Twitter often is a toxic waste dump, to be sure. But having been active on the forum for over a decade now, the only way I’ve remained sane is to develop my own set of rules. And one of my main rules is the best way to respond to insults is to ignore them. I don’t always follow my own rule. Sometimes, I can’t resist mocking somebody who insults me. Other times, I may highlight a particularly egregious tweet to raise awareness about the anti-Semitism faced by Jewish writers. But by and large, ignoring the haters is the best response.
The way I see it, I get to be paid to offer my opinions publicly. It’s natural that as an extension of that, I’m going to incur the wrath of some people who disagree with me. In the modern world, social media insults are just a natural consequence of publicly arguing about politics. Anybody who is in this business has to be able to learn to brush things off, or they’re going to be really unhappy.
To my astonishment, there are some people with other day jobs, who nonetheless spend countless hours on social media harassing writers. Not sure what the motivation is for internet trolling, but as far as I can tell, the biggest goal is simply to get attention. So it doesn’t make much sense to provide them with the attention they seek, or to give them the satisfaction of knowing they’re getting under your skin.