Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Disliker of Your Likes Is Not Your Friend

If you use Facebook, you may know that it's fond of telling you when your friends "like" some random post or page. None of asks to be shown this stuff -- in fact, I've never found a person who wants their likes to be shown to their friends. If I want my friends to see something, I share it -- I don't want any odd time I click "like" to show up in the feeds of old friends, casual acquaintances, or people I met through work.

Would you? Why does Facebook do this, since it's pretty obvious it's not something users asked for? What does Facebook get out of  it?

Here's one of the things this "feature" showed me yesterday, as liked by a high school acquaintance, whose name I have blurred at the top:

This is one of the more reprehensible things I've seen personally on Facebook (not including things that were drawing general outrage from some part of the media or the interweb).

The original graphic isn't the problem -- it's the ALL CAPS comment from Gidon Yoel Eilat, who not only can't spell "stinking," but also wishes the president dead at her feet (implying she had something to do with his death).

I dared to read through the comments, hoping that some significant number of people would condemn this violent hatred, but I was disappointed in that hope. One person did dare to go against the stream of invective, and was roundly abused for it. A few commented positively on the idea of Obama quitting, and some called for him to be brought to trial, but most were violent, including several photos of nooses.

And someone I used to know liked this. A woman who from her Facebook posts considers herself quite a Christian, I would note. It's almost always God or grandchildren with her. I'm sure she doesn't want others to see that she liked this, but now I have to unfriend her or at least mute her or something.

Would I be better off not knowing she thinks this? Maybe not. Maybe I should thank Facebook for letting me know this. But it makes me sad.


Barbara said...

Oh dear. This really makes me sad, too. I am not on Facebook but I think that, given a choice, I would prefer not to know this about a classmate.

On the positive side, this example will give me something to say to my extended family members when they ask why I don't do Facebook.

Michael Leddy said...

I know someone who signed up and quickly ran for the exit after getting similar stuff from elementary-school and high-school associates. (Me, I don’t do Facebook.)

Gina said...

I've blocked friends from appearing in my news feed or inviting me to play games and don't miss their comments or likes. I expect that someone has done the same to me. The internet gives people permission to "act out" verbally in ways that they might not ever do face to face, in person. Also, I've checked out people who've wanted to friend me on Facebook and not accepted their friend requests if they appear in any way to be violent or abusive or so extreme that we'd have nothing whatsoever in common. Friendship on Facebook takes as much thought, time and effort as friendship offline.....