Leslie Jones is no stranger to dealing with internet trolls. Her key to staying sane? The block button.
“Blocking is my best friend. I don’t even answer people anymore. As soon as they say something: block,” the Saturday Night Live star told CNN’s Van Jones in an interview. “That’s how I answer questions now: block. I’ve had people hit me and say ‘I think you blocked me by mistake.’ Nope! Block.”
This social media strategy seems to be a direct result of the July 2016 cyber attacks against Jones. After the comedian was cast in the all-female version of Ghostbusters, she was subjected to a barrage of sexist and racist rants and comments. At first Jones clapped back at the trolls and even posted some of their comments, but soon the hateful words took a toll on her and she went on a social media break.
“I feel like I'm in a personal hell. I didn't do anything to deserve this. It's just too much. It shouldn't be like this. So hurt right now,” Jones tweeted to her followers in 2016. “I leave Twitter tonight with tears and a very sad heart. All this cause I did a movie.You can hate the movie but the shit I got today...wrong.”
Two weeks after her social media sign-off, Jones returned to Twitter and has been cracking jokes on everything, including Olympic athletes’ style, since. She seems to have realized that the best way to deal with haters hiding behind keyboards is simply by eliminating them from her feed altogether.
Her advice to others experiencing the same thing: just block them. “I used to respond to it because I’m a comedian so like I’m gonna smack ’em. ‘Oh no, your momma too!’ But that’s what they want,” she told CNN. “They want that attention.”
While it may be hard to ignore mean comments at first, Jones stresses the importance of being confident in yourself and realizing that trolls “aren’t real.” “I know who I am and I know what they are,” Jones said.