ITV’s Social Media
Awareness Hub

Tips for tackling unwanted attention online

video transcript

Social media is a powerful tool for connecting audiences with their favourite TV shows. Posting and commenting allows people to feel part of the action, join the conversation, voice support… or sadly, sometimes just be mean.

You may not receive unwanted attention following your TV appearance. But if it does happen, there are three practical things you can do to stay in control of your experience.

The first one is the most obvious, but also the hardest to put into practice:

Try not to take it personally.

It can be hard to brush unkind comments off when someone’s trying to get under your skin and make you feel bad or ashamed.

But remember that trolls aren’t posting these comments because they know you – actually, they don’t. They’ve just seen you for a few moments on the telly.

It’s almost always best to ignore negative comments. As soon as you reply to a troll, they get the satisfaction of knowing they’ve had an impact on you.

And once you get into a public argument, there’s also a risk that it could spin out of your control.

If you’re feeling annoyed or upset by an unwelcome comment, choose someone who really does know and care about you to discuss it with. It’ll make you feel better than getting into an argument with a troll.

The second action you can take is to adjust your social media settings so that you’re in control of the information you share, and the content you see.

Every social platform has tools to help you restrict who can look at your profile and block unwanted contacts.

On some platforms, you can even block messages that contain certain words, so you never have to see or engage with them.

If you’re worried that negative comments on social media might affect you, you could also consider taking a break from social platforms during the days when the show is on TV. Trolls usually post nasty comments in the heat of the moment and then move quickly onto their next target, which means if you’re not looking out for it, you could well miss them. Problem solved!

And whether you’re planning to go on TV or not, it’s always a good idea to manage your online privacy.

Don’t post any information that could tell a stranger where you live or work, who you live with, or when or where you’re going on holiday.

To help you control your social media presence, we’ve added links to each social platform’s support pages on ITV’s Social Media Awareness hub.

The third and final thing you can do to stop trolls from getting to you is access further support.

If, after visiting the social platform’s support pages, you’re still concerned about comments you’re receiving online, then you could reach out to your key Production contact to talk about it.

Sometimes negative comments go too far and start tipping over into harassment, abuse or an actual threat.

If you’re worried that this is happening, we suggest you take further action. Have a look at the section on abuse, harassment and threats on the Hub.

If any comments posted online make you feel concerned for your safety, you should always contact the police.

You have the right to feel proud of your participation and enjoy the time you spend on TV. If you are faced with negative comments, then following these three practical tips can help you take control and stay proud.