Facebook Etiquette: Posting Political Stuff on Facebook

Ah, Election Day. Honestly, you cannot come soon enough for me. Not that I want to wish away my favorite time of the year (autumn!). But I truly feel like I will be a much happier person because of the sentiment expressed so well in this graphic:

Political Posts on Facebook

I touched on this subject a few months back, but given our current political unrest and the upcoming presidential election, I’ve decided to revisit it with a few rules of etiquette for posting stuff on Facebook.

Rule #1: No Rants on Your Facebook Status

Angry? Frustrated? Irritated? Yeah, join the club. However, if you want to rant about politics, Facebook is not the place to do it. Do NOT use your Facebook Status as a place to vent. You just make yourself look stupid and tick off your Friends. Get yourself a blog like the rest of us.

Rule #2: No Generalizations

Hopefully, you have Friends with differing political opinions than yours. If not, you need to meet some new people. So no generalizations. I’m by all accounts a die-hard moderate, but other people’s perspectives could place me firmly in the same camp as with others who consider themselves conservative, liberal, progressive and independent. Don’t rage against the “liberal media” or the “conservative base.” You aren’t convincing anyone of anything except your own ignorance.

Rule #3: No Promoting Falsehoods

Check your facts, people. Just because you saw it on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s true. At least visit Snopes.com before you post that PhotoShopped image of the candidate doing whatever he is/isn’t supposed to be doing.

Rule #4: No Quoting Dead Historical Figures

Random quotes taken out of context from Thomas Jefferson, Ronald Reagan, John Lennon or Vladimir Lenin do not make for good political discourse. Stop it.

Rule #5: Site Your Sources

I will accept thoughtful arguments and/or links to political articles or commentary. Use the “Share” button for links, which will bring up the original source, title, etc. Fair warning: you are limited to two such posts during any election season, and you will be judged on your choice of reading material. Choose wisely.

Rule #6: Don’t Take the Bait

For those of us with Friends who ignore Rules #1-5, don’t take the bait. I’ve seen way too much thread hijacking during this political season. No one has ever been convinced that their world view is inaccurate or flawed by a Facebook comment. Give it up as a lost cause, and go find some good cat videos on YouTube.

In the meantime, mark your calendar for November 7th.

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