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THIS is how you tweet after a very public, somewhat embarrassing layoff

Tap to view Esther Crawford’s tweet.

Attention techies with a social media presence or looking to build one: THIS is what you post shortly after a very public, somewhat embarrassing setback. No bitterness, no recriminations, no finger-pointing — but clever self-deprecation.

In case you need context, the person behind the tweet is Esther Crawford, whom you might know from this tweet:

She’s one of the “Twitter 1.0” people who worked hard to get into Elon Musk’s good graces, which I wrote about in an earlier post, titled Lessons from the “sleeping bag director” at Twitter who just got laid off.

And in case you don’t know what the meme’s about, it’s made of stills from the TV series The Last of Us, and it features Joel, one of the protagonists, having panic attacks.

Tap to view this Twitter exchange.

Another good trick: answer what looks like a bad-faith question in a straightforward way, as if it were a good-faith question. Thomas Maxwell responded to Esther’s tweet with a question about sleeping bags, as shown above.

It was probably a good-faith question, judging from Maxwell’s Twitter timeline, but put yourself in Esther Crawford’s shoes. She’s probably still processing her very public layoff and dealing with slings and arrows from critics. In her position — and even as an observer — Maxwell’s question could easily be seen as a bad-faith barb.

Crawford did the right thing: she answered it as if it were a legitimate, good-faith question. This has a double-advantage:

  • If it is indeed a good-faith question, she’s just answered it.
  • If it’s a bad-faith question, it shows grace. Or if you prefer a more Machiavellian, it highlights the attacker’s dickishness.

One reply on “THIS is how you tweet after a very public, somewhat embarrassing layoff”

i presume all questions on twitter are good-faith – it’s worked pretty welll for me since 2008, so there’s that

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