sports, you can recite parts of the below rant by heart. But even if you’re not, 24 years ago Boston Celtics head coach Rick Pitino went on an alltime rant. Listen to what he says about negativity:

“Larry Bird’s not walking through that door” is a line everyone in Boston knows. But the part we wanna forget (and Pitino reminds us about) are his comments about the negativity in Boston.

He’s not wrong. We expect our sports teams to win. And when they don’t… Well, let’s just say Boston sports radio gets pretty hot.

Everyone’s a critic and they know better than the coach, GM, team owner, players, you name it. And when it comes to negativity, Massholes can dish it with the best of them.

Why am I bringing up the above rant?

The Internet is full of negativity. You can ignore it, answer it or just read it and weep.

Or you could take a page out of the playbook of Oatly and the ACLU.

Turn A Negative Into A Positive

Oatly produces alternatives to dairy milk, including their oat milk which is very popular. Of course, when you’re dealing with something like milk and you change up what people are used to, you might get some negative feedback.

And if your business grows worldwide? People will DEFINITELY have what to say about you!

Oatly could simply not pay attention to the comments online. Why bother? If it’s a negative story in the Wall Street Journal, THAT’S worth paying attention to. But Josie in Tulsa thinks your product tastes like turpentine? Pffft.

When a bunch of yokels online spew off about your product and/or business practices, you might decide not to pay attention.

Or maybe you can use those comments.

Please take a few minutes- yes, I’m telling you to leave this blog post and come back to it in a few minutes- and see what Oatly has done with all the negative comments.


If ya can’t beat em, use their comments on a website aimed at poking fun at yourself.


I’m so glad I recently found that site. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. They frame the negativity as a positive: “We see all the negative headlines, posts and petitions as an inevitable consequence of trying to create positive societal change.”

Good on them! They’re not going to let online negativity ruin their product or vision. They’re going to turn it into a positive.

Read Em And Laugh

Towards the end of 2020, the ACLU sent their subscribers an email with a video link.

The video? “Nothing gets us into a more festive mood than seeing people exercise their right to free speech… Watch our video as we read out some of our favorite comments and toast to the end of this long year.”

The video? Pure awesomeness! Watch (WARNING: Some of the language is a wee bit NSFW):

THAT’S how ya do it! Share the good, laugh at the bad. Haters gonna hate but that doesn’t mean you can’t poke fun at them.

I can guarantee you that it’s hard working for an organization like the ACLU when there’s a consistent stream of negative comments, emails and replies. So every now and then turn that frown upside down!

What Should Your Org Do

I know of people, nonprofits and businesses who have closed comments on their blog. They’re tired of the crap. That’s one way to deal with it.

Another is simply not to reply. Constructive criticism? Reply. Hate? Just leave it alone.

It’s not worth getting into a comment war with some random account on Twitter.

But that doesn’t mean to stop paying attention to what people are saying about your organization! See who’s saying it and what they’re saying. When relevant, respond.

Politely. We have enough negativity on the Internet. Respond politely but firmly.

Haters gonna hate. You’re a nonprofit. Spread as much good and love as you can!