Ian Poulter has changed the way he uses Twitter.
In a podcast with Alan Shipnuck, Poulter revealed his new strategy for dealing with trolls: just block them! Poulter used to get into Twitter tussles with users who would spout criticisms and insults behind the keyboard, but in the last year, he's taken a much different approach.
"I've kind of stopped reading, stopped reacting, stopped really getting involved," Poulter said. "You can go over the tweets I've sent in the last 12 months, and it's different. I'm not reacting, just immediately blocking any negative comments. I don't react to those comments anymore. I just block. I'm quite happy to do that. Everyone is free to say whatever they want. Everyone's opinion is their own opinion, and they have the right to say whatever they like. I just don't have to allow them to read my tweets, and I'll stop them from doing so."
And plenty of people do want to read Poulter's tweets. He has 2.31 million Twitter followers, third among golfers behind Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Jordan Spieth has two major championships and a fanbase that would tend to skew younger than Poulter's. But Spieth has "only" 1.75 million followers. (In fairness, Spieth joined Twitter three years after Poulter and has sent 1,100 tweets compared to Poults' 21,800.)
Why the change for Poulter? It's simple: the old way didn't work.
"It doesn't work does it?" Poulter said. "When you grow a little older and wiser, you start to realize that. I've made too many mistakes on social media. If I sit back and think about it, it's a no-win situation. People don't really care. Well, there's a lot of people that do, but also a large proportion really don't want to hear moaning or any controversial comebacks. And that's something I've learned from social media. They're quite happy to say their piece, but it's quite difficult for you to say yours without them looking at it in a different light. It's a no-win situation. So you might as well just block. Or completely ignore."
Check out the full podcast with Poulter below.