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A handy how-not-to guide for the famous Twitter user

Posted by Jesse Singal  January 10, 2011 11:59 AM

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So John Dennis, a host on sports radio WEEI, is in a Twitter feud with some guy named Matthew Mills after Mills started bashing him on Twitter. For the most part: yawn.

What is interesting is the ferocity of Dennis's responses to Mills. Part of it may stem from the fact that Mills is apparently a fan of "Toucher and Rich," the show that airs opposite "Dennis and Callahan" on the network's new sports radio rival, 98.5.

But yeah, it's some pretty mean stuff:

dennistwitter.jpg

For one thing, Dennis only has 2,230 followers as of when I'm writing this. But more substantively, it's like he's trying to alienate as many people as possible. Imagine if you were trying to come up with a list of the most damaging, self-destructive ways for celebrities — even minor ones — to react to Twitter abuse. It would probably looks something like this:

1) Personally single out every random person who insults you.
2) Hit back at them with a stream of tweets, and use 'u' and 'ur' as much as possible in those tweets.
3) Insult them on the grounds that you make more money than they do.

Dennis has only been on Twitter since October 20, so he may not have picked up the nuances yet. But if you're relatively well-known and some random person starts bashing you in a non-substantive way, don't you have far more to lose by overreacting than by not reacting at all? If Dennis had just stayed quiet, would anyone be talking about how some guy named Matthew Mills, who has 40 followers, had begun bashing him on Twitter?

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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