I’m pretty sure Facebook’s moderation consists mostly of a computer looking at how many reports there are, rather than any assessment by a human. Facebook seems more interested in the number of people who were offended by your remark than any actual content. That is one huge way it is bad for discussion among people who vehemently disagree with each other.
I suspect the people saying the vile shit are saying it where most people who see what they wrote will agree with them, and thus they don’t get enough reports. And, of course, there’s just the randomness in what gets noticed, based on how Facebook will show different replies.
My suggestion isn’t necessarily to get rid of Facebook, if you use it for its actual good features. But I’d definitely start clicking “Hide Post” for the second part “See fewer posts like this.” And keep doing that. I did that a while back to basically purge politics from my feed.
I use FB for a variety of things; keeping in touch with family and friends, sharing photos and trip reports, celebrating life events, getting information about hobbies from a various dedicated groups, and fun content. I don’t engage in debates with friends or strangers, that’s simply not what I want from the site.
I was serious about the getting better friends. Control the group you engage with, mute the people you want to stay connected to but don’t want to hear from, block those that you must.
I last used Facebook in 2017 just after my mother passed away. I hadn’t used it much before then and I don’t think I’ve been there since. I would really like it if my sister would stop uploading pictures of me to it, but at this point I assume I am already in their facial recognition database.
I noted in another thread that Facebook has suddenly been showing me dozens – literally dozens – of ads in a row before I see a post from a page or group that I follow or something from an actual friend. Its pretty much ruined it for me and I’m considering deleting my account. I’ve used if for 10 years so there’s a bit of nostalgia buried in there but nothing I cant live without.
I use Messenger daily so giving that up would truly suck.
You can control this with an add-on called F.B. Purity (there may be others, this is the one I use). Among other things it gives you a checklist of types of posts, such as ads, that you don’t want to see at all. I recommend it.
I love parts of it, keeping up with classmates, seeing pictures of family babies and pets and so on. What I wish they had nipped in the bud are the political bullshit. It doesn’t matter how nonsensical it is, if it smears Democrats, people will share it. And they believe it and they let it determine their votes and that’s why we had a Russian stooge in the White House for 4 years (and very nearly 8 and possibly 4 more).
A few years back, I made all my posts public, and now I only post things that I’d be okay with my boss reading. It saves me a lot of heartache. There are cute pictures of my kids, wry anecdotes from my professional and home life, and lots of union stuff.
The union stuff is the main reason I keep it: as part of my (unpaid) job, I gotta communicate with a lot of people, and that’s a pretty effective technique for doing so. It’s also a pretty easy place for hobby-related communication.
This is so much the case with me. Friends I’ve known long before there even was a facebook are, in effect, sort of ghosting me ( and I think they think I’m ghosting them ) due to the fact I’m not on facebook. They, and some family, used to constantly urge me to join. I wasn’t, and never will be interested in doing so.
Oh I do attempt to do that, but they seem little interested if it doesn’t involve social media. More out of laziness I suspect because it’s not “one stop shopping”, so to speak. So I’ve come to the point of taking this position:
Know my email address? Check
My phone number, for either calls or texts? Check
My home address? Check
If those aren’t enough, the hell with you.
I know I am, as well as others in my life that have stopped using it. Occasionally I’ll be subjected to it as a captive audience while others are browsing on it and I’m dismayed to see what ugliness some people I used to get along well with are capable of. Especially jarring is to see how an ex-girlfriend ( now just “friends”…blecchh ) went from sweet girl to certified nutjob, based on her content/postings.
A childhood friend of mine has the same last name as one of the Beatles. Her FB account disappeared suddenly one day. When she returned, she explained that she had wished the Beatle a happy birthday and posted a picture of him, which the FB algorithm interpreted as an attempt to steal his identity. So it cancelled her account.
About the only “controversial” stuff I ever generate on FB is when a bogus miracle cure/supplement dealer or personal injury lawyer firm’s tripe ends up on my feed - in which case it’s usually post then block.
I’ve learned to keep even minimally provocative statements out of groups (which I don’t follow but occasionally check out). Though today someone on a tropical aquarium forum complained that their tetras didn’t “do anything”, to which I asked if there were tetra species that were into break dancing.
I hate Facebook. I hate that some friends get genuinely upset if I don’t post replies to their inane baby pictures or mysteriously provocative late night ‘People don’t appreciate’ me comments. I hate that the local neighbourhood groups are full of old people moaning about gentrification and any modern building being built anywhere, and upsetting stories about people’s dogs getting run over or attacked.
Of course, I hate Instagram more, because that’s just people showing off.
My love is for Twitter. It’s mean and nasty, but it’s also surprisingly intelligent, informative and newsworthy. Plus I get to follow my heroes. I just don a flak vest before reading.
When someone says they hate FaceBook (or any other social media) I hear them saying they hate people. That’s all social media is–people: the good, the bad, the raging idiots. People have always been this way. That pleasant nostalgia of folks sitting on their front stoops and chatting to passers-by, or calling on someone and being waited upon in their sitting room, or the quilting bees, or the fraternal orders, etc, etc were just the niceties on top of a general nastiness that gets white-washed from our memories.
Social media makes it a lot harder for obnoxious people to hide. Do what you need to do to protect yourself from them. But it’s not the platform that’s the problem; it’s the people. I cut the bad people out of my social media and my social media is friendly and supportive.
I find Facebook very useful, especially because some of my best friends have scattered around the country, and it helps me stay in contact with them, see their kids grow, etc.
That said, I do appreciate the hatred, and have gone back-and-forth on getting rid of it, even to the point of downloading all my pictures (because among other things, it’s also a helpful picture storage site).
I have also set my settings to maximum privacy, and kept my friend group very small. It eventually blossomed up to 55 friends, and recently I went through and deleted 20 of them whose politics annoyed me, or who I didn’t really care if I was in contact with anymore. Three of those people came back and asked if there had been a mistake, and I said yes, sorry! and refriended them, but overall that seems like a pretty good outcome.
For those of you getting spammed a lot, either with politics or ads, how many friends do you have, and what is your privacy setting?
I got off of it for a month in September, and am thinking about doing so again. A lot of my friends are competitive athletes, and now that the weather is getting warm, I’m seeing people post about getting first place and stuff. Even the people who don’t do so well often post about their ranking, and this obsession with how you did compared to everyone else is something I really don’t want to focus on. I typically unfollow those people, but unfollowing 2/3 of your friends group defeats the point of being on social media at all, right? I’ve been on there for something like 15 or 20 years, and found Facebook to be a good way to maintain casual friendships and stay in touch with people. Never had an issue with it until I made friends with a bunch of competitive people (who tend to be much better friends in person than on Facebook).
I read a book that delved into some specifics on this: Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond by Lydia Denworth. To quote one sentence from it, “Someone with a tendency toward depression or anxiety is at more risk from social media use than someone who begins with a higher level of psychological well-being.” It also mentions that there can be a net benefit to your satisfaction with the relationships in your life. To quote a few more sentences:
“Those older adults who use social media report more support from both their grown children and their nonkin friends.”
“Despite the worries over degraded and devalued relationships, the Pew survey of 2,255 adults found that people who were more active on social media had stronger relationships across the board.”
“‘Someone who uses Facebook multiple times per day gets about half the boost in total support that someone receives from being married or living with a partner,’ the researchers wrote.”
I agree with this general sentiment, but I think the “broadcasting” element of social media really changes things. For example, I used to be obsessed with my weight. When I decided to stop going on diets and obsessing over how my body looks or what new things I’m doing to lose weight, there was a learning curve as my friends realized that I was no longer interested in having those conversations anymore, but they got the hint and don’t bring that stuff up anymore. But when you go online, you have to wade through people posting about that sort of thing again and make liberal use of the unfollow button.
On the flip side – and this is pretty much the only reason I still go on there – occasionally you find someone who has the same sense of humor as you, or the same interests. And they’re not a close enough friend for you to feel comfortable personally messaging them, but you do appreciate logging in and interacting with the content they post. It’s always a nice treat when you discover that someone who you met one time at a race or had a conversation with back in high school wound up interested in the same things as you are.
Most people I know stopped using Facebook a long time ago, since it’s for boomers. I know the audience here, so please no one throw anything at me.
I do occasionally use it still, but mainly for groups. Groups are actually the only non-stupid reason I can think of using FB for. Example, I’m in a few meme groups (millennials gonna millennial), some world travel and photography groups (I like looking at neat stuff), a fiction writers group, and some other stuff I can’t recall that has content worth looking at. More so than aunts posting Bible quotes or wordles or whatever.
I don’t argue with idiots in the comments, though once, since 2004 when I signed up, I responded to someone with “Dumb opinion” and she reported me. That made me laugh.