I can see your point, though FB doesn't send out your photos to everyone who happens to be on FB at the time (i.e. whoever happens to be walking down your street when you're out in your front yard). It only appears on the walls of those who have accepted friends requests...so, I still sort of see it as an invitation to come inside your home. The difference is on FB, you accept the invitation once and have access to everything your 'friend' chooses to share with you. It's like a come/go relationship without having to get express permission everytime. Though at any point in time you can choose to leave (hide) or someone can kick you out (defriend).
I agree. Facebook has settings to control whether you want a particular person's posts to show on your newsfeed. If you friend someone and leave the settings to show their posts on your newsfeed, it's kind of like they put up a webcam in their house and you chose to have the live feed on your homepage. They are acting in their own "home" and have invited you to watch whatever they share in front of the webcam whenever you like. By friending them and having their posts appear on your newsfeed, you have implicitly said that you want to view whatever they choose to share any time you log on to facebook. If you would rather remain friends and only see into their "home" when you actually go "visiting" in person, then facebook gives you that option--you just have to tell facebook you don't want that person's posts on your newsfeed and you'll only see them when you go to that person's own facebook page.
For an example of exactly that sort of watch-the-webcam-at-your-own-risk scenario:
There's another thread on eHell about a live webcam of a litter of kittens being fostered until adoption. Apparently, some viewers have complained about having seen kitten poop, vomit, etc., on the feed, to the point that the guy running it had to make a post saying not to watch if those things bother you, because that's just what life with young kittens is like. If you choose to make the kitten-cam your homepage, then you may seem some unpleasant aspects of kitten life without warning when you open your browser. It's your responsibility to decide how and when you want to access that sort of live-feed, or if you want to do access at all.
No, it's not the same. As a reasonable person I would expect to see poop when there are animals. I would be absolutely stunned that someone had taken pictures of a cadaver (and posted them to FB!!!) because it is so far outisde my experience. I don't think I should expect it.
Do you disagree with my analogy that including someone in your facebook newsfeed is similar to viewing someone's webcam, or are you disagreeing only that my specific example is comparable to the OP?
I disage with the specific example.
The point of my post was not that kitten poop and people in coffins are equivalent. They're obviously two very different things. My point was that including someone on your facebook newsfeed, like viewing someone's live webcam, is accepting their invitation to view what they choose to share in their own space. In the case of the facebook newsfeed, this is an ongoing invitation/acceptance rather than one you proactively accept each and every time--similar to putting a webcam feed on your homepage, instead of specifically typing in the web address or clicking a link when you want to see it. Accepting the invitation to view everything someone else chooses to share, whether that takes the form of including them in your facebook newsfeed, viewing the live feed from their webcam, visiting their blog, etc., carries a risk of seeing things you don't want to see and/or things you did not expect to see. The fact that you saw something you did not want to see does not necessarily mean that the person who posted it was wrong, whether it's poop or an open coffin. Seeing certain things may make you decide that you no longer want to follow them, or make you decide that you don't want to be friends, or even that you don't want to associate with that person at all. That still doesn't mean it was necessarily wrong for them to have posted it.
Except I include people in my newsfeed that I assume will behave in a "reasonable" way. In my opinion, photos of dead relatives in coffins is utterly bizarre and so far beyond what I consider "normal" that I would be shocked. It's not my fault I am offended by something so offensive.
It is not your fault that you are offended. But nor is it the fault of your friends that you misjudged what they find reasonable and normal. You assumed that they shared your opinions on what is reasonable and normal and inoffensive. If they post photos of open coffins, then your assumption was wrong. It's unfortunate, but that doesn't make it their fault. I doubt that the people posting photos of their relatives' open coffins would agree with you that these photos are inherently "so offensive." When they friended you, they likely assumed that you shared their definition reasonable and normal and inoffensive as well. If so, they misjudged you just as you misjudged them. Misjudgement all around--why is their misjudgement more wrong than yours?
As I have repeatedly said, I come from a culture where open coffins at funerals just don't happen. Viewings, except perhaps by the spouse, do not happen. I have never seen a body, for that reason. Therefore it is reasonable that a photograph of one would be seen as beyond the pale.
The only "assumption" I have made is that my friends are from the same cultural background as me - and that isn't an assumption.
OK, I'm confused. I promise I am not trying to be snarky, but I'm starting to think we're each debating a slightly different question here, so I'm going to try to clarify.
I am under the impression that you consider it rude in general to post a photo like the one described in the OP on facebook. Is that correct or am I misinterpreting you?
You said before: "I include people in my newsfeed that I assume will behave in a "reasonable" way." This is why I used the word assumption in my response. You know your friends come from the same culture as you do. You seem pretty certain that showing photos of the deceased is not common in any part of your culture. I believe you. I am not arguing otherwise. You assume
(using your own word) that your facebook friends, who you know share your culture, also share your views that photos of the deceased are not acceptable to show publicly. If none of your own friends have posted such photos, then I see no reason to think that your assumption is wrong. However, the OP seemed to assume the same about her friends. The fact that one of those friends posted the photo suggests that this assumption was wrong, unless the friend is known for posting things for their shock value.
If, hypothetically, someone from a culture where it was common to take and share photos of the deceased posted such a photo on facebook, would you consider it rude? Would it still be rude if everyone on that person's friends list was from the same culture? If that person had a facebook friend from another culture, but honestly assumed that their friends shared their view that these photos were normal, would it be rude? If so, then why would that be different than you assuming the same?