The Right (And Wrong) Way To Apologize For Dumb Things You Said Online

Unless you simply can’t help but post wildly offensive things on social media, the chances are you will never be “canceled.” But if for some reason you forget that posting hateful things on the Internet is a bad idea, the good news is enough celebrities have botched their apologies after a scandal for us all to know exactly what not to do. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use this advice but here are some web apology tips.

  • What Makes An Effective Apology. Crisis communication expert Evan Nierman says three essential things need to be addressed when you say sorry. You must “recognize your mistake, take ownership of that mistake, and genuinely share your remorse to the audiences that need to hear it most.”
  • Avoid Sounding Formulaic. Since so many celebs have had to come out and apologize, there seems to be a go-to script now. It’s always like ‘I deeply apologize for ____. I’m taking accountability for _____. This is not who I am, and moving forward I will do better. ’If you find yourself in a spot where you have to say sorry, don’t use a template like this because you’ll only come off as disingenuous and make things worse for yourself.
  • Don’t Say “You Misheard Or Misunderstood” Me. Don’t add gaslighting to your list of offensives. Etiquette expert Jodi R.R. Smith says to avoid “trying to make the receiver of the apology second-guess themselves or the situation.” Take ownership and show them you’re better than this mistake with your actions moving forward.

Find more tips on nailing a post-cancellation apologyHERE.


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