General Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Do you debate on Facebook?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (25804 points ) May 10th, 2012

This is a General Section question. Thank you.

Some items posted on Facebook can be contentious. Some status updates can be provocative.

Do you make contradictory statements in that forum?

Do you disagree?

Do you treat that medium like you treat some of the questions we get here on Fluther?

Do you come out guns blazing?

How do you treat disagreements on Facebook?

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21 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Depends on the disagreement. I’ve dropped people over disagreements.

SpatzieLover's avatar

No. I tend to ignore ignorance, disrespect or general idiocy on FB.

I have what I would call acquaintances (not friends because I wouldn’t want to spend more than a couple of hours with them a month) that post religious or political opinions that greatly differ from my own.

I have disagreed with treatment advice (I belong to a few autism/homeschooling groups) or curriculum advice, but do so as politely as possible once, then walk away if the person is set in their idea.

Rarebear's avatar

On occasion. But always politely.

Lightlyseared's avatar

No I just stalk people.

Seaofclouds's avatar

For me, it depends on who posted it and how they would respond to my response to them. There are some people I know I can “debate” with that will just debate and not have hurt feelings afterward, but there are other’s I know it’s better to just ignore. Basically, I handle it the same way I would a comment being said in person.

syz's avatar

If it’s important, I do. If it’s someone important to me, I do. (I fight with my family a lot.)

Trillian's avatar

No, but I sometimes drop my jaw in amazement. I rarely engage, it isn’t worth the effort.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

This has only happened once publicly. A nephew posted some way out there statement, that IMO, made him look like a sensationalist, which he sometimes is, but the facts were clearly wrong. I attempted to handle it as kindly as possible. He eventually came around.

The rest of the FB friends are less likely to be open to an opposing viewpoint in this forum. If it’s something that I feel strongly about, I just send a private message. FB just isn’t the right social forum for debates, at least according to the actions of what appears on my News Feed.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Trillian Yep, I do the same. A couple of weeks ago people seemed to be posting a bunch of inappropriate comments/photos or random people. I was shocked…but now know the thoughts of some of my FB family/friends.

janbb's avatar

I barely debate over here anymore even unless my feathers are really ruffled. I don’t see FB as the forum for that, but I am also lucky enough to have mainly like-minded friends.

linguaphile's avatar

Never. I have people on my FB all over the political, social, economical, educational, age and religion spectrums. Once I posted a cartoon I thought was innocuous, but got a few comments that were clearly of the ‘digging my heels in’ type—so I just deleted the cartoon. It’s not worth the hassle.

I have college acquaintances, former students, former colleagues, close friends, some jellies and my disproportionately right wing fundamentalist family members.

CWOTUS's avatar

I do it with people that I know and trust and who have a sense of proportion about Facebook postings. I did some very mild “debate” (I would hardly even have characterized it as such) on an acquaintance’s FB wall, and she tore me up one side and down the other about being “disrespectful” and “cluttering up her wall” with contradictory postings. (Contradictory to her bland assertions, that is.) So I simply changed my settings for her to not see her nonsensical postings.

(Since I also deleted the offending posts from her wall, she may have dropped me as a friend, for all I know. Her own postings railing against my not-there-anymore posts make her look slightly crazier than she already is, I think.)

Yeah, apparently she saw my deletions as an act of unfriendliness, and dropped me. It’s her loss.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Edit to my previous response. I just posted a debate with my nephew once again. Here is the conversation on FB so far.

My response may be wrong, but the point is, I feel comfortable challenging some of his statements that seem ill-founded in public on FB.

lillycoyote's avatar

Generally I don’t debate on Facebook, in my wider Facebook world, but occasionally I do.

However, we have a private Facebook group of old college friends and in that group we do have debates of a sort. We discuss things currently going on at the school. We discuss whether some of the changes that have occurred there over the years are good or bad, of course. And there have been several serious issues in the past couple of years and we talked about those and discussed/debated whether the incidents were handled properly by the administration. And the college recently announced who the new President will be and we have been debating whether or not the person they hired is an appropriate choice and a good fit for the college.

marinelife's avatar

No, I just hide the posts that I find offensive.

augustlan's avatar

If it’s very offensive to me, or they just don’t have the facts, yes. Politely and respectfully. If someone is routinely offensive, I hide or unfriend them.

TexasDude's avatar

None of my friends really post anything that irks me enough to launch into a debate, usually. I will post troll responses occasionally or just ad hominem the shit out of people if they are demonstrably moronic… I did that to a misogynistic gay-basher today, for instance.

I have, a time or two, posted reasoned arguments on those stupid pictures that people share – like the pictures of sick babies that say the doctors will heal them if the picture gets 10k likes, or the blatantly photoshopped pictures of angels protecting cops and other stupid bullshit like that. In that case, there are usually a surplus of people making stupid comments in the comment thread, so if I feel like it, I’ll offer reasoned counter-arguments or deconstructions of whatever stupid shit they are talking about. My comments usually wind up deleted. Or I get responses like “u stpd dmass u saten wrshipper u g 2 hell #YOLO” so yeah, it’s usually not worth the effort.

Philosophile's avatar

Unfortunately, I do this a LOT. As my name implies, I really, really like philosophy. I won’t challenge anyone on things like believing in God, but if someone starts talking politics, I reply, respectfully. The way I feel about it is I’m a known firebrand, so by adding me, and posting possibly offensive things on your wall, for the public to see, I have the right to argue. If you don’t like it, delete me. That’s acceptable. Similarly, I don’t protest arguments posted on my content, especially if it is political in nature, and actually welcome the other point of views. But I do try to keep the tone of my posts respectful and not rude or condescending, even if inside I think they’re an absolute idiot. However, I do know some people get annoyed by my inability to let an argument go: But the way I feel about it is if you don’t know why you believe something, you probably shouldn’t believe it in the first place, and if you’re not willing to hear an opposing view in a public setting, especially one controversial or offensive in nature, you shouldn’t put it out there. By doing anything else, you’re expecting people to listen to your point of view and not do them the favor in return, and that’s flat-out closeminded and rude.

I’m actually so well known for arguing, in public and on Facebook, that a friend of mine on the opposite side of the political spectrum posted the chain mail urban myth story about the professor saying God didn’t exist because you couldn’t see him. Einstein, his student, saying you couldn’t see the Professor’s brain, either, so did that mean the Professor’s brain didn’t exist? Predictably, I wrote three paragraphs on why the story was fallacious, complete with sources documenting the falseness of the story, before my friend let on that she posted it knowing I’d argue. Now we joke that all someone would have to do to get me to write an essay for them would be for them to post something opposite of what I believe on Facebook.

serenade's avatar

No, in fact, I go out of my way to make sure I’m making posts about positive happenings or observations that are apolitical. I used to post newsworthy, political-ish absurdities, but now I just stick to absurdities I experience first hand. In the past, I really dropped a bomb or two among people who would mostly be of the same group as my Facebook friends and learned from that experience that folks mostly don’t want that kind of confrontation and/or just aren’t on the same page as me. So from experience it seems like action that doesn’t win friends or influence people.

In fact, I barely post anything, because it creates for me this cycle of need to see who likes my post, who’s commented on it, and so on, which takes up brainpower and psychic energy that could be spent in more positive ways.

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