In collaboration with neuroscience and psychology researchers, Facebook has made significant changes to the ways its users communicate. The New York Times reports that this year, “the company introduced a gentler formula for settling tension between users. Previously, someone tagged in an unfortunate Facebook photo could flag the image as offensive and hope the other person would remove it. Now, a form pops up with options like, ‘It’s embarrassing,’ ‘It’s inappropriate’ and ‘It makes me sad,’ along with a polite request to take the photo down.”
According to Facebook’s engineering director, Arturo Bejar—who came up with the idea after being inspired by meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn’s maxim that “if people fully saw one another, they could get along better”—these new opportunities to communicate have tripled the likelihood that users will send a request for the photo to be removed. And the people they ask are cooperating!
“We didn’t realize how hard it was to feel heard in electronic communications,” Mr. Bejar said. “but now there are mechanisms for being more expressive and thoughtful.”
We applaud this mindful innovation in social media communication. Feeling heard is just as important in the virtual world as it is everywhere else.
We want to know: Have you ever been embarrassed by something posted on social media? How did you try to remedy the situation and did you succeed? Share your responses to the weekly discussion question here.
1/28/2014 06:15:24 am
Absolutely! I have had pictures put on Facebook that I felt were horrible of me. The worst were done by someone who is a family member AND a co-worker. I was shocked to see extremely unflattering pictures of me posted without asking permission to do so. When I objected, and asked her to remove them, she refused.
3/25/2014 03:06:14 am
We go on many outings with friends and family. After spending a day riding, hunting, or a week camping, we do not always look our best. If we want to post something to facebook, we let the people involved see the picture first, and then ask if they mind us posting it. We feel it should be a common courtesy. Our family has been following our lead and giving us the same consideration before posting pictures of us.
3/28/2014 07:17:04 am
Thanks Dereck. We completely agree. It is amazing how many times we see people "tagged" in FB pics. Wonder if they are surprised/happy/annoyed when they see the post. Good to hear from you.
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