How to deal with terrible people on Facebook

Today is National Unfriend Day, but this is why you need to think before you reach for the delete button...

How to deal with terrible people on facebook
(Image credit: Rex)

Today is National Unfriend Day, but this is why you need to think before you reach for the delete button...

These days there is a national day for everything and today is the national day for unfriending people on Facebook - which is just about the most meta thing that has ever happened. But, whilst you could just go straight for the cull we've devised a much better way to deal with those terrible people online... DON'T JUST DELETE THEM When you’re faced with someone saying something ignorant on Facebook, be it racist, misogynistic, or just down-right pig headed it’s pretty tempting to cull them right away. But before reaching for that delete button remember that if you delete them, so will their other friends who disagree with them leaving them with a select group of people who genuinely support – and validate - their views. And you really don't want that.

DON'T WRITE YOUR OWN PASSIVE AGRESSIVE STATUS You know the ones, “Can’t believe the statuses I’m seeing on Facebook today,” they read. Well, unfortunately, you’d better believe it as there are a lot of ignorant people out there in the world and the only way to educate them is to, well, educate them.

DO RESPOND There is no use in just chit chatting amongst your friends about your racist pal Sam. Instead, say something. You don’t need to be mean, but if you truly believe that one of your friends is out of line, then you need to stand up for your opinions. Reason with them, talk about their views and help them to see where they are going wrong. And if you're worried about it affecting your friendship in the long term, you can always send a private message to show that while you disagree on this subject, there are no hard feelings.

DO YOUR RESEARCH If you’re going to get into a Facebook argument, make sure that you are hitting back with actual facts. Nothing shuts down the ignorant quicker than a clever response. Point out the inaccuracies in their arguments one by one, and stay level headed – at the very least, a properly researched response will get them thinking. And if you can't quite find a way to word your argument without getting your thoughts tangled up (don't worry – we've all been there), find an article which you feel explains the situation as you see it, then post that instead.

DON'T GET AGGRESSIVE Whilst it might be tempting to just call them a fucking dick and be done with it, don’t. Getting angry doesn’t help anyone (even if they are a fucking dick).

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