Repost of a FB discussion
Due to multiple interactions that lead me to believe that some people do not understand how internet etiquette works, we’re going to cover some internet manners, specifically re: FB posts and Twitter.
I’ve been Very Sternly Told in the past that setting my statuses to ‘public’ meant that everyone on the internet was allowed to come in and say what they pleased, no matter how much mud they tracked in with them, or how many fellow guests they assaulted. (Of course, that particular person blocked me about an hour later, which was lovely and saved me some effort).
Leaving aside the entitlement and rudeness, here’s a refresher on what a public status equates to in real-world terms.
A public status is like a public party at, say, a bar. Sure, it’s open to the public. Anyone is, in theory, welcome to come in. It is still being run by someone, and by entering, one agrees to abide by the standards and rules of the owner. Breaking those rules–or the rules of the township/country/etc–is grounds for that person to be asked to leave. If they fail to comply, the owner is within their right to compel that person to leave.
That’s putting it a bit simply–it’s not as easy to know what the rules are on someone’s particular page, unless posted–but it’s a pretty good standard. Even when rules aren’t posted, it’s common courtesy to not go around kicking fellow patrons in the shins, and if someone asks you to stop hammering your opinion in their face, you stop hammering your opinion in their face.
I am, in a sense, the manager of a party on my social media feeds, and by publicly posting, I’m inviting other people to come have fun. But just like every big Purgatory or book launch I’ve worked/managed/set up, if someone’s a disruptive presence, it’s not only my right to show them to the door, it is my responsibility, if they’re causing other people problems.
This goes for everyone: public posting does not mean public property. If someone is bothering you, you have the right to block them. End of subject. *Your* page is *your* page. It’s your party.
You equally have the right to go to someone else’s party and tell them that they’re doing it wrong, and they’re an awful person, etc, but that person then has the right to boot your ass to the door.
And although I’m a very open, cheerful tyrant, the number of people I’ve blocked or unfriended over disagreements is minimal, because I do like debate and discourse and argument.
But I have been seeing a lot of bad behavior, recently, and I will be getting a bit more liberal with my fire, especially on public threads. Just think of me as the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, when it comes to my spaces.