The Facebook Tagging Debate

My Facebook account has strict privacy settings. I don’t allow just anyone to be my “friend” or to see my activities. I’ve written a note there and I would like to share it here since anyone who isn’t my “friend” can’t see it.

Here it is, copy and pasted directly including comments:

The Facebook Tagging Debate
Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 12:38pm

This is directed at the people who have hurt many people’s feelings by, as of late, proclaiming that Facebook tagging is being used “incorrectly”. This seems to be as a result of the 25 Random Things note/meme that’s been going around. I have a few things to say on this subject.

First some background. The 25 Things note is a way to share 25 things about yourself with others. You are supposed to tag the people who want to know more about you. It’s a quick and easy way to get that person’s attention. Facebook then sends the person who was tagged a notification that says they were mentioned in a note by so-and-so.

When you say “don’t tag me in notes where you’re not talking specifically about me” you are telling the people who tagged you that you don’t care that they want to share a bit of their lives with you. They did this with you in mind, obviously so because they tagged you. There is a tagging limit so that means that you were hand-picked. You can either take it for what it was intended as or choose to be close-minded. I don’t really care what your reasons are or how you rationalize your proclamations regarding your dislike of being tagged. You’re rude to the people who only want to share some of themselves with you.

Twitter was originally intended as simply a place to say what you were doing. Now we use it as a means to communicate with each other. It wasn’t meant to @reply someone. Users started the trend and Twitter incorporated it. Users of the tool found new and different ways to use something outside of it’s original intention thus creating a better service. THAT is what has made Twitter so awesome.

If people were always limited by sticking to the status quo or only using things how they were intended then nothing would ever grow, evolve or improve. We’d never have new technology and we’d still be using a horse and buggy.

Perhaps Facebook needs to change their phrasing for users who have been tagged in a note where their names weren’t mentioned; if only to appease the people who claim to only want to play by the rules set before them. Otherwise I think you’re the ones who need to step back and adjust what it is that you do.

I’ve tagged a number of people in this note. Some of you are on the other side of this argument. Even though I didn’t mention your name(s), I hope that you’ll forgive me for tagging you and not sending you a personal message to indicate that I wanted you to read it.
Written about a week ago


Brian Palmer at 1:18pm February 7
So was I being scolded or comended, LOL!?! 8^)

Kim Fenolio at 1:21pm February 7
You’re so silly. :)

Sydney Chase at 1:26pm February 7
Had fun reading all the delicious random things about is fun so tag me any time you feel like taggin a’s mad love for ya..huggs

Brian Palmer at 1:50pm February 7
Ha! I just NOW read your text… 8^P Who’s silly? Not I! I am with you on this one, buddy – no doubt!

Amy Wright at 6:43pm February 7
Amen sister! :)

DG Hollums at 9:45pm February 8
Yeah disagree, and agree. So, call me close minded all you want, but Facebook has provided you a way of people reading you notes called “sharing”. And yes, they need to reword tagging if it us going to be used this way. There is a limit on thrnumber of tags fir a reason. Server usage could be one, or it could be used too much and everyone is sending a tag to everyone on their friends list and it crazy. It still seems to be a ploy to get someone to read a note about themselves. I don’t mind if others write about themselves, but even if it is your good friends why tag them if in their eyes you and telling them they are mentionedin the note. It seems a little ego driven and needy. If I write these 25 things about me on my blog (which is basically what notes are in Facebook) I personally would not send an email out to my personal friends telling them how unique I am. Come read all about me. If anything I would desire my words and list in this case to speak for itself. I’m sorry if your feelings hot hurt if I tell you to stop, but you should have thought about my feelings when you insinuate that I am mentioned in your note only to have me read a note that is all about you. It is just wrong and while you might call me insensitive, I feel the tables are turned.

But, I must say in the grand scheme of things this is flat out stupid to make it a mountian out of a mole hill. And so this will for ever be the last I talk about it online. Enjoy your last words to defend yourself or bring about another side of the argument. I will probably not read it, no offense to you, but we probably have better things to do with our time (like stop world hunger). :) thanks & blessings! :)

DG Hollums at 9:46pm February 8
Oh and so sorry about the iPhone auto correct, that note is stinking funny to read, because I was going so fast when I typed it, ha ha ha

Kim Fenolio at 10:27pm February 8
It’s ok. You don’t have to agree with me (or the others here). The only thing I can say is reread my note. Understand that it’s ok to admit that you’re wrong in this situation. Imagine how your words here and elsewhere have been so utterly rude to people who had nothing but good intentions. You have done nothing but paint yourself as a snotty, condescending man who doesn’t give a care about others outside of his little world.

May God bless you in a way that may lead you to understand how not everyone is going to share themselves with you in the way that fits into your obviously pre-defined little box.

So darlin, you go tell people on your blog all about you and if someone stumbles upon it, I think that’s wonderful. On the other hand, I’m out here in this social network to share myself and invite others into my life in a way that is social and defining in different ways every day.

Brian Palmer at 10:50pm February 8
Kim, you rock my world, buddy! 8^) Thank you for sharing your life with mine… lol!

Cliff Ravenscraft at 9:28am February 16
I know some folks thought…”you are telling the people who tagged you that you don’t care” when I recorded a live MCL about this topic. I realized how what I was saying sounded and I actually deleted & never released it.

My feelings get hurt when someone tells me that “You’re rude to the people who only want to share some of themselves with you.”

There is no method to stop these tags from happening. I must delete them 1 by 1 or remove the offender as a friend.

It’s not the Random Things notes that concern me. If anyone cares at all about me, I’d beg you to at least start at 7 mins into this video & watch all the way to the end.

You titled this note “DEBATE” but you wrote “I don’t really care what your reasons are or how you rationalize your proclamations regarding your dislike of being tagged. You’re rude…” How are we defining “close-minded?”

Kim Fenolio at 10:13pm February 16
My statement of not caring whatever the rationalization may have been was in regards to those who consider sharing lives in this way is wrong. It was directed at those who hurt peoples feelings and still stand behind doing so. In my opinion, there’s no excuse. I’m sorry if that has me coming across as rude.

We spoke in great length via email today but I want to reiterate publicly something that I wrote to you:

If your stance now is simply an upset because of Facebook’s lack of flexibility and customization in regards to notifications (or people’s choices to actually use it as true spam), then fantastic. My opinion: that’s all good and valid. I’d even agree! When you take offense to the people who have nothing but good intentions and hurt many feelings, that’s just not ok in my book.

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