Have you noticed that some version of the following scenario seems to be happening on Facebook groups and other Internet forums way too many times lately?
A group member will start a post with good intentions. Using a simple example, someone might ask about the best type of cat food for a new kitten. Not a controversial topic at all. At first, most of the responders offer good advice. And then, somewhere down the line, another person, possibly a troll, comments that he or she hates cats. Soon, a few more people chime in, agreeing with the cat hater.
Of course, people who love cats come to the defense of their furry friends. And, as the animosity escalates, posters don’t stick to the topic of cats. Before you know it, what started out as a perfectly innocuous post turns into a nasty, name calling, personal cyber feud between a few members of the group.
Cyber feuds are not fun if you are one of those group members who want to stick to the original topic and avoid getting caught up in the hostilities. And the hostilities often include the use of obscenities that would make even the more broadminded group members blush. Furthermore, sparring individuals either seem to forget or don’t care that children sometimes read these posts.
The guidelines for most Facebook groups and Internet forums prohibit any sort of nastiness, from cyber bullying to posting inappropriate pictures. Unfortunately, the administrators of those sites often don’t seem to be around to deal with violations of the guidelines.
You could opt out of the group. But if you really like the group, isn’t opting out conceding victory to the troublemakers? It’s much easier to simply block them. Trouble is, when you get rid of one, sometimes two more pop up.
So please, people, try to be nice. If you want to feud with someone on the Internet, take it to a private message. Or maybe seriously consider creating a Sound Off group page where being nice is more than often not a requirement. People who want to argue about touchy topics can do so there without offending others who sometimes have or have had enough drama in their real lives and don’t want to deal with it online.