Social Question

syz's avatar

Have you defriended or unfollowed because of politics?

Asked by syz (35649points) July 18th, 2016

I will admit to a dearth of differing viewpoints in my list of Facebook friends, which makes sense – you tend to like people who have similar hobbies/viewpoints/interests as yourself. Most of those who have opposing views (mostly politics, but also gun regulation, LGBTQ rights, religion) are family members. I’ve spent plenty of time cringing in the past, and I’ve occasionally engaged in discussions (or fights) over various topics, but I have to admit that the current atmosphere in politics has tipped me over the edge. Some of the comments and links that I’ve been seeing are so egregious, so inflammatory, and just so incomprehensible that I’ve given up – I unfollow or unfriend with aplomb.

Have you had to pare down your friend list?

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25 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Yes, a few old friends that repeat a lot of hateful things. Most “other side” posts I can put up with, especially people I have known a long time. But someone I don’t really know? I won’t abide having to listen to them.

Facebook is a reinforcing medium, I have never been persuaded there to change my mind of anything of import.

YARNLADY's avatar

Now I can actually answer a facebook question. I unfriend when someone sends me a link to a game.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not politics. I have unfriended because of religion – or specifically the person’s posts which were 90% religious witnessing of some sort or another.

Politics… well, I know they’re fools already.

Mimishu1995's avatar

No. I have never been too involved in Facebook. And I only add friends who I know in real life. Therefore if I ever unfriend anyone it also means I have “unfriended” them in real life before, because of real life issue, not because of some Facebook drama. Beside, most people I know on my friendlist or not who have that much time on Facebook are already too biased and idiotic anyway, so why bother?

jca's avatar

No. My friends don’t have to have the same political beliefs as I do. I have friends of all religions, all political beliefs, conservative, liberal, left wing, right wing. I don’t get the logic of unfriending people who have different beliefs than I do.

syz's avatar

@jca Even if their beliefs hurt, demean, or oppress a group of people?

jca's avatar

@syz: I feel they’re entitled to their opinions. I did unfriend one person who was making
crazy statements about the President, mainly because I felt his posts would bring law
enforcement scrutiny. I have to say most of my friends don’t say anything too crazy. I
have some Republicans who talk like Republicans do, but nothing too negative about racial groups or nationalities or anything.

Seek's avatar

Yes. I quintupled the size of my Facebook friends list in the last couple of years. Now I’m scaling back for my own sanity (what’s left of it).

Stabbing holes in the “unfollow” button at least.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I have deliberately kept my list of Facebook friends very small. That said, I have blocked one person for being unrelentingly racist. I spent three years arguing with him and trying to bring him around before deciding some people just aren’t worth it. As a large portion of my Facebook friends are other philosophers (and mostly moral and political philosophers), I still get a wide variety of opinions and a lot of healthy debate in my timeline.

Brian1946's avatar

There is one person at Fluther whom I unfollowed, and 3 who follow me whom I have never followed for political or politically related social reasons.

PM me and I’ll reveal their names.

I don’t do Facebook and I’ve never unfollowed anyone at Twitter for the above reasons.

Aethelwine's avatar

I unfollowed my best friend of 38 years but I haven’t unfriended her. I have lost at least a dozen gun-loving, racist, homophobic acquaintances due to my left-leaning posts. They dropped me. no loss for me

One posted the following to my page a few days ago: ”Got a question for you. should we ban trucks because that truck killed 84. Plus 52 in critical condition 5 of those on life support.” He was quickly schooled by a few of my friends and several jellies, including dalepetrie. I woke up the following day to find out he had defriended me.

Kardamom's avatar

I recently had to unfollow one of my cousins. Her pro gun and anti Hillary rhetoric was just so mean spirited and ugly and constant that I had to stop reading all of it. You really don’t have the choice to only look at the stuff you’re interested in.

I rarely post anything political, but she knew where I stood on these issues and chose to post them to me anyway. I thought that was in really bad taste.

I try to be considerate of the feelings of my Facebook friends and if I know that they are not of the same belief system that I am, I don’t push my views (or lack of religion) on to them. I mostly post my own photographs, updates on family events, cute animal videos, and recipes. I never ask people to copy and repost things either. That is one of my big pet peeves on Facebook. I also don’t ask people to look at boil covered children and ask them to type amen. One of my friends is becoming pretty close to getting unfollowed for doing that repeatedly.

One of my friends doesn’t like cats, so she doesn’t get copied on the cat videos. I limit who my posts go out to. I never post anything publicly and I put a lot of thought into who I think would enjoy my posts, and who might be sick of looking at a certain type of post. I pick and choose who sees what. I know most people don’t do that.

johnpowell's avatar

Not only on Facebook but in real life. At my sister’s wedding in 2001 it was at my uncle’s house on my dads side and I lost my shit. I called them all homophobic racists very loudly. I was screaming at my cousin calling him a rapist (which he was. I was in the room when he raped someone. I was ten and it didn’t click until I was older) At the time I destroyed my sisters wedding. Once she got a divorce she found it to be the most hilarious thing ever.

My sister has my hour long outburst on VHS somewhere.

What really kicked it off is when my mom killed my dad was rolling in cash and his brother was having a failing business. They were both in the same industry of having welding and machine shops. My dads success led to his brothers demise.

So mom offs dad and we go on the run to Mexico. They raided our house after a few months and took everything out of the house and sold what was valuable. At this point the cops had never been involved about their missing brother and his family. They had literately destroyed a crime scene. My mom wiped my dads blood off the tv in their living room before they were “awesome, 40 inch CRT”.

My aunt sold most of our shit to open a pet grooming store here. When mom was in jail we were broke as fuck. I was teased in the fifth grade for wearing shit that no longer fit my sister. We shoplifted food since the person taking care of us didn’t give a fuck and just banked our social security checks. (thanks grandma you cunt).

Back to the wedding. So my aunt had this painting on her wall over the fireplace. It was called Rhodies in the Redwoods. My mom bought it a little shithole cafe in Dexter Oregon. I loved it so much and my aunt stole it. So at the wedding I walk in the living room and it is hanging over their fireplace.


I am also asked to leave the wedding.

Buttonstc's avatar

Wow. Just wow.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I have. I play games on Facebook, and so I have friends who aren’t ‘friends’ and if they regularly post things I don’t like, I unfriend them. If it’s someone I know and they don’t habitually post material I disagree with, I’ll tend to scroll past it. However, it says something about them. So if they kept posting content that made me cringe, I would unfriend them. I don’t need to see that, and I wouldn’t want to associate with them online or in real life.

cookieman's avatar

I tried Facebook for the first time about 8-years ago. Everyone I ever knew came out of the woodwork to “friend” me. I gladly accepted thinking it would be great to reconnect. Soon though, it became apparent why we hadn’t been actual friends for years. So I started unfriending liberally with every stupid, ignorant, or inane comment. I also unfriended folks I saw in real life or were here on Fluther as it seemed redundant. Before I knew it, I had no “friends” left and shut down my account.

After four blissful years without it, I got talked into signing back on so as to follow a FB group in grad school.

Now though, my friend list is very limited and I immediately unfollow everyone, so my newsfeed is empty.

This way, I only check in every few weeks and can handpick whose updates I want to see.

Mariah's avatar

Nah. Lots of people’s views piss me off but I’m not friends with people just cuz they agree with me. I’ve gotten pretty good at compartmentalizing this stuff. My best friend in college had horrible views about healthcare that would literally kill me if they were implemented but I tried not to take it personally…very hard at times :)

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Only when they will not shut up about their views and how mine are wrong. That caused a couple of unfriends. My facebook list stays below 100 and is only populated with people I actually know, not my entire high school graduating class like some do.

cazzie's avatar

I have ‘unfriended’ people on Facebook, but not necessarily unfriended them irl. I don’t assume every repost or post to completely reflect the person. On the other hand it has given insight into many people I know (who aren’t what I would call friends but just people I happen to know.) They get sidelined and sometimes unfriended but it’s just the name of the button.
Freedom of speech is a rope some people hang themselves with.

canidmajor's avatar

Not because of the politics per se, but because of hateful rhetoric in their own words. If I see a hateful meme or post because a FB friend has “liked” it, I scroll past (if it doesn’t happen often). If they themselves share hateful things, or post their own opinions in a hateful manner, then yes, they’re gone.
I’ve been unhappily surprised more than once in the last year.

stanleybmanly's avatar

never. I don’t have any “friends”, and would never unfollow anyone here over anything so petty as politics.

SecondHandStoke's avatar


But only when these friends have nothing to offer except an opposing political view.

Aethelwine's avatar

I did unfriend someone. A jock I went to high school with. I unfriended him after he left this reply to a conversation we were having- “And as far as transgenders using the same bathroom as my daughter, I say screw them. Let them piss in an alley with the rest of the trash.”

Coloma's avatar

I don’t do FB anymore. Dropped my acct. in 2011.
I do not do militant politics or militant anything and yes, I have one real life, quasi-friend/ acquaintance that is rabidly pro-gun,Trump loving, conservative and I do everything in my power to avoid any and all talk of politics. She will email me stuff now and then and I don;t respond. haha

gondwanalon's avatar

I have a good friend on fb that I consider a raging communist. I like to try to understand how and why he thinks the things that he does. I never argue with him even though I can often see right through his thoughts and propaganda. He seems angry and tormented by todays politics. We are all different and I respect his views.

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