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Dear Urban Diplomat: Should I pull my friend back from the brink of the men’s rights movement?

One of my buddies recently got dumped. He took the breakup hard. He won’t stop calling his ex a “traitor,” and he’s posted links to misogynistic dating blogs on social media. He might just be acting out because he’s hurt, but I’m worried he’s one late night on Reddit away from getting recruited into some sort of MRA cult. Should I step in?

—Hateful Mate, Old Mill

You’re right to treat this as a big, billowing red flag. It may seem harmless now, but that kind of online anger can turn into IRL aggression down the line. Let your friend know you’re worried and make a point of spending time with him, which will give you the chance to talk about his breakup and explain why his behaviour is uncool—and keep him off of Reddit. If your casual interventions don’t work, suggest he talk to a professional so he can move on in a healthy way. Ignoring the problem is tantamount to silently endorsing the misogynistic WordPress pontificators he’s gravitating toward. Friends don’t let friends get fed by the trolls.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com

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