Facebook Wars: Your Right to Comment.

[deleted account] ( 36 moms have responded )

We've all seen it, the facebook status update or shared photo that creates a stir. Someone takes exception to it and posts their opinion which then leads to an all out public argument. This usually ends in the original poster stating something along the lines of: "this is MY page, if you don't like what I write then unfriend me and don't read it!"
So my questions are: Do you have the right to put a negative comment under another person's facebook status? Do you have the right to disagree publicy with a friend? and Do you have the right to jump in on another person's facebook war?
Share your thoughts and your experiences.

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Karla - posted on 06/21/2012

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This is an interesting topic.

To answer the questions I say yes, you have the right to put negative comments under a person’s facebook status. I’m of the mind that if people are going to put judgmental, controversial, or ignorant statuses up, then they should realize they have opened the door for any kind of response.



Having said that, I generally judge whether or not it’s worth it – to my relationship with them, to the possibility that my comment could or would change their mind (generally it won’t), and to my ego and where my need to comment comes from. Generally I find a reason to hold my tongue. There are certain friends and relatives to whom I can gently express a differing opinion. If my need to comment comes from a need to provide factual information I will sometimes share that.



And then I have my friends from here who do debate battle, lick our wounds, and go another round only to come back tomorrow and totally agree on another topic. So, for the most part I get my “debate me” fix here. (Right Meme!) lol



I think facebook is something to get used to. I know that whatever I post I am opening it up for comment, therefore I also believe I have the right to disagree publically with a friend. I do have friends and relatives that would do well to learn to only say what they would holler at Christmas Dinner & work & in a kid’s classroom. Facebook has the capacity to bring all “our universes” into one. (My universes are family, friends from various interests, neighbors, and people from work.) With the current system though, you can make a comment that only certain people can see. That helps me when I want to post something controversial.



I have a different view on posting on another person’s facebook war. If I can view it only because they have no privacy settings and it’s not one of my friends, then I leave it alone.



I lost a friend because I disputed her status. The incident was relatively humorous and since she was a HS acquaintance I was not too broken up over it. I actually thought it was very immature of her to de-friend me. She defended her status with opinion and name calling; it was great. IMO if you’re going to have & voice strong opinions, then you damn well better be able to back it up with real facts rather than something your mother’s uncle sent you in a forwarded e-mail.



Since then though, I figure the really ignorant statuses come from someone not willing to learn, or someone set in their views. My opinion won’t change anything, so I don’t share it. I notice more and more that these controversial statuses do not get comments or “like”s.

(edit to fix a couple things.)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/20/2012

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My opinion is, if someone post something for public viewing, anyone has a right to make a comment.

Tracie - posted on 06/21/2012

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If they put it up for the public to see, they should be prepared for the public to respond.

Elfrieda - posted on 06/21/2012

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I don't know about rights, I don't like discussing what you "have a right" to do or not do.



I will say that I LOVE that button that lets you unsubscribe to most updates from a person. Very convenient for people who play games on facebook and let everybody know every time they make a move, those people who constantly put forwarded messages as their statuses, and those people who feel the need to update their statuses 6 times a day.



I will disagree with people on their walls, but not aggressively, just saying an opinion that's slightly different than theirs because I think they might not have thought of it that way. If we totally disagree, I don't say anything, there's no point and I don't like arguments. Very similar to real life.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/21/2012

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If it is on a page that is allowed to be viewed publicly, then you should never post anything controversial! If you DO want to post controversial things, but don't think that some would agree, then DON'T post it, or be prepared for your "friends" (be honest, how many do you really know on your FB page) to comment.

Personally, unless it's inappropriate language from my kids, nieces, or nephews, I ignore it. I mean, each is an individual, and nowhere is it written that everyone has to like everything about everyone else.

Thin skinned people should not post controversial items. They get too bothered.

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36 Comments

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Kristi - posted on 07/06/2012

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I have only had one "mini-back & forth" with one friend. Oh, I also respectfully went off on a friend who constantly posts those posters or ecards that say "If you love your kids click like and share" or "If you love God you will put this as your status," "I know 99% of my friends won't read this but I can guess what 3 will..." that kind of thing. Those posts piss me off. If you need me to read your post and make a comment or change my status to prove we are friends, then we really aren't that close after all.

I don't post contraversial comments or a bunch of dramatic, teenage, he said/she said garbage either. Most of the stuff I post is about my daughter because we have family all over the place. I will sometimes post weird, random comments that don't have much to do anything. My privacy settings are tight, most everything I post is friends only and I have about 100 of those. I could delete quite a few as well, like Jodi Zippity-doo, they are mostly family who never get on, but i would feel bad if they did come on and couldn't see my stuff. Like Shawnn & MeMe I don't play any games, I block every game and app request I get so somebody else can't ask me later.

But, I guess if you post something "ify" to the public you better be ready to face whatever comes your way. If I felt strongly about something a friend posted and thought it could affect our friendship I would not hash it out on FB.

Erin - posted on 07/06/2012

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I suppose it depends on who it's directed at. It is your fb but it's not a private diary. for all sense and purposes it is a public forum it's no more appropriate for a perosn to put certain things up for all to see on their page as it is for a person to decide they have the right to start fights on that persons page. If you don't want any comments disable them or don't write things that upset people. It would be best if people remember this is NOT a diary and is not my house it's a public forum. So if you wouldn't say it to a group of friends out at the bar don't place it on fb either.

Karen - posted on 06/23/2012

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I try not to repond to people that just want drama. I ignore and delete alot of crap.. If someone says something about my status well that's ok..However if it's full of crass language I will delete it. People can disagree without it getting vulgar.

I have a friend who put up a rant about cancer. Another one of her friends told her she ws being to harsh on people and how dare she. This rant I've seen several times. So I know she didn't write it. So I told him this. Turned into a great discussion.

[deleted account]

I only discovered the little arrow/button a couple of months ago, but I don't hesitate to use it now that I know about it. Some days I just can't be bothered with certain people so I just hide their status updates. It makes my time on Facebook so much more pleasant.

Aleks - posted on 06/23/2012

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Post it publicly (even if it is only to a select few) you leave yourself open to scrutiny. I have done it and have had people jump on a couple of my posts. Nothing I could do..... just suck it up!



As for FB friends, mine number in the 40s. All of them I know from real life. I have also deleted some last year because I didn't communicate much with them or they didn't with me.



I have a few friends who constantly post dribble. There is such a thing as a little arrow/button on the top-right of each post (you have to hover your mouse over the particular post/status to see it) and when you click on it it gives you the following options:



Hide Story

Report Story as Spam



Subscribe to (insert name)

All Stories

Most Stories

Only Important



Unsubscribe from (insert name)

Unsubscribe from photos by (insert name)



I usually click on the Hide Story - which I do quite a lot. So that way when I am looking for something in particular on my feed, I am quicker to find it. There was also a few people who posted a lot of dribble and I was not that close with (so even their personal posts/statuses didn't mean much to me) I then hit that "unsubscribe from (xxxxxxxx)" so that all of their statuses never came through on my feeds, although they can still see my feeds if they so choose and comment on them. That way I am still able to keep in contact with them on some levels, but I don't need to see their shit all the time :-D

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/22/2012

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Oh Shawnn, you're not odd, I detest the games, too and I need to know who my "friends" are too. I have actually deleted or sometimes, selected to only see "important" news feed from friends, that are constantly sending game requests or when their status is always getting updated with their progress in the game. I do the same for people that update their status with quotes all day long.

I guess I just have a very low tolerance for certain things. ;) I don't swamp people's news feed with crap, so I expect they don't with mine too. If they do, well, they will either be drafted or I will select to not see their posts (so I can still go on their page and peek at what I want - such as pics).

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/22/2012

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MeMe, I'm the same. I can't get behind the idea of "friending" someone just to get ahead in teh games or whatever...LOL...But, then again, I don't play the games either...LOL...I'm odd I guess!

My BIL has over 500...When I asked him, he said "it's mafia wars...the more friends you have, the bigger your mafia"...I guess i'm just old fashioned, If I have a friend, I like to know who they are!

[deleted account]

I've never had this happen. I guess I'm just very selective on my page, I don't allow them on unless I know them in real life or have spoken to them via phone (for online friends). Therefore I can filter who would be a drma twit and who wouldn't be.

Jodi - posted on 06/21/2012

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I currently have 105 friends, I could easily eliminate about 20 people, but they're family (and my dads melodramatic side to boot) so WWIII would break loose if I unfriended any of them. Although, most of them are incredibly judgemental and go against everything I believe in (one such example would be gay rights), so it's getting closer every day that I boot them anyways!

My sister though (the one I unsubscribed to because she loves the drama!) has over 600 friends?! I would guess she doesn't *actually* know who each person is though.

Elfrieda - posted on 06/21/2012

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@Meme
I try to keep it down to 100, too. If someone new comes on, someone old gets the boot! :) I think right now I'm at 120, but I haven't purged in a while.

Stifler's - posted on 06/21/2012

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If someone is repeatedly posting shit or whatever I will just delete them myself rather than make a scene about how it's my status and whoever doesn't like it can fuck off.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/21/2012

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Shawnn--- (be honest, how many do you really know on your FB page)



I know every single person on my FB page. I only have 88 friends because I will ONLY friend people I know and well at that. People from growing up and recent, that's it, no on else, ever. ;)



I have had strangers try and be-friend me and I simply delete the request.



I used to add people from work and I quickly put a stop to that, too. I deleted every single one of them. Since I realized, it is just not wise to have individuals from work in on your business (outside of work).



I do realize, I am an odd one out, with how I manage my FB. Since I often see people with 400+ friends. Yeah, no one can tell me they know each one of them. So, I truly get where your comment comes from. I just thought I would comment on how I do know every single person, personally on my FB.

Rosie - posted on 06/21/2012

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yes i have the right...they put it out there, i have the opportunity to respond. if they don't want anyone to respond to it, then don't post it. it goes both ways.
mostly i have written my opinion on someone elses thing (usually agreeing with the original poster) and then someone else comes in and stirs things up disagreeing with me and the original poster.
there have been a few instances where someone i know has posted something i dont' agree with and say so (hopefully i do it politely). usually it has to do with gay rights. i just can't sit around and let people think it's ok to be bigots in the name of god. it gets me every time. i have also corrected a story someone posted about president obama, that of course was taken out of context, and when you actually read the proposed bill it wasn't at all what this person had originally posted. gotta love fox news, and it's "fair and balanced" spin on everything obama.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/21/2012

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Karla---And then I have my friends from here who do debate battle, lick our wounds, and go another round only to come back tomorrow and totally agree on another topic. So, for the most part I get my “debate me” fix here. (Right Meme!) lol

Oh, you know it! LOL ;)

Erin - posted on 06/21/2012

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I do just ignore almost everything on facebook. I really only go on to see pics and stuff from family that live father away. The only time I will get into any discussion/argument is if some one has already put me into it. My SIL has done this. She was arguing with one of her friends about breast milk vs. formula and chose to say that I would back her up. I told them that I was not getting into this argument on FB and that I chose to do what i thought was best for my family. Everyone has their own preferences and to please leave me out of it.

But to know my SIL, she loves to create drama and be the center of attention. I hate it. I love reading every one's opinions here on DM. But that is what this group was designed for. I don't get involved too much but just like to read others points of view. If you get upset about something here, you have the option of walking away. Where as on FB you may or may not see these people on a regular basis.

Post what you want just be ready for others' opinions. And leave me out of the drama.

Stifler's - posted on 06/21/2012

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yes. people have the right to their opinion but they also have the right to be educated.

[deleted account]

That's basically what I think LMCBW. I see the facebook friends list as a little community and so any comment I put on my wall/timeline is for my community to see. To date, I haven't had any negativity to anything I have put up so I'm not sure how I would react if it did happen to me, but then I put it out there so I guess I would just suck it up.
One of my friends was complaining about the rain, so I commented "buy a rain coat" pretty tongue in cheek, even put the wink emoticon next to it. One of her friends then came on board and gave me a mini lecture on how a rain coat is no good because cyclists sweat and so they then get wet from the inside ... I'm like WTF? I did respond, but just to politely say that I understand where he was coming from but we really need the rain. Didn't know what else to say, wish I could have been a bit witty, but that was pretty much the end of it. If it is a subject that really gets me fired up (such as "cop haters") I just remove it from my news feed.

Deborah - posted on 06/20/2012

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The fb page owner can delete anything they don't like from their status. So if it bothers you - delete it! I do.

Lady Heather - posted on 06/20/2012

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I really try to stay out of the drama. Most of my friends are fairly undramatic. And a couple like to debate so that's fine. They post controversy because they like the discussion, like here. We have different political views, but we don't dislike each other for it. This one time though - a friend was all drunk ranting about how he got pepper spray in his eyes when he was in the middle of the Vancouver Stanley Cup riots last year. He was blaming the cops. I was like dude - blame the rioters, not the police. I basically told him to stfu. It was just annoying. He got over it. Probably after he saw the tv footage of shit on fire and the like.

Firebird - posted on 06/20/2012

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Usually the only time that I'll comment on a post that I disagree with, is when it's full of inaccuracies. If someone is spreading around false information, I can't help but correct it and provide links to the reliable sources that give me my information.

Tracey - posted on 06/20/2012

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Having this problem at the moment and so far have said nothing. A friend put up an article that she feels very strongly about, and expects others to agree with her yet I find it so offensive that 2 days later it still upsets me.
There are many thing I could say in response, and I am still thinking about doing so but the friendship means more to me than one arguement so at the moment I am biting my tongue.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/20/2012

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You know Krista, you're absolutely correct. I was just so mad and fed up, I knew if I didn't delete her I would flip! ;)

Krista - posted on 06/20/2012

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And MeMe, instead of deleting her, you should have taken a screen shot of all of those comments, and then sent them to her insurer.

Krista - posted on 06/20/2012

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It really depends on the situation. For the most part, I don't leap into FB debates, but I have a couple of friends who have mentioned to me (in a private group or via email), "Man, I posted something about XYZ on my wall, and my cousin is just being a total IDIOT about it!" At that point I'll ask, "Want me to leap in?" And if they say "Sure, go for it," then I go in and state my case (I try to argue just the facts, and keep it as non-personal as possible." If they say, "Nah, just venting," then I respect that. But I would never leap into the fray on someone's wall without clearing it with them first.

For the most part, though, I think that if people are going to post really controversial stuff on their wall, they have to expect that people will comment. If they don't want that, then FB is not the right place for it. But by the same token, sometimes things that don't seem controversial at the time BECOME that way, and I don't think it's unreasonable for the person to say, "Hey, this was not intended to become a shitstorm, so can we just cut it out?"

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 06/20/2012

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I see it often and to be honest, I just click on by. I am far from interested in getting into a meaningless dispute on FB. I have deleted "friends" because of their crazy ass statuses.



One that comes to mind is a family member to my step-father. She is on disability and IS one of those that should not be. She is quite capable of working. She is just too lazy to do so. She often would put statuses such as "I am so glad I can sleep ALL day", "Oh what to do today? Oh yeah, I can do NOTHING", "I get 2 vacations a year and they are 6 months each". Then she would post things like "Went for an awesome walk along the beach today", "I went to the shelter and walked a bunch of dogs", "Helping move a friend today" and so on. Well, after 6 months of me having to read this shit, it really started to make my blood boil. She IS abusing the system and my tax dollars ARE paying for her to sit on her ass! So, I deleted her.



We get to choose who we be-friend and who we don't. FB has some great features now too. If you don't want to delete them, you can select to not receive their posts/updates within your news feed. It's actually, quite easy to ignore people. Drama is for the birds.

Jodi - posted on 06/20/2012

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Well, yes you have the right to do all those things, but it may not be the best idea. I generally stay out of religious stuff, if you want to post about Jesus...by all means, go for it. I have one super religious aunt on my facebook, I unsubscribed to her so that I don't have to see her daily+ postings about jesus and the heathens who don't believe in him. I once got into a religious "debate" that got pretty heated. I had posted something about enjoying Ostara with the kids (a pagan holiday) and holy hannah all hell broke loose! I think it was innapropriate of the person who "debated" me to have started it, but I put it out there so...that's how it goes. Although when it got to name bashing and insults etc, I deleted the entire thread. My wall, my decision to do so.

I have unfriended several people who can't keep their negative comments to themselves (and not on my wall, on other's walls. I don't want those people on my friend list. I have unsubscribed to my own sister for that very reason. Although I feel like politics is fair game. If you post something political, you are ASKING for a debate. I think I'm tactful about it, but I see many people who aren't.

Like Erin, I think you're going to post something, be prepared to handle whatever comes with it (I no longer make any posts regarding any holidays, which is sad and not very fair, but facebook doesn't make the holiday, so it's ok). I also rarely post anything controversial or negative. Overall I'm a pretty positive person, but why would I want to let everyone know every dirty little secret or every negative thing that happens each day? That won't help me focus on the positive stuff!

Erin - posted on 06/20/2012

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I think that if you going to post something on facebook then you have to be able to handle what others might respond. My SIL posts everything about her life on there, and then gets upset when someone voices their opinion. She has been told time and time again not to put her "dirty laundry" on facebook. But does she listen? NOPE! I won't comment on her posts. I will wait until I talk with her. I will tell her my opinion, face to face, but also say that maybe she shouldn't have put "that comment" out in the open for every one to see.

As for me, I hate drama too. I only post stuff on facebook that will get a lot of likes and positive comments. Pics of the kiddos, and cute things they have done or said.

Janice - posted on 06/20/2012

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I like to keep my strong opinions here on DM. If I agree with someone I like their post if not I ignore it. I'm a low drama kind of gal. I do have 1 certain cousin-in-law who I would like to call out. He is a piece of shit. He recently started attacking my sister who is very close with his wife (our cousin) even though she has done sooo much for them over the years. I really want to slam every dumb ass post, but I dont.

I think technically people have the right to make negative comments if they choose to do so. However, 90% of the time its done in poor taste and just makes the negative person look bad. You really have the right to do all the things mentioned in the OP but I would advise against doing so.

[deleted account]

Thanks for your comments.

I have two facebook friends who post lots of "motivationals" that are relevant to their passions in life. It can be one per day or at times up to 8 in a day. Both of them, on occasion must have had someone opposing their motivational posts and both have become defensive about them and basically said that people who don't like them should basically "go away". I can understand them wanting negative people to leave them alone, but then my thoughts are if you put something on your wall or timeline, then you actually are inviting people to have an opinion. There is a like button and a comments section for a reason. I think that when you do put something "out there" you can't expect that everyone you know will agree with you. Some folks are polite and won't say anything, but some are quite bold and will share what they think.

I, myself can be guilty of maybe opposing something that has been posted on Facebook, but I try to be a little humorous or at least tactful in my comments. if I can't do that , then I will simply remove the post from my news feed.

Firebird - posted on 06/19/2012

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I am going to say yes to all of the above. And you also have the right to shut up and unfriend someone if you don't agree with what they post. You do not have the right to tell them what they have to believe, nor do you have the right to call them any of the assorted nasty names... on their wall.

You can disagree with what they say, it's hard to do so 'positively', so of course even saying 'I'm sorry, but I disagree' is a 'negative' comment. You have the right to express your opinion. However you do not have the right to blatantly attack someone because they post something you don't like.

Amanda - posted on 06/19/2012

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I personally just don't comment of someone is trying to cause an argument, I have some "friends" that deliberately post things to cause drama. Alot of people write riduculous statuses. I normally roll my eyes and move on to the next one.

I had one "friend" a while back that I had a disagreement with over the phone. I told her I wanted to hear no more about it and that as far as I was concerned the diasgreement had been settled and no more needed to be said. She ended up posting, what she thought were cryptic messages but were blatently obvious what it was about and who it related to. Anyway I ignored it, didn't take the bait and they were so angry they deleted all their posts and started stirring the same rubbish with someone else.

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