Author Topic: Can I tell Facebook friends to remove me if they like posting gory stuff?  (Read 5019 times)

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Nemesis

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Background: I like scrolling up and down my "Home" tab in my Facebook page during coffee breaks to see if anything's up with my friends. It's a quick way to find out: "Ooh, Jamie has a new baby, how adorable" or "Wow, Wendy just got married and she looks like she's 18 when she's actually 45!".

Unfortunately, I recently have seen a rise in the number of gory pictures being linked/posted onto Facebook. These pictures show up on my "Home" tab. I would be ogling over a picture of a cute 5 month old baby only to be graphically bombarded with a picture of a fire victim, complete with close-ups of the charred face. Or like today, I was drinking my coffee and almost spurted it out when I came across a picture of a bucket full of floating baby corpses.

The thing is, some of these pictures are posted by family members (cousins/nephews/nieces) and old friends from long long ago (elementary school).

I used to hide feeds of people who post gory stuff, but the number of people doing this have risen significantly. So I frequently see these images.

1. Is it appropriate for me to write something on my status to tell friends to remove me if they like posting/re-posting graphically gory pictures?
2. Should I stay silent and just unfriend/ban those who post gory pictures?

Silversurfer

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I think the best thing to do would be to 'unsubscribe from images'.
That way you still get the updates, but dont have to see any pictures.

I dont think people would take it well if you asked them to censor their posts.

With Facebook, people can say what the want, and others can choose whether or not to hear them.
You are choosing not to listen.

Good luck!

Iris

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Silversurfer got it. I must say though that I feel ill just from reading the descriptions of those images. It's hard to imagine that people look at them and think "This is something I must share"
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Ceallach

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It would come across as a little SS to put up a status telling people what to do.  If you don't like what they post, don't look at it.   Telling them to remove you is PA when you could simply remove them yourself.

I'd go with hiding the feeds of repeat offenders.  I sympathize as I hate gory pictures, but fortunately nobody in my FB post anything like that - or if they do, they must be the people I already have hidden!
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Sharnita

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I think there are two problems with the request
1) people will rationalize - "this isn't really that gory"

2) people will decide the message/cause is so important that the picture is needed for impact. 

Either way they will probably decide your request exempts their post.

TootsNYC

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I think the best thing to do would be to 'unsubscribe from images'.
That way you still get the updates, but dont have to see any pictures.


Ooh, I didn't know you could do this!! Cool!

I wonder though--I think etiquette does agree with the idea of providing feedback to people that what they're doing is not socially unacceptable. And I wouldn't have a problem with a comment on their picture that says, "You posted this to your Facebook wall? It shows up on everybody else's feed. This is pretty gory to just throw out there like that!"

And then find a way to cut them off. Honestly, I would defriend someone who posted pictures like that on Facebook. And I think what they're doing is offensive enough that I'd drop them a PM to tell them why. In as neutral a word choice as I can.

Most times I'd defriend someone, I wouldn't bother telling them why. But I think those examples you've given, and the fact that they're putting them out on Facebook, where it gets pushed to everybody else's news feed, is a major error, and they need to hear that.

Ceallach

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Toots, I agree that feedback is ok, but it needs to be direct. E.g. Post a comment on the picture or send them a private message. A blanket status update as proposed by OP is akin to walking into a room and announcing "I don't want to hear about X topic, so anybody who talks to me make sure you don't mention it!"  In reality the polite way is to respond directly when somebody raises X topic, or if you know somebody who is certain to raise X topic give them a heads up that you're not comfortable discussing it.

I like your suggestions!
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Bibliophile

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Just to add, if your updates are hidden in their feed, they're not going to see the request if you post it in a status update.

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Calypso

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Well, I've been wondering what the heck facebook is good for, but, OP, you've provided an example of *one* useful function it has. People who would post what you describe (especially as a "gotcha" link) need to be defriended on FB, in real life, removed from any employment position that involves interacting with civilized people, and preferably have their license to procreate revoked. And without facebook to give them a medium on which to be foul and ugly, one might have gone on associating with them, little suspecting their disgusting nature.

Not, mind you, that I have a strong opinion, or anything  ::) :P

squeakers

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Oh, not those pictures again! It's a virus and the person posting them does not know they are being posted. (At least that is how they were about 3 months ago and times before that.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/facebook-confirms-investigation-of-graphic-images/2011/11/15/gIQAHnalON_story.html )

I would message one person and just ask if they meant to post the picture.  If they say no.. then I would also message the other person/people.  Point them toward that link above so they know why it happened. 
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Yvaine

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One more thing I'll add to this is that some of these gory pictures are fake--and actually, a lot of them are viruses. They may not be intending to post the pictures at all, but clicked on someone else's post of the pictures and got hacked. One example was that a lot of people were infected by a fake Osama bin Laden death pic last year (the death was real; this particular pic was not).

ETA: Yeah, what Squeakers said. That'll teach me to start a reply, forget about it for ten minutes, and then post it anyway.  ;D

SisJackson

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Just to add, if your updates are hidden in their feed, they're not going to see the request if you post it in a status update.

Even if you're not hidden they still might not see a status update.  Annoyingly, the default setting for "How many posts?" under the subscription option for any particular person is "Most updates" - not all, most.  I have no idea how Facebook decides which updates are good enough to show and which ones aren't, so I painstakingly went through every one of my friends and for the vast majority of them, changed the setting to "All updates" instead.

I have a couple of friends who "share" an inordinate number of pictures, usually of sayings that are supposed to be inspirational or whatever.  I don't personally care for them.  Because they are not pictures that they have in their own photo albums, turning off the subscription to Photos wouldn't work - I had to unsubscribe from their "Comments and Likes" before the shares would go away from my wall.

Calypso

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Oh, not those pictures again! It's a virus and the person posting them does not know they are being posted. (At least that is how they were about 3 months ago and times before that.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/facebook-confirms-investigation-of-graphic-images/2011/11/15/gIQAHnalON_story.html )

I would message one person and just ask if they meant to post the picture.  If they say no.. then I would also message the other person/people.  Point them toward that link above so they know why it happened.

The HECK???!!!! Someone wrote a virus that, when Grandma Effie is trying to post a picture of her granddaughter and an adorable kitten, plugs something gross in instead?
Thank you. I now have whiplash from my  head hitting the desk.  :o Ow.  :P

Allyson

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Yeah, a lot of the time it isn't the person's fault, but rather a virus or accidental app or something along those lines.

And also, the fact that it so often *is* these things gives you full license to say to everyone who posts this, 'Hey, did you mean to post this really gory image? I know there's a virus going around, so wanted to give you the heads up this is on your wall!' or something. Exonerates those who didn't mean to, and also points out that the image bugged you to those who did mean it.

Nemesis

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Hi, OP here!

Wow thanks so much for your feedback on this topic!

I think the best thing to do would be to 'unsubscribe from images'.
That way you still get the updates, but dont have to see any pictures.
I didn't know you can do this!!! Thanks very much!

It would come across as a little SS to put up a status telling people what to do.  If you don't like what they post, don't look at it.   

Yeah, I thought it might. The only trouble is that the image is already in my brain in order for me to know not to look there  :( I am particularly susceptible to gory images, and one glance is, unfortunately, enough to get it stuck in my mind while I tremble and shiver for the rest of the day  :(

I think there are two problems with the request
1) people will rationalize - "this isn't really that gory"

2) people will decide the message/cause is so important that the picture is needed for impact. 

Either way they will probably decide your request exempts their post.

This is a very good point. My cousin-in-law (a medical student) likes posting images of diseased parts. I didn't mind is so much until she posted one of worms crawling out of a woman's breast (and the woman was still very much alive). I couldn't sleep for 3 days after seeing that picture. Even though I only saw it for a split second, I just couldn't erase it from my mind. She says it's part of the human body and isn't gory at all - it is a fact of life! I had to hide her feeds permanently (and I missed out on her wedding announcement :( )

Oh, not those pictures again! It's a virus and the person posting them does not know they are being posted. (At least that is how they were about 3 months ago and times before that.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/facebook-confirms-investigation-of-graphic-images/2011/11/15/gIQAHnalON_story.html )

I would message one person and just ask if they meant to post the picture.  If they say no.. then I would also message the other person/people.  Point them toward that link above so they know why it happened. 
One more thing I'll add to this is that some of these gory pictures are fake--and actually, a lot of them are viruses. They may not be intending to post the pictures at all, but clicked on someone else's post of the pictures and got hacked. One example was that a lot of people were infected by a fake Osama bin Laden death pic last year (the death was real; this particular pic was not).

ETA: Yeah, what Squeakers said. That'll teach me to start a reply, forget about it for ten minutes, and then post it anyway.  ;D
:o :o :o There are such viruses??? Oh wow, that is nasty. Thanks for letting me know! I was wondering why my sweet old aunt, who is almost 70, was posting something so disgusting  :o I didn't even know how to broach the subject with her.

Thanks again. I guess I will use my own discretion.

So the solution:
If it's a medical student who likes posting specimens of her study, I'll hide the feeds. But if it's someone who doesn't normally post such stuff, I'll send them a PM to ask if it was a virus using these words:
'Hey, did you mean to post this really gory image? I know there's a virus going around, so wanted to give you the heads up this is on your wall!'
And if it's someone who appears to like gory stuff, I will defriend without explanation (I really don't know how to tell someone I'm defriending them because I think their posts are disgusting. Btw, I'm glad I'm not the only person who thinks this way:
Honestly, I would defriend someone who posted pictures like that on Facebook. And I think what they're doing is offensive enough that I'd drop them a PM to tell them why. In as neutral a word choice as I can.
What would you suggest as a neutral sentence? Could I write "Dear Angie, I am removing you from my friend list because I found your recent postings offensive"?

Is my solution within the bounds of etiquette?