Red, I think you are a sensible guy and a lot of what you say is rational and logical and fair.
That said, this interaction with this Twitter feed went to shit. Unfortunately for all the wrong reasons and there is a reason why.
Much of my working life I have worked in customer service, customer sales, complaints resolution and customer retention. I am good at talking with people. One piece of advice I got was “NEVER apologise”. You may think “Really? Never apologise and you think this is good advice in the industry you alleged this vast experience in?”
Yes. It is great advice and whilst I do believe that there is definitely a time and a place, apologising and compromise ought not be a starting point or a fallback point.
Here is why. Customer comes in or rings up or whatever. They are pissed off. They have what they think is a good reason. It has been compounding in their mind . They have no idea how to solve their issue but what they have in control is what emotion and insult they will throw at you.
At this point ANY apologising or conceding a point or compromise is simply going to justify their position in their own mind. Give them an inch they will take a mile and you have the rug out from under your feet.
In order to get anywhere you need to take charge and listen constructively and deal with facts and not feelings and find solutions. Find solutions deal with the concrete and don’t allow the argument to become pointless feeling based bullshit. Because it will have the customer feeling smugly justified in their faux outrage over something illogical that they have not fixed and the time speaking to you was a waste.
So what does this have to do with you? You were too nice dude. Guy was an arsehole. You know that and so does he. He was spinning this feeling based narrative and feeling righteously indignant. You TRIED to do the “right” thing. You were simply too moderate. By saying “I’m sure some have”, “People are dicks”, “No, I don’t think its an okay reaction”, you effectively gave him a licence to say “See Gamergate are bad and I am a victim and I have no accountability and fuck you”
It was effectively making apologies for Gamergate or certain elements or certain actions or whatever. Stop.
It may be that he would have had the same negative reaction no matter what you said but buying into his victim hood narrative or feelings or apologising or making excuses is never the way to deal. It sounds wrong but it isn’t. You may think sympathy is bonding but it isn’t. You may think being nice is disarming, but it isn’t.
Be assertive. Facts as a shield. He wants to call negative feedback harassment, he is being dishonest. He wants to say GG does X he better be able to back the claim. No one else seems to do more than throw the claim around. Its a bullshit narrative.
All you managed here was to weaken your position and give him justification for being a dick about things. Nice is often not fair and playing nice will get you walked over. These people do not deserve your leniency or understanding or pandering. Go hard next time and if they want to cling to dishonest narratives, let them.