Essential Facebook Etiquette: 10 Do’s and Don’ts
Given how popular Facebook is, you’d think everyone would know how to use it properly. Sadly, that simply isn’t the case.
While Facebook has many written rules, there are also plenty of unwritten Facebook rules. This is the Facebook etiquette we should all follow.
So, in this article, we look at some Facebook do’s and don’ts to help you become a more responsible user.
Facebook Etiquette: Do’s
First, let’s review some behavior that’s considered polite on Facebook.
1. Do Accept Requests From People You Know
Facebook is all about connecting with friends, old and new. Because of this, it’s a good idea to accept requests from people who want to connect.
You’ll also regularly see recommendations on people you might want to add, based on mutual friends or other shared connections. If you have trouble navigating this, read our guide to Facebook friend requests .
However, you should be aware of phony Facebook friend requests, which involve scammers making a fake account with the name of someone you know. If you receive a request from someone that you’re already friends with, you should reach out to them to make them aware of the fake.
2. Do Acknowledge Others’ Posts and Comments
It’s easy to scroll through everything you see on Facebook without engaging, but that kind of defeats the purpose. It’s polite to respond to people who comment on your post—simply thanking them for the compliment about your new haircut goes a long way.
And if you want to react without writing a comment, hover your mouse over the Like button to choose from several reactions, such as Cry or Laugh.
3. Do Engage in Healthy Discussions
When you come across something that a Facebook friend posted that you have an opinion about, feel free to have a healthy discussion about it. However, if it turns into a nasty argument, it’s better to leave it alone rather than risk ruining your friendship.
Even if you do get into a heated discussion with someone, you shouldn’t impulsively remove them from your friends list. You can just politely ignore people on Facebook for a while instead.
Try to remember that even in online discussions, you are talking to real people. It’s a good idea to keep your tone polite and respectful at all times. Keep in mind that while engaging with people who don’t necessarily agree with you can be rewarding, Facebook isn’t a particularly good medium for it.
4. Do Research Stories Before Sharing Them
Social media sites make it easy to spread misinformation a long way in no time at all. Before you share a link or a photo on Facebook, especially if someone else shared it, do a quick Google search or visit one of these fact-checking websites . If the story is known to be false, you can avoid spreading it.
You can further do your part by leaving a comment on false stories when someone shares them. Provide a link to a fact-checking article proving it false so others are informed.
By the way, this also applies to the “copy and paste” status updates that make their rounds on Facebook regularly. If you see a post telling you that you need to share an update or Facebook will limit your friends list, it isn’t legitimate.
5. Do Ask for Permission Before You Tag Someone
If you take photos when you’re out with your friends, it’s polite to ask for permission before you tag them in those photos. Once they’re tagged in a photo, all of their friends can see it.
Avoid sharing unflattering photos of your friends, which will probably upset them. The golden rule is to treat your friends like you’d want them to treat you.
Facebook Etiquette: Don’ts
Next, let’s look at some bad Facebook etiquette. You should avoid these actions to be a better citizen of the social network.
1. Don’t Send Friend Requests to Everyone
If you send someone a friend request after just a brief conversation, or maybe even without having talked to them in person, they might not be ready to add you. Be sure to only send friend requests to people who know you and would expect them.
Sending too many friend requests to people you don’t know will lead to people turning you down. They might even mark your request as spam, which could get you in trouble on Facebook if it happens too often.
On a similar note, here’s how to ask a girl out on Facebook if you’re looking to do so.
2. Don’t Post Inappropriate Photos
Facebook doesn’t allow outright nudity or sexually suggestive photos on the platform. However, even if your photo doesn’t break the rules, you should consider how the people on your friends list might react to it.
For example, if you’re friends with your 13-year-old niece on Facebook, you might want to reconsider posting about crazy parties where you passed out on the floor. If you really want to share such photos, create a private chat in Facebook Messenger and share them with close, age-appropriate friends there.
You might also consider using friend lists, available on the Explore tab on the left side of Facebook. Select Friend Lists, then you can make a new list and share with only them when you post an update.
3. Don’t Post Too Often
Each social media platform has its own etiquette when it comes to sharing. While it’s acceptable to post hundreds of times a day on Twitter, Facebook doesn’t work that way. People generally share a few interesting stories, photos, or life updates on their Facebook pages as they happen. Don’t spam your friends with dozens of memes or anecdotes every day.
If you have a lot you want to share, consider using a service like Buffer to schedule your posts at regular intervals.
4. Don’t Share Sensitive Content
Bragging about doing something illegal will not only make you look bad, but could also land you in legal trouble. Say that you drink and drive, then post about it on Facebook. Not only will this reveal you to be a lawbreaker, but someone could report you to the police for it.
There’s another element to this: don’t share too many personal details on Facebook . It’s not smart to share confidential info that someone could use against you.
If you’re going through a breakup, for instance, it’s not appropriate to share all of the gory details. Remember that anything you post online could be accessible forever, even if you think only your friends will see it.
5. Don’t Bully Others
Bullying isn’t just nasty; it can also be against the law depending on the context. Don’t make offensive comments about a person’s immutable characteristics on Facebook. Even just a few snarky words you write can harm others in a big way.
Cyberbullying can lead to serious issues, especially with young people. Keep your Facebook environment a friendly place where everyone is respected.
Treat Others As You Want to Be Treated
When it comes to posting on Facebook, remember that online communities are still filled with real people. Before you post something on Facebook, stop and think whether you would say or do that offline. While it’s good to be yourself and express your personality, doing so shouldn’t come at the expense of others.
To get more out of the social network, here’s how to fix some common Facebook problems . Good etiquette also goes beyond Facebook—check out these common social etiquette mistakes or social gathering faux pas.
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