News anchor and former talk show host Geraldo Rivera is no stranger to doing stupid things on social media:
He managed to find something new and strange to do, however. Geraldo has a Facebook page with nearly 35,000 likes. Last Thursday, Rivera posted a Facebook note in support of President Obama’s immigration executive order:
Geraldo got a huge amount of interaction with this note. Also, as you can probably imagine, some of the comments were less than kind. Here are some of the lowlights, which included racially tinged comments, vulgarity, and attacks on Rivera’s ethnicity:
These comments, of course, are disgusting examples of internet trolling. As we have previously noted, these people are sick and in need of real help. Indeed, the LAST thing you give them is attention or any sort of acknowledgement that they got under your skin. Unfortunately, Rivera decided to give them the attention they so crave:
And, as you can imagine, that didn’t go well:
Are many of the the attacks on Geraldo fair? Of course not. They are insane, despicable, and examples of the worst of the internet. But Geraldo, who has been in this business for decades, should know better. Maybe he was just trying to get publicity by saying something shocking, because I have to assume that someone who has been at this for as long as Geraldo has would have heard worse and developed a thicker skin than this.
The lesson for elected officials is easy: Never, ever respond like Geraldo did. Delete and block trolls who make disgusting comments, while calmly engaging with those who disagree in a respectful manner. To respond like this brings you down to their level, makes you look like a fool and further insights those you are supposedly trying to shut up.