In order not to have this post hijacked by a political discussion, I am leaving my political viewpoints out here. Here we go in no particular order:
- Be polite, correct, calm, composed, rational. Nobody believes a screaming maniac.
- Listen, listen, listen and look for a very specific mistake, misconception that can be corrected. Generic statements that answer another point then the ones raised are not useful and ignored.
- Set your ambition level. You are unlikely to correct someone's fundamental beliefs in just 1 paragraph.
- Realise that your most important audience might not be the person you are interacting with, but rather the many more that glance over the comments, the secondary audience is bigger
- Make your point very personal, human, and show that there is a normal person on the other side of the line
- Nobody likes to see more detail of gory images or screaming graphics
- Be short and to the point, on social media, nobody reads long paragraphs. If your text is longer, add lots of paragraph breaks
- Be sure to engage/correct a big opinion leader with lots of followers/readers: polite, super short, very specific fact to correct a very specific mistake/misconception
- Use sources that are credible, close to the opposite site of you. Linking to a highly biassed patriotic web sites full of the wrong flags is not going to make people read them
- Highlight facts or details that are not widely known/used in the media
- Try not to start with me, me, me, but start with the opposing viewpoint and show why it is causing a problem. Understand the stereotype that the other side might have of you, and try to soften it (you can even refer to it directly).
If successful, you came across as a reasonable (maybe even nice) guy/girl who did not confirm a stereotype. And hopefully you started to turn a social media war into a social media dialogue.