Q&A: Facebook dilemma – friends arguing using my private post

Question: I wondered if you have any thoughts or links on my current social media dilemma!

Recently two friends with opposing political views have used an unrelated post of mine to argue about a political issue (immigration).

I opted to make an off the cuff friendly comment as a way of diverting this, but felt that my personal social media space was being in some way invaded.

I also didn’t like to see two friends potentially falling out on my Facebook page.  I decided the best policy was to avoid pointless one-to-one arguments and stick to the chat and pictures – the purpose for which I used Facebook.

My dilemma is – if I disagree (particularly if I consider something discriminatory) should I wade in or ignore. 

In real life you can walk away from the conversation, but on Facebook it’s different.

Answer: We bring our ideas and thoughts about life online. If we find someone who we don’t agree with some people choose to start a discussion right at that moment. 

For some it’s ok that their private Facebook wall is used as a discussion board and others will feel that it’s invading their space. You decide and you make up the rules. 

When someone comments on a post on Facebook it “bumps” up in the news feed and more people will see it, and if people have an argument on your Facebook wall then this post will be seen by many of your connections. What they say will reflect on you, and if you say nothing at all it will also say something about you when you let the discussion continue. It’s the power of nonverbal communication online. 

If anyone would start using, a threatening tone or language (according to you), you can ask them to stop and continue the discussion on their own page or in a private message.

The discussion will also stay on your page, and it’s up to you to decide if you would like that kind of content in your own private Facebook space.

New ways of sharing ideas and opinions online need to include new social media etiquette. 

Hammer in court

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