Don’t Feed the Trolls: Lessons about Online Criticism

Megan McArdle’s Washington Post column about criticism of Cracker Barrel’s meatless sausage reminds us how far down the rabbit hole we’ve fallen in responding to online trolls and haters.

Her essay addresses negative responses to the restaurant’s Facebook post introducing a meatless sausage option. Among the posted comments: “You just lost your customer base.” “Get woke, go broke.”


Is civil society so damaged that politicizing breakfast food is the new standard? Do people really feel better when they spew hateful rhetoric? Yes.

To be sure this is a subjective thought, but there are important events that generate visceral online responses. But for every serious topic raised online there are 10 pseudo-issues that escalate. Needlessly. And there are plenty of people throwing fuel on the fire.


Access to all Crisis Insider articles, quarterly reports and valuable blueprints for crisis management.


Per Month Lowest Price


Best Value!

Unlimited access to all Premium and Crisis Insider articles and monthly reports.

First Year Offer


Per Month


Unlimited access to all Premium digital intelligence, 10-year web archive and monthly reports.

Save $140 With Annual Subscription


Per Month