Facebook Netiquette — To Post, or Not to Post Photos

Facebook netiquetteThe social media world is all-a-buzz this week as Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi became publicly upset on Twitter when her alleged “privately” posted family holiday photo appeared “publicly” on Twitter.

When I received a phone call from Garrett Sloane at the New York Post to talk about Facebook netiquette, asking me why there was confusion over Ms. Zuckerberg’s privacy settings, the bigger issue appeared that Ms. Zuckerberg was in digital distress. She broke one of the Rules of Netiquette.

Netiquette rule #1. Don’t post anything when you’re upset or busy.

According to the New York Post article, and in many other publications, Zuckerberg’s older sister, Randi, complained yesterday when one of her Twitter followers publicly posted a photo of the family, including her famous brother, standing in the kitchen reacting to the company’s new Poke app.

I explained to the New York Post reporter that we create a permanent digital footprint every time we post an update, photo, video, or tag people in photos, whether they appear in them or not. Apparently Randi’s private feed wasn’t so private after all.

“Not sure where you got this photo,” Randi tweeted in response @cschweitz. “I posted it only to friends on FB. You reposting it on Twitter is way uncool.”

I’ve always had a digital rule of thumb that when I snap a photo of someone else or a group at a party, I stop and show them the photo and ask if I can have their permission to post the photo to Facebook. If you’re automating your Facebook feed to Twitter, it’s there for the entire world-wide-web to see, even if your Facebook privacy settings are set to “friends only.”

Netiquette Rule #2. Take your digital spats offline and contact someone privately.

If you have something to say that isn’t flattering or is attacking another, send them a private message on Twitter if they’re following you. If you need to respond, do so privately and request that they follow you as well if they’re not.

“I’m just your subscriber and this was top of my newsfeed. Genuinely sorry but it came up in my feed and seemed public,” Schweitzer responded to Randi.

“Digital etiquette: always ask permission before posting a friend’s photo publicly. It’s not about privacy settings, it’s about human decency,” Randi posted in a tweet after the photo was removed.

As I told the New York Post, “Social media is about: sharing experiences. If you post something on the Internet, it will be shared by strangers.”

Unfortunately, we’re learning the lessons the hard way, especially when Facebook keeps changing the rules.

Full article @NYPost

Julie Spira is a social media strategist and netiquette expert who writes about digital etiquette and intersection of love and technology.  Julie’s the author of the The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Manners on the Web.

To connect with Julie and comment,  follow her @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/RulesofNetiquette.

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