Graphic by author

The Sadist’s Guide to Using Slack

Adding a sprinkle of chaos to the world of collaborative software.

Warning! This article is for sadists only! Go away, normal human beings who take no pleasure in the suffering of others. There are lots of places you can go that will tell you how to use Slack like a person who doesn’t daydream about tripping small children while they’re holding ice cream cones.


Slack is the wildly popular messaging app that has taken over the brains and cultures of companies everywhere. It sprung into the world in 2013 with a pitchfork in its digital hands and a bib around its digital neck, prepared to feast on all other collaborative software.

We used slack at my old office and introducing it into our daily lives had a huge impact on company culture. Instead of shooting each other in the head with nerf guns, we could send 100 different sarcastic gifs in reaction to being assigned work.

Our level of productivity didn’t change much, but we were able to waste time without moving our arms. And no one likes moving their arms less than a bunch of nerds in a web development agency.

Now that I’m a freelancer, instead of belonging to one centralized Slack account, I belong to roughly 43 million different Slack accounts, each with its own purpose and level of engagement.

So, you could say I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to using Slack.

And while I’m not exactly a sadist, I’ve picked up a few tools and tips that could be useful to any of the sadists out there who are wondering how to increase the misery of everyone on their account.

Slackbot. He looks innocent, but you can unlock his evil heart.

Slackbot can be a total son of a duck

The Slackbot we all know and love operates like a modern Clippy, performing the important roles of being cute, giving advice and reminding users about important tasks.

But, with the right permissions, Slackbot’s brain can belong to you.

Because there’s this cool thing called Customized Automatic Responses. Normally, this functionality is used to make office life easier. For example, Slackbot can answer commonly asked questions such as “what’s the code to the bathroom?” or “why are we always out of Twinkies?”

These custom responses are triggered when specific words are used in discussions. Take control of them and the world belongs to you.

For example, if someone types the word “Friday,” you can program Slackbot to respond with the full lyrics to Rebecca Black’s seminal musical masterpiece “Friday”.

How is this done?


When you’re on the page for your Slack account, just click on the upper left dropdown menu and choose Customize. Then, select the tab labeled “Slackbot”. From here you can begin to sow the seeds of madness.

One idea for a custom response. Apparently people don’t like this song? I don’t know. I’m old.

Then sit back and wait. The first time it happens, people might think it’s cute. Don’t be discouraged. Repetition is the sadist’s best friend. It won’t take long for everyone to start getting annoyed and threatening to decapitate Slackbot and put his head on a digital pike as restitution for the misery he causes.

This magic can belong to you

Emojis seem innocent, but they can be little Gods of Torment

Slack also allows you to add custom emojis! This gives you endless opportunities to torture your coworkers.

Switch from the “Slackbot” tab to the “Emoji” tab. In this section you can add as many custom emojis as you wish. (Literally. We managed to add thousands on the old workplace account and never bumped into a limit.)

Everyone has that one image or gif that makes them want to eat pillows and kick politicians. Really get into the minds of your fellow Slack users and find out what makes them crazy. Maybe it’s a sweet potato dancing sensually. Maybe it’s naked Danny Devito emerging from a symbolic birth canal. Maybe it’s sassy Cartman or a sheep taking a satisfying poo.

Everyone has that one emoji.

Make an emoji out of that image or gif and post it continually. If you want to be especially naughty, you can set a customized Slackbot response to the name of the person you wish to torture, comprised only of the emoji they hate.

But beware of the smart ones. Sometimes they catch on…

If you’re looking for easy emojis to add to your Slack account, I recommend checking out Slackmojis. There’s bound to be something there your “friends” will hate.

One more way to multiply despair

“That’s great, Sarah,” you might be thinking. “But I’ve been using Slack for a while and I already knew about custom Slackbot responses and emojis. As a matter of fact, I’ve exhausted every possibility for sadism inherent in their existence. You haven’t helped me at all. I’m going to drop off some bed bugs at your apartment.”

Well, first of all, please don’t do that.

And second of all, I have a third tip, just for you!

Start exploring Slacker. Slacker allows you to post on Slack as various characters. So, when the other users on your account are having an intense conversation about losing a beloved aunt, you can pop in as Captain Picard and tell them, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose.”

It’s a great way to to increase their pain and confusion.

You can even add custom characters to Slacker if you don’t find inspiration in the existing ones.

The Elsa-bot is very traumatic for lots of people. Many Slack users have Frozen-related PTSD from parenting small children. Activate that Elsa-bot and you’ll activate their need to hide in bed all day.

If they figure out you’re the one who is infecting them with constant Disney magic, just tell them to “Let it Go.”

As you can see, Slack is a great playground for sadists, with lots of fun toys and tools. Go forth! Spread suffering and misery! Have at it!

Just stay off my accounts, okay?

Thanks for reading! If you liked this post, then consider following me on twitter. Cha cha cha!

Engaged in inadvisable wordsmitheries and other creative acts.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store