Author Topic: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.  (Read 10425 times)

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bah12

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Re: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2013, 06:57:11 PM »
The thing that I discovered since starting Facebook is that people feel more open to express extreme and/or harsh and marginalizing opinions much more openly than they would in person.  I have some friends and relatives who I never would have guessed what some of their extreme views were before FB.  I've also noticed that when one is posting something on FB, they tend to communicate much more black and white than they would actually live real life (I think this happens on this board as well). 

I am a believer that someone can post pretty much whatever they want (as long as it's not directly insulting to their FB friends) on FB.  While I choose not to post my religious and political views online, I don't take it personally when someone else does.  Even if their view is so far off of mine that I have a huge negative reaction or even become inadvertantly offended. 
The other side of that, is when someone does reveal their thoughts and opinions, it can shape how we view them.  And there's nothing wrong with dialing back a relationship based on that.  I might not go and demand that every one of my friends reveal that they have no views totally opposite of mine or that they don't hate a specific group (which I find offensive on all levels), but once it's revealed and I know that's how they feel, I would definitely think differently of them.  I have curtailed a few friendships for this very reason.  Had it not been for FB, I would probably still be friends with them today.

You can't help how you feel.  I think you did right to block her posts if they bothered you that much.  As for how to handle the relationship in the future, I think that's totally up to you.  There's no wrong or right way to feel about her as a person.  You can still be kind and treat her with respect even if you don't continue the close, warm and loving relationship you've had in the past. 

greencat

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Re: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.
« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2013, 08:51:41 PM »
I have read that the tendency of social media is to provide a kind of "echo chamber" where your expressed views tend to get more and more extreme because people aren't actively and loudly objecting to the expression of them like they would in real life - instead, only those people who agree with you respond, positively of course, and people who disagree either just quietly stop talking to you or get flamed out by the supporters of your viewpoint.  Basically, everyone surrounds themselves with "yes men" online.  My group of friends are a bit variable in some social views, and we are all real-life friends, and we're aware that we have differing viewpoints, so we do tend to politely disagree with each other and loudly disagree when someone posts something inflammatory.

My mother ended up more or less getting the cut direct from her brother after she responded with a great deal of anger to his constant posts denigrating her social and political views.  I understand her anger, but her response was no better than his postings.

katycoo

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Re: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.
« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2013, 09:35:38 AM »
I don't hate her and I'm friendly when we see each other, but I really can't be friends with her now. Because I know things about her now through those two formats, one in real life, and one online, that I don't especially like. They're both her, and I can't separate those in my mind.

I agree with this, in the same sense that when I become aware of how a person acted in a situation which had nothing to do with me, it can change my opinion of them.  I still maintain that I don't personally feel slighted by the fact that Jack hasn't seen his kids since his wife left because if she wanted his help with them she shouldn't have left, but I still think it shows colours I'm not impressed by, and accordingly choose to spend less time with him.

Its not about whether it colours your view of them, but about how you let it impact YOU and your feelings, personally.

ETA - pretty muych exactly what bah12 said - but they said it better.

/threadjack  CRUD MONKEYS! milli vannilli, flashbacks!!  i was a big fan but then the whole "they didn't actually sing on their songs" scandal came out...  /end threadjack

Which is so funny, because nowadays you'd be hard-pressed to find a pop star who DID sing their own songs while in concert.  Most of them lip-sync to pre-recorded versions of their hits, which have been modified and auto-tuned beyond recognition.

Yes- but the 2 stars of the band didn't even sing on the recording.  Or ever.  At all.

Girlie

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Re: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.
« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2013, 04:48:34 PM »
My husband and I have a friend whom drives me nuts - both personally (as in, his personality in general), and in his political and religious reviews. This friend and I have both posted things regarding our affiliations online (though I do try my best to make my views clear without insulting or degrading anyone else), and we have had online disagreements and discussions. Other people have entered into these public conversations on my side and on his. He has blocked some of them. He has never blocked me.
The reason? Because I have learned to accept his "crazy" belief system as being part of his "crazy" personality (I'm 99% sure he does the same. I don't really think he's crazy, and that's a description I use only in the presence of my DH). It doesn't change the fact that he is really a good guy with a good heart, that he treats us well and with respect, and that there is a genuine friendship underneath all the hubbub. He was an usher in our wedding, and I am very fond of him.

It is completely possible to be friends with someone on the complete other end of the spectrum, even when they make their views very public on FB. Step 1 is to hide all feed from them and only check in on them occasionally. Step 2 is to learn the inward eye roll for when you do see or hear something you'd rather not. Step 3 is to learn when to let stuff go.

Slartibartfast

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Re: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.
« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2013, 12:49:22 AM »
I was reading an interesting blog post yesterday which posited that the Internet acts as a giant echo chamber for opinions.  Since we can each pick out the friends and communities we interact with, we tend to choose to spend more online time with people who tell us our views are awesome and less time with people who make us feel defensive or stupid.  When we share our own views, we're much more likely to get feedback from the people who agree with us than the people who don't - and the ones who don't agree and who post about it tend to get jumped on by the ones who do.

Then, because most of the opinions we see online are as strong or stronger than our own, we mistakenly generalize that EVERYONE shares our opinions - whether or not that's true.  When we do run into examples of people who disagree with us, we're more likely to dismiss them as "other" - they're not our race, not our gender, not our background, not our socioeconomic status, not our religion, etc., so how could they possibly know the right way to think?

ladyknight1

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Re: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.
« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2013, 09:44:23 AM »
I read something yesterday posted by a graduating high school senior who is an atheist and who was offended that a prayer was said at his graduation.

He stated that it was offensive because only Christians prayed. I truly hope he misspoke, because that statement is not correct.

Arrynne

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Re: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.
« Reply #36 on: May 28, 2013, 02:22:41 PM »
I have family members like this.  I lean pink, and they lean green, sometimes very, very green.  I take a "We will just have to agree to disagree." stance with members of the opposing faction.   Some of them I can have a polite discussion on the problematic topics. Others, I avoid the charged topics at all costs.  You can be cooly polite to her if you wish. I would just be myself and avoid charged topics.

Are her posts things she has written herself, or re-posts?  I give a lot more leeway for re-posts versus someone's own words.  I do have to remind myself frequently not to poke the bear.  For example, a family member recently posted a bunch of quotes and pictures slamming a political figure.  These I typically ignore, but he included a rude note that he didn't care if you didn't agree and didn't want to hear about it.  I really wanted to post an opposing snarky image in reply and tag it with 'See? I can do it to!!".


Twik

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Re: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.
« Reply #37 on: June 04, 2013, 10:05:26 AM »
I don't see any particular difference between saying something on Facebook and saying it to the faces of your friends and family.

"Free speech" was never meant to be utterly, totally, consequence-free. It meant the government couldn't lock you up for saying they stink. If you say the same thing to your boss, s/he's entitled to fire you. If you say it to your friends, they are entitled to consider you an ex-friend.

If you talk like a jerk, whether it be face-to-face, in print or online, people will often conclude that you are, indeed, a jerk.

Further, it is not an infringement on free speech for someone to offer a counter-argument (although it may not make for a quiet life). This is often heard on some of the other boards I read:

Person A - "Leader X is really a Martian!"
Person B - "Um, no, he's not, and here are reasons why...."
Person A - "Help, I'm being oppressed! My right to free speech is being infringed!"
Person B - "How?"
Person A - "Freedom of speech means that you can't say I'm wrong!"
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RebeccainGA

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Re: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.
« Reply #38 on: June 04, 2013, 10:25:18 AM »
I have friends (like, we were really close in high school) that now talk about totally bizarro viewpoints (one that was IN SCIENCE WITH ME in high school who now openly espouses beliefs that are as anti-science as "if you wash your hair with water, it will all fall out because water is a solvent") or who know I'm gay and Christian and post things about no gays can be Christian or all gays should be contained so we'll die out since we can't breed (I wish I was kidding). One of them, the husband of my best friend in high school, who I'm still close with and she's as much family as a friend, has started reposting things so offensive (very 'our president is an ape' sort of things - racist AND immature) that I had to hide his stuff for fear my head would (figuratively at least) explode.

I've learned that you can block the reposting sources, one by one. This helps, immensely, if they are reposting mostly from one group. You can also ignore them, but that's harder - I keep thinking of the xckd cartoon - Someone On The Internet Is WRONG.

When I see these people in person, I have to just try and block it out. I have had to cut ties with one 'real' person - someone I was very close to once upon a time - because of their insane Facebook stuff. I'm not sure if they thought they were being funny, or just were that awful all along, but... yikes.

MineralDiva

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Re: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.
« Reply #39 on: June 06, 2013, 08:56:19 PM »
You've regularly had chats with her in the past without censoring your topics of conversation and she has never once said anything to your face that you find offensive.  Her FB wall is a place where she can share her views as she pleases and you've handled that appropriately but there's nothing to suggest that she feels then need to convert you to her opinions.  I'd just carry on as you have been and only take action to distance myself if you see that she wants to espouse her opinions to your face.

I agree with this.  She has no idea that you come from an opposing viewpoint.  Nor has it entered your offline conversations.  Carry on as you are.

lurkerwisp

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Re: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.
« Reply #40 on: June 18, 2013, 03:18:38 PM »
My personal line to when I will cut real life friendships based on online actions is:  "If a friend posts a facebook status recommending or believing in an action which if carried out in real life would be evil or constitute as genocide"

So if you say something like " I think Red Deity is wrong" or " I believe X is a sin", no issues. I may judge you for it privately but I will interact with you as always. However, if you say something like " those that follow red deity should be burnt at the stake" it will impact our IRL friendship.

That exact line is why I completely cut a former friend out of my life.  Informing me that teaching children about religion, specifically mine, should be considered child abuse and wishing that all people of my faith were evicted from the planet pretty much told me that we never really were friends in the first place.  Friends don't say things like that to each other, even if they do believe them.

It's harder with family, but it's worth it to at least let the person know that you're not comfortable with what they're saying - preferably in the same place and medium that it's being said.  Comment on the FB post that offends you to ask if the person thinks so low of you if you really can't stand to hear it.  Otherwise it might be best to just be willing to forgive their hate so long as it's not expressed directly.

Aluminum

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Re: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.
« Reply #41 on: June 26, 2013, 01:52:47 AM »
I have friends (like, we were really close in high school) that now talk about totally bizarro viewpoints (one that was IN SCIENCE WITH ME in high school who now openly espouses beliefs that are as anti-science as "if you wash your hair with water, it will all fall out because water is a solvent") or who know I'm gay and Christian and post things about no gays can be Christian or all gays should be contained so we'll die out since we can't breed (I wish I was kidding). One of them, the husband of my best friend in high school, who I'm still close with and she's as much family as a friend, has started reposting things so offensive (very 'our president is an ape' sort of things - racist AND immature) that I had to hide his stuff for fear my head would (figuratively at least) explode.

I've learned that you can block the reposting sources, one by one. This helps, immensely, if they are reposting mostly from one group. You can also ignore them, but that's harder - I keep thinking of the xckd cartoon - Someone On The Internet Is WRONG.

When I see these people in person, I have to just try and block it out. I have had to cut ties with one 'real' person - someone I was very close to once upon a time - because of their insane Facebook stuff. I'm not sure if they thought they were being funny, or just were that awful all along, but... yikes.

(RinGA, this isn't aimed at you as much as at the sentiments expressed were they within my network)

I have to be honest--these would be stone cold dealbreakers for friendship in meatspace, let along cyberspace, for me.  Do not pass go, do not collect $200.  I'd be VERY concerned that I'd be thought to be tacitly condoning these views.  Silence can be interpreted in many ways, and I would not want my silence to be seen as passive acceptance in a similar case.

RebeccainGA

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Re: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.
« Reply #42 on: June 26, 2013, 10:58:41 AM »
(RinGA, this isn't aimed at you as much as at the sentiments expressed were they within my network)

I have to be honest--these would be stone cold dealbreakers for friendship in meatspace, let along cyberspace, for me.  Do not pass go, do not collect $200.  I'd be VERY concerned that I'd be thought to be tacitly condoning these views.  Silence can be interpreted in many ways, and I would not want my silence to be seen as passive acceptance in a similar case.
The husband of my friend that was doing the crazy stuff, he got a small pass - he was at my wedding, for pete's sake, and he's nto anti-gay, just trying to fit in with some right wing nutjob friends at his new job. I gave him a few months, talked to my friend (who was/is horrified by his stuff), and he's actually stopped. The other one has moved on - she just had a baby, and now she's all over the abortion rights stuff and how horrible Roe v. Wade is. We have an agree to disagree policy - and I've told her that if she starts up again, I'm going to have to block her.

I'm actually sort of interested to see what muck today's SCOTUS decisions will stir up. May be time for a Facebook purge.

nuit93

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Re: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.
« Reply #43 on: June 26, 2013, 12:50:56 PM »
(RinGA, this isn't aimed at you as much as at the sentiments expressed were they within my network)

I have to be honest--these would be stone cold dealbreakers for friendship in meatspace, let along cyberspace, for me.  Do not pass go, do not collect $200.  I'd be VERY concerned that I'd be thought to be tacitly condoning these views.  Silence can be interpreted in many ways, and I would not want my silence to be seen as passive acceptance in a similar case.
The husband of my friend that was doing the crazy stuff, he got a small pass - he was at my wedding, for pete's sake, and he's nto anti-gay, just trying to fit in with some right wing nutjob friends at his new job. I gave him a few months, talked to my friend (who was/is horrified by his stuff), and he's actually stopped. The other one has moved on - she just had a baby, and now she's all over the abortion rights stuff and how horrible Roe v. Wade is. We have an agree to disagree policy - and I've told her that if she starts up again, I'm going to have to block her.

I'm actually sort of interested to see what muck today's SCOTUS decisions will stir up. May be time for a Facebook purge.

I'm already in the thick of it with one of my BIL's friends who's unhappy about the decision. 

EllenS

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Re: When someone reveals offensive views via facebook.
« Reply #44 on: June 26, 2013, 02:48:08 PM »
One of my in-laws is my friend on facebook.  In person she is always really warm and kind to me. ...
She has never brought up these views during our in person interactions, ...
she definitely knows that my career is in the sciences. ..

I don't see her often enough for this to be a big deal. ..
VS:
... the person who apparently thinks my career is bunk, I'm going to hell, and I'm an idiot because of who I voted for.

...I feel bad that she will notice my keeping my distance and think I'm snubbing her for no clear reason.
... she's made it pretty clear what she thinks of People Like Me...



OP, your situation seems to indicate that your relative knows something about your life and career, treats you nicely and is warm and kind to you. If you are facebook friends, surely she can see enough of your postings to infer a good deal about your politics and community invovement? 
You are upset and uncomfortable over what you *think* she *might* think about you. 
You did not say anything about racism, bigotry, or the advocation of violence or anti-social behavior.
I would advise you to keep blocking the posts that upset you, and treat her the way she treats you. 
If you want to promote a closer relationship with a relative who has proven herself to be warm, kind, and tactful in her treatment of you, you could bring up the fact that her posts are off-putting, and did she really mean it?  Or not, but it seems odd to me to judge her and withdraw from her over her (wierd to you but apparently harmless) opinions, when you are afraid her her doing the same to you.
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