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Facebook is an open platform for sharing your world, and if you post something, you should expect feedback. Everyone may not agree with what you post, and that comes with the territory.

Unfortunately, what happens on Facebook doesn’t stay there, and the Facebook Hater uses the social media platform to attack your reputation, and if not stopped, he/she can negatively affect your brand offline.

Sometimes you may know the Facebook Hater in real life; or, he/she may be some random person that subscribes to your public posts. Snarky and sneaky, the Facebook Hater gets a thrill whenever he/she embarrasses you in front of your peers.

Here, then, are three telltale signs of a Facebook Hater and how to stop them.

  1. Your Facebook Hater will always post the most unflattering photos of you.

If you attend a networking event, the Facebook Hater will post a pic of you stuffing food in your mouth; or with a drink in your hand; or while looking a little too animated during conversation.

What to do: If a Facebook Hater posts an unflattering pic of you, immediately un-tag yourself. Next, send a direct message and ask for the photo to be removed. If the photo is not removed expeditiously, comment on it: “Hi, please remove my photo; it’s a very unflattering picture and it hardly seems fair for you to post it, given how great you look in your photos.”

If your Facebook Hater still refuses to remove the photo, report it to Facebook, and unfriend or block the Facebook Hater immediately. Posting a bad photo is serious business, as that image of you can become a viral meme.

  1. Your Facebook hater will minimize your achievements, and/or challenge the authenticity of your posts to insult you.

A common tactic of the Facebook Hater is to minimize your achievements.

Recently, a friend who is committed to losing weight posted a picture of her treadmill; the treadmill stats indicated that she worked out for 40 minutes and walked 1 mile. Smack dab in the middle of a flurry of ‘likes,’ a Facebook Hater responded: “Try to get that time down to under 30 minutes per mile next time.”

Oh, the shade.

What to do: In the aforementioned exchange, a great response would have been: “Thanks for the tip. If you have more tips, please send them via direct message. I trust that your intent is to help me, and not make me feel bad about my efforts.”

With that statement, you’ve unmasked the Facebook Hater, and he/she may respond with an apology or simply fade away. (Most Facebook Haters are passive/aggressive cowards, and they do not like to be unmasked. When responding to a Facebook Hater, always keep your responses short, to the point, and classy.)

  1. Your Facebook hater will post a controversial topic and tag you in it.

Let’s say you work at a very diverse company, and to maintain the peace—and your job—you don’t post about hot-button issues such as race, politics, or religion. The especially crafty Facebook Hater will attempt to extract your opinions about sensitive subjects routinely. Your Facebook Hater will publicly bully you to take a stand; he/she may tag you in a controversial issue and pointedly ask your opinion on the matter.

What to do: First, un-tag yourself. Next, comment: “Hi there, I don’t participate in such conversations on social media. My closest friends know where I stand. Thanks!” A refusal to participate in a heated online debate makes your position clear, while simultaneously unmasking the Facebook Hater’s agenda.

(By the way, if you feel the need to voice your opinions about controversial matters, put it in a book and get paid for it, don’t take a public thrashing for free.)

Ultimately, you are the only weapon you have against Facebook Haters, so be mindful of what you post on social media and be diligent about protecting your personal brand.

Follow Zondra Hughes on Twitter @ZondraHughes

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