Proper Facebook Etiquette

#898 riotous!

Thursday 25th November, 2010

Dear Mariann,

I’m not saying who, but I have friends who went on the student protest yesterday and are now tagging photos of themselves and their friends on Facebook.  Seems to me that this is stupid and the first way to get found out. Any recommendations? Or do is it time to defriend and get out of there!


(from one whole shall remain Anonymous – as much as they can)

Those of us who admire the ‘Great’ British educational system have no qualms with considered debate, and yes, even student action! I’ve been on my fair share of protests in my time. My first strapped to my fathers back gleefully calling ‘Maggie, out! Out! Out!’. Happy days. As I recall the result of that protest, we both spit the bottle. Back to today, whilst some are quick to drag the student voice back down again, this isn’t a totalitarian regime we have here chaps, everyone has a right to march, protest and stand on soapboxes.  Fire extinguishers over the side of buildings and destruction of Whitehall I do, however, draw the line at.

Student protesters on Facebook, a call to arms? Perhaps, but additionally a call for civilised behavior, lest such misdemeanors  subsume political agendas into greater chaos and uncertainty.  Back to my anonymous friend, whilst those student friends of yours are unlikely to friend anyone with any political power or nonce on Facebook, it is more than likely (hint, hint, hint) that various law enforcement agencies are using such technology to track and even to prosecute anyone caught in the act of non-peaceful protest.  And if I were a university institution I would also be doing the same thing.  You are actions are being recorded…

Should you defriend? Well if those so-called friends are that unruly as ‘buddies’, I can’t say I blame you hitting the defriend button.  On the other hand, its hard to stand up and want to be accountable when you’re being told one thing ‘education is a good thing’ and this is set against another, ‘but you must pay through the nose – even though as the Big political wigs, We didn’t’…

If education, like knowledge is power, couldn’t you put this to some good creative use.  It’s one thing to get the attention of the media for all the wrong reasons, but quite another to deliver a compelling argument through the right channels. Plus you have all manner of innovative technology at your fingertips.

I could imagine how you could creatively seek to friend all the political factions you can find on Facebook, then see if they reciprocate in kind with a gentle poke.  It may help you to open the front door of Downing Street and cross the threshold.  But careful how you agree to any approaches, as growing mutable incomprehension is a recurrent theme in politics and you wouldn’t want to be caught writing on the wrong Wall would you.  Just don’t update your Facebook status with anything to do with Wills or Waity Katey – one Bishop out through social media has made for enough Daily Mail pages already.

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