Your Guide to Starting and Following Twitter Beef

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the best at Twitter. We can’t all be as hilarious as Matt and George:

That right there is classic Twitter banter – hilarious! Of course Matt has the advantage of having a cool accent, but we can’t all be born winners.

Anyway, if you were on Twitter last Wednesday, you know that all hell broke loose. Some people were discussing the best ways to get sent to jail while other people were discussing um…interesting stuff involving fingers. I was enjoying the show, but was thinking I need a review of all these new-fangled ways to attack people on Twitter. So, here are some good ways to start Twitter beefs and some ways to follow fights so you can sit courtside at all the action!

If you want to start beef…

There are some surefire methods of starting a Twitter fight. The most common is to just mention someone and say that they suck:

Kanye isn’t wavy! Shots fired! Now this wasn’t a direct mention but Kanye’s tweet was quoted so it works just fine. Also, you can see the bonus points here for misspelling a word – that lets people know you really DGAF, which adds to your street cred, which makes your words all the more liable to start something.

Another way you can start beef is via subtweet. When you subtweet someone, you make it obvious you are talking about them without actually mentioning them. It’s the equivalent of talking dirty behind their back. If they follow you, they’ll see it and know you’re “coming at their neck”, if they don’t, someone will still let them know.

Here’s a classic subtweet via Jim Harbaugh:

If you’re not familiar, he got fired and then they fired his replacement (who did a pretty bad job) a year later. This tweet came immediately after that news broke. This subtweet gets bonus points because Harbaugh is dropping Biblical references on Twitter – wow.

A third, way more clever way of starting beef is to send a tweet out that was meant to just be a DM. Something like, “Shoot, that guy is just the gosh darn worstest” <deletes tweet ten seconds later>. That’s even dirtier than subtweeting and will ramp your fights up to 11 instantly.

A fourth way to get a fight going is via trolling. When you troll, you take an unpopular stance for the sole purpose of stirring the pot. Like, “Hey, ______ shouldn’t have the right to vote!” In fact, most trolls don’t even necessarily believe what they are saying. They are just being a something that rhymes with…dick.

But if you really want to get into beef on Twitter, do you know what the most important thing is? Make sure that you TAKE! EVERYTHING! PERSONALLY! Twitter is an amazing place for extended discourse and discussion on complicated and nuanced topics, but it gets even better when you are TAKING! IT! PERSONALLY! (old TWoP reference). It’s the best way to blow things out of proportion.

If you want to follow along…

Let’s say you’re not super confrontational, but you just want to get your popcorn ready. The best way to do that is to create a new column in Tweetdeck following whatever user all the beef is centering around. That way you’ll see all their mentions and everything they say without having to navigate through all the other random stuff going on on Twitter.


I used Kenny as an example here because you can give him his own column and learn a ton of stuff – though who knows maybe he will start beef sometime soon!

One suggest I have for you fighters out there, if you can spare the characters, give your beef some sort of hashtag. That way we can follow along way more easily! Like #KK or #wavy or #jail.

BTW, you know your beef has hit it big when you start trending. That’s big time.

One serious note…

So I was listening to sports radio today, and the subject of Cam Newton’s dancing came up. For those who don’t know, he’s a NFL quarterback who does some fairly elaborate dances when he scores a touchdown – this rubs some people the wrong way. The host was basically saying, “I don’t like when Aaron Rodgers does the discount double check, and I don’t like when Cam dances. It’s not because he’s black.” Oh yeah, Cam’s black, btw.

Anyway, I take the host at his word that his annoyance is not racially motivated. However, the internet is an ugly place, and just because this host’s annoyance isn’t racially motivated doesn’t mean that some of the people who share the same opinion aren’t racially motivated to feel that way, at least in some part.

So I personally try to be careful not to give fuel to people who will just use it to hate further, even if I think my opinion is as objective as possible. Bigots thrive on people agreeing with them, whether they agree for the same reasons or not. Dat internet…sigh.

Final Thoughts

So…who’s starting the next Twitter fight? It could be you!




Just an average joe trying to fly his family for less

5 thoughts on “Your Guide to Starting and Following Twitter Beef

  1. What’s TWoP?
    I’m thinking that one could easily start a Twitter war by accident. That character limit really can make people sound like they’re being terse and snippy. Include a reply to a couple of people and all you have room left to say is going to sound like “I’m right, you’re wrong”. I reread one of the three tweets I’ve ever sent and was like, “wow, I sound kinda pissed off about this car leasing thing”.
    Also have no idea what wavy is. It’s kind of fun not to know what “the kids” are talking about these days. I think I might go outside now and yell at someone to get off my lawn.

    1. TWoP is Television Without Pity, an old TV site for TV nerds. Now defunct though archives are still online – original creators went on to found

      It’s a whole different fascinating subculture 🙂 What can I say, I get bored…

  2. I like to start my beef in the comments. When you going to do a follow up post with Twitter accounts about beef that you eat? Because let’s be honest, that’s why most people came here. Right guys? Right? Guys…

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