Sooner or later, if they're doing their jobs right, most journalists write something that makes somebody very, very angry.

That's what happened Tuesday, when Tinder, like a jilted lover, tweeted out a social media screed in response to Nancy Jo Sales' new article for Vanity Fair, a searing indictment of hookup culture. Tinder's rant careened wildly from smug to outraged to self-righteous. If you glanced away from the Internet for a few minutes, here's a sampling of some of the more piquant tweets:

For her part, Sales doesn't seem worried. Her feed is cluttered with messages from well-wishers, men and women alike, who tweeted in praise of her story.

But that isn't the case for many journalists. A decade ago, many such disputes may have been handled with a discreet letter to the editor or a slew of angry phone calls. But for many years now, Twitter has been the go-to public square for readers, companies and sources to pillory journalists in irate and often nonsensical bursts of invective. It's become such a force that BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith once quipped — on Twitter no less — that the social media service was the viral news outlet's de facto ombudsman.

So what's to be done? Journalists who retreat from Twitter entirely forego a valuable promotional tool and are less accessible than their wired peers, and they're not as accountable when they make legitimate errors that can be fixed by dint of public correction. But staying on Twitter can come at the expense of enduring unremitting abuse, some of which is accompanied by the threat of bodily harm. We talked to a few journalists who have personally experienced Twitter outrage to figure out some strategies for weathering the tweetstorm.

Simon Owens, content and social media marketing consultant

What are some best practices for dealing with vituperative Twitter users who react to your reporting and commentary?

One thing I would say is the mute button is your friend. I think mute is definitely one of the best tools that Twitter has ever come out with. Before, if you wanted to not see peoples' thoughts in your stream, you had to block them — which seemed kind of limiting, because you still want them to be able to see your tweets and be exposed to your content. They're like gnats: You don't want to have to actually read them, and you want to see the more legitimate tweets in your @mentions.

In your opinion, is the opportunity for feedback enabled by Twitter a net positive for journalists? Or is the public critique prohibitively harmful?

I'm definitely a Web optimist. I've been reporting on media for a few years now, and I've interviewed lots of Web journalists. I forget who I was interviewing, I think someone who used to work at Newsweek, he would talk about how they would get reader hate mail and they would laugh it off. They would all sit around reading it and think it was hilarious, because it really had no impact on them whatsoever.

I think that you can find plenty of examples where tweetstorms were directed at undeserving victims. But I think as a whole, it's like the stock market being more reactionary because there's high-speed trading and stuff. It's a market correction force that has a more immediate impact.

Is there a point that a tweetstorm reaches such a critical mass that it has to be addressed? What do you think that inflection point is?

If there are a few gnats swiping at your pieces, its becomes really easy to ignore. But sometimes they reach critical mass where you have to respond. A good example of that I talked about in my piece about the Gawker tweetstorm was the Dr. V piece that Grantland did. If you looked at that journalist's tweets early on, he was actually outright mocking the people who were barraging him on Twitter for outing that inventor. It wasn't until it really picked up steam and it became so universal that Bill Simmons had to issue a response...so it's interesting, there are different levels in which there comes a point where you can't brush it off — or at the very least you have to start responding.

Jos Truitt, executive director of Feministing

What are some best practices for dealing with vituperative Twitter users who react to your reporting and commentary?

I find it essential to have coworkers who can be my reality check. A Twitter attack from two people can feel like the end of the world when it's about you personally - it's helpful to have folks in my corner who remind me that thousands of people read my work and don't respond because they love it, and who can give me a sense of the actual scale of the attack. When I or one of my coworkers is targeted with a call out about a genuine screw up, other folks can help separate out critique from the personal attacks that seem to inevitably get mixed in on the internet, and help figure out the best way to respond.

In your opinion, is the opportunity for feedback enabled by Twitter a net positive for journalists? Or is the public critique prohibitively harmful?

It's incredible to connect so directly with your audience. Doing work that's focused on uplifting marginalized voices and issues, it's essential to see what broader communities are talking about and how they're framing issues, and Twitter is helpful for that. At the same time, it gives haters easier direct access to writers than ever. There's been whole years doing this work where I've seen vile transmisogynistic hate directed at me every time I opened Twitter. And I often feel like the best and most useful actual feedback comes from in person interactions at conferences or speaking events, or from less public online spaces – though obviously there are issues of access here. So basically an "it's complicated" answer.

Is there a point that a tweetstorm reaches such a critical mass that it has to be addressed? What do you think that inflection point is?

I've seen a couple different sorts of examples: There's something like Gamergate and the extraordinary attack on marginalized folks in games that's done harm both online and off. It's impossible not to respond given the scale and danger of the attacks. Then there's criticism from folks in your own world – if a critique from people working in the world of social justice gains enough traction that it looks like it will impact public perception – even if I don't think the critique is founded – it needs to be engaged.

Do you have any other thoughts you'd like to share?

I think it's really important to recognize the differences in vitriol and impact experienced by different groups online. Seemingly all women who dare to speak in public experience personal, gendered attacks online. But many of us have noticed that when commenters who intend to actually engage with someone's views disagree with a white woman's writing, they're more likely to disagree with the substance of her argument — when they disagree with a woman of color they disagree with her as a person. Attacks on women of color are particularly vitriolic, and have the force of cultural and systemic racism and sexism behind them. Attacks on trans women can be particularly dangerous, as they are often outed to employers or schools or have their assigned names published, which can be incredibly dangerous and lead to loss of education or income.

Sam Biddle, senior writer at Gawker

What are some best practices for dealing with vituperative Twitter users who react to your reporting and commentary?

The only choice is to not care, or care as little as possible. If you let every bit of criticism rile you up you're going to lose your mind or have a panic attack every time you open Twitter. The best thing to do would be to never use Twitter — it's really just a toxic place that's less and less fun every day. It's extremely useful as an information feed but as a social network it's the pits. I wish I could kick the habit. I'm at the point in my career where I'm basically numb to Twitter (and attacks elsewhere), but it took years for me to shut off those emotional synapses.

In your opinion, is the opportunity for feedback enabled by Twitter a net positive for journalists? Or is the public critique prohibitively harmful?

To answer your question directly, yes, Twitter is a net negative for journalists or writers of any kind. Even if it's not getting under your skin, it's still just noise.

Is there a point that a tweetstorm reaches such a critical mass that it has to be addressed? What do you think that inflection point is?

No. Literally all tweetstorms are stupid. If you have something long to say don't say it on Twitter. Or even better, don't say it anywhere!