There’s a Lot of Anti-Social Behavior in Social Media

  • SumoMe

I’ll admit it, I’m somewhat of a newbie when it comes to social media.

Even though I was sort of late to the social media party, I have become a huge fan and user of Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, podcasts and the rest.

Facebook in particular has become a huge boon to my radio show. It’s been a source of show ideas, feedback and constructive criticism to help me improve my radio show. It has become (like my blog and Insiders Club newsletter) an outpost and extension of my radio show.

Additionally, it’s been a great way to stay connected to my “Dom Nation” listeners…believe me, when I come to about 11:59 AM on the clock and have to wrap up my show, I used to think, “now what am I going to do for the next 21 hours until my ON THE AIR light goes on?”

Yet, in the midst of this social media phenomenon, I see a lot of anti-social behavior.

And it ain’t pretty.

You’re Out of the Family Business

I’m a huge fan of “The Godfather” movies. One of my favorite scenes is when Michael Corleone, the new Godfather, tells his brother-in-law Carlo Rizzi that “you’re out of the family business.” A few minutes later, Carlo soon finds out how permanent that expulsion is!

Just prior to writing this, I decided to inform a Facebook connection that he was “out of the family business” and I permanently blocked him.

His crime? He posted a vulgar image on my wall.

This was not his first offense. I have tolerated his nonsense for quite some time and he had been previously warned.

The picture was the last straw. It was inappropriate and tasteless. In addition to being offensive to me, it also shows up in the news feeds of my 4,200+ Facebook friends. So my name gets associated with his stupidity.

I am sure all of us who have been on Facebook have had similar experiences. People think they’re being funny when they post a tasteless or offensive image.

Some people just don’t get it, I guess.

Whenever I block someone, I usually post about it on Facebook. I want to make sure people know I have standards when it comes to generally accepted behavior on my Facebook wall. That way, there can be no surprise if I call someone on a post, image or comment that is out of bounds.

My standards are pretty simple, I think:

  • No vulgar or crude language
  • No attacking other people for their personal beliefs
  • No insults
  • No offensive images

I make it clear that my Facebook wall, my Twitter page and even my blog are natural extensions of my home. If some jerk barged into my dinner party uninvited and started directing their obnoxious behavior toward me and my guests, I would grab him by the scruff of their neck and toss them out the door.

But sadly, some people do not get it, even after you call them out on their offensive behavior. A normal person would step back and be horrified they behaved poorly and overstepped the bounds of social good taste.

The social media trolls all seem to lack the self-awareness gene that prevents them from looking in the mirror and recognize their own boorish behavior. They are indifferent and/or indignant.

At least for most of this, we can take care of the problem with a few mouse clicks. What about the poor souls who have to put up with these clowns every single day? I feel sorry for their family members, co-workers and the neighbors who have to put up with these self-absorbed fools.

The Foolishness Extends to Work

I was talking to an advertising/public relations executive after my show and I shared my Facebook expulsion experience. He told me a similar story. A few months ago his agency was going to hire a hotshot social media “guru” to provide freelance social media help for a few clients.

“But after we saw her Facebook and Twitter posts, we decided to take a pass,” he explained. She was apparently very passionate about her politics and her posts were extremely opinionated. She liked to provoke and challenge everyone in the Twitter-verse who disagreed with her viewpoint. The other party was constantly demonized in her Facebook posts and tweets.

My agency friend said, “we were concerned that this consultant would offend some of the clients who we knew supported the other political party. It’s pretty easy to do a quick check of people online.  It just wasn’t worth it.”

While my whole career is predicated around politics, challenging politicians and policies and stirring up vigorous debates on the air, I totally agreed with my agency friend. People are very passionate about their political beliefs and other personal opinions, but there are very few work environments where that is welcome (maybe if you’re a lobbyist or a radio talk show host).

But when you sit in front of a keyboard typing away in a highly agitated or provoked state, there is no one whispering in your ear to stop and re-read those words before you hit “send” and they’re published.

Is it really worth it to get so wrapped up in your beliefs that it may create unanticipated consequences?

Even if people know they’re crossing a line, many simply do not care.

One Facebook connection began posting very hostile rants and comments on my wall. They were filled with curses and threats. I gave him a warning, but that did not even stop him for a moment.

Avoid the social media trolls!

I noticed that this person’s Facebook profile listed his place of employment and his position. I looked at when his hate-filled and obscenity posts were sent to me and it appeared that many were sent during work hours.

Like “The Godfather,” I whacked him from my Facebook contacts. Like Luca Brasi, he is now sleeping with the fishes.

While I permanently blocked him, if he tries to threaten me again, I just may contact the CEO of the local company where this jerk works. I am sure the guy’s boss would want to see what he was sending to me during company work hours…and probably on company computers.

Then after that, the guy won’t have to worry about something as silly as a job encroaching on his time posting hate-filled rants on social media sites.

In this Facebook age, people who write crude or rude posts on your wall really are not your “friends,” they’re just clueless, thoughtless trolls.

Delete ‘em.

What have you done when you had to deal with people who post inappropriate content on your Facebook wall or behaved inappropriately?

23 Responses to There’s a Lot of Anti-Social Behavior in Social Media

  1. Connie August 16, 2012 at 12:29 am #

    Dom: I am in agreement with you on this blog. I do however wish conservatives & yourself would use words other than”nonsense” and “foolishness” to describe this type of negative behavior. I think stronger words are needed. Nonsense & foolishness sounds like something a kid does for mischief. These people are doing this for more than mischief. They are haters, angry, bitter adults who will do and say anything to create chaos and spew their liberal/progressive rhetoric in any form they can and it has been easy for them to do this on f/b.

    • Dom August 16, 2012 at 12:44 am #

      You raise a good point, Connie. I am far from being an angel…I often get worked up on the air myself. But I try to remember the guiding principles of being a responsible broadcaster. Yeah, the rhetoric is often outrageous. I’ll try to call people out on it when I hear it.

    • Phil December 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

      Dom, People that respond with personal attacks and foul language have no real constructive additions to the conversation. It is very difficult to admit to yourself that your vote or opinion was uninformed. Like a child having a tantrum they lash out at the person that points that fact out.

      • Dom December 23, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

        Thanks, Phil. I get so much pushback whenever I block and un-friend someone who thinks they share my views and thinks it’s fine to be vulgar because they are attacking the “opposition.” I do not curse on my radio show and I do not curse at home; why would anyone think I would tolerate that or tacitly condone it on my Facebook page? I always tell the offending parties- if you want to post garbage, do it on your own Facebook page, not mine.

  2. Luann Henehan August 16, 2012 at 12:31 am #

    I know exactly how you feel. I personally enjoy debating people who have differing opinions than I have where politics are concerned. Just this past weekend I had someone who personally attacked another poster on my wall … when called out they called me a moron and countless other names and I had to delet this person from my list of friends. Like you I have standards that I enforce on my wall. Good for you because so many people just put up with it!
    ~~Luann

    • Dom August 16, 2012 at 12:45 am #

      Hi Luann, how on earth do people think that kind of behavior is socially acceptible and permissible??? Keep doing the right thing- hitting that delete button!

  3. CHARLIE (Northeast) August 16, 2012 at 2:21 am #

    Dom:

    I am afraid you have me at a disadvantage on a couple of fronts. First of all, I have never seen any of THE GODFATHER movies. The last 2 movies I saw where “E.T.” and”SEABISCUIT”. With 2,600 video tapes at home, I have plenty of entertainment. Besides the actors & actresses I like are all dead or in wheel chairs.

    Secondly, I do not know anything about FACEBOOK. I barely know how to turn-on my
    computer, send and receive E-Mails. I guess Religion & Politics are two subjects that can bring-up a difference of opinion. What was said on your Facebook, sounds just as bad as what is being said by Obama & that idiot Biden against Romney & Ryan. Of course, I don’t know if there has ever been an honest politician.

    With some of your callers that I hear, YOU ARE A BETTER MAN THAN ME, if you can
    control your emotions.

  4. Larry Cohen August 16, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    I really see why they get so angry at Dom. Some of these
    schemes he criticizes have gone on for ” a long time
    in secret” and require a silent media to let them continue.

    .

  5. Guido August 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Dom I got rid of a Gay actor on facebook in the first hour he was friended. HE put a pix of two gay men dancing and made a comment about my body. I reported him deleated him and when we are on set together I work professionally, but to me he is dead.

  6. CHARLES DILUZIO August 17, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    Dom,
    your reference to the Godfather is awesome- made my day!!The common thread missing here is the apparent lack of common sense and common courtesy- both are the basis of intelligent human conversation as we communicate and interact with each other everyday. I too am shocked at some of the comments that “friends” and colleagues make that are typed down and sent into the public domain- without concern for any repurcussions or damage to reputation. I get upset at my own teenage-young adult children who live on Facebook and Iphones- and it’s nowhere near as insulting as some
    of the things I have seen. I tell them to think about what they say before saying it, pretend you’re in a conversation with the person and read what you are typing outloud if you have to – really hear your words. Have respect not just for the person, but persons who may see what you are posting and most important for yourself. Keep things simple, if a girl you like is really pretty and has a great personality-
    say she’s really pretty and has a great personality without the extra adjectives and verbs. We can disgaree without insulting each other – many of us do it everyday – no name calling or vulgarity is needed. If we need vulgarity and insults we can watch the classic”The Godfather” or an episode of the
    Sopranos- or curse among ourselves(Dems, Republicans and Indies) in private until the sun comes up!

    • Dom August 18, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

      Respect and common sense, Charles? Now that would be refreshing! I cringe at people’s behavior online and do not have any sympathy for them when their rude behavior crosses the line and they suffer the consequences with an employers, prospective employer or the “court of public opinion.”

      If you’re that clueless that what you say online is like “digital fingerprints,” then it’s hard to have sympathy for stupidity!

  7. Keith September 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    I don’t do Facebook & I don’t ‘twit’. Big waste of time. By the way how’s that Facebook stock doing? Still going down? Perhaps if people spent less time facebooking, twitting or playing games during working hours, they might just accomplish something. Where I work, all of these diversions are expressly prohibited (Facebook is allowed, but only for work purposes, and only for a select few; I use the site “Linkedin” for professional purposes). My employer also removed all the games rom work computers. If you want to see just how big a waste of time (and your money) check out Mayor Mixmaster Mike’s twits, or Dom’s favorite twit, Councilman James Kenney. Kenney spent $28, 000 of YOUR MONEY on a twitter consultant. If that doesn’t make your blood boil, you must be on life support.
    If this is the “new economy”, I’ll taked the old one. Ciao.

  8. marjorie September 14, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    As everyone knows, this is a country where you can practice free speech; but, it is up to me to decide if I want to read or hear it on my television, radio, facebook etc. If I don’t like what someone says on any of the above media, I will simply turn them off and if they are on a media where advertising pays for their salary, I will not buy the product. I do notice that more and more commentators on radio and television are using swear words and don’t think that is necessary.

  9. LeoW September 17, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    I play a ‘MMO’, Massive Muliplayer Online game. It’s fun but you run into too many individuals
    ( you can type and chat with other players during the game) who feel it necessary to point your many mistakes and missteps with very foul, abusive and socially unacceptable words; online cowardliness. A few times I have stepped away for a few weeks but recently I found a way to block the chat function; I prop my small notepad in front of the corner on the screen where the chat box is located.
    (especially if the nonsense is directed at me; I don’t engage those people as they seem to thrive on confrontation, and I am there to enjoy the game).
    Can’t solve the problem but I won’t be dragged into it.

  10. Doreen McGettigan November 5, 2012 at 4:37 am #

    This is a great post Dom. When my book came out 11 months ago (true story of my brothers random road rage murder) my life and my family members lives were threatened on facebook, twitter and my website. ( I used real names in the book) It was SO hard not to attack back or defend myself and my right to tell the truth. Luckily a lot of very kind people fought this battle for me and called out the losers. I did and still do a lot of reporting, blocking and deleating.
    This political season has been quite a test for me. I have tried to keep all of my sites professional and to debate rather than argue, it has been tough and the haters and trolls are running rampant. It is so hard to remain silent when people post outright lies.
    I am hoping and praying R&R win on Tuesday but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a lot anxious over the hatred that will ensue if they do win.
    I will be working the polls, biting my fingernails and praying for nothing too shady!
    Thank you Dom for everything you do.

  11. Bajeerao Patil January 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Too many idiots out there. They don’t know what they are up to. They always write something vulgar or post pictures that are outright dirty. However, my close friends don’t do that because they value our friendship.

  12. Bob February 16, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Dom:
    Contact his work no one should be subjected
    To that type Of behavior.
    I am an eyeball to eyeball guy this troll
    Is not a man to send stuff like that to you.
    I would bury him I hope you do.
    Bob

  13. Bill Fromnic September 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    Dear Dom,
    I am a conservative .In my personal experience, the vulgar and crude language, the ad hominem attacks , red herrings,lies, and insults come almost exclusively from the left ;these things occur generally when an argument can’t be won on the facts.

    • Dom September 18, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

      Hi Bill. I see it (and get it) from both sides. I cannot begin to count how many Facebook “friends” I have had to block and drop because their idiotic comments cross the line.

  14. Sal LaMarco December 15, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    Hi Dom,

    Hostile posts on social media, in my opinion, come basically from the anonymity provided by the the internet it’s self. The odds of having to face physical or verbal repercussions from insulting, hostile or otherwise offensive personal posts are next to nothing. Cowardly people feel invincibility similar to cursing at someone from behind a fence. I’m sure you have seen comments made between posters that would never be made face to face. I refer to such individuals as “keyboard commandos”. Maybe it’s actually healthy that inadequate souls can publicly vent and reduce their stress levels without physically endangering others.

    Sal LaMarco

  15. Gary Ohama March 25, 2015 at 10:37 am #

    It seems to me that there is a pervasive frustration, and resultant anger in our culture that reveals or displays itself in many forms. Some is blatant like road rage or random assault, others more subtle in ways of having no consequences. The cyber-bullying is a “safe” bullying. But so is the beeping of horns, the uplifting of hands in disgust in traffic. How many causes are joined as a safe or justified means of venting anger; often in the disguise of compassion, caring, or the moral high road.
    We have twisted: relieving our anger is a “good thing;” into: relieving our anger is a good thing.
    The danger is that it is leading to statements such as “We now have the moral justification to kill (fill in the blank.)”
    I forget the source but someone said “We would rather be right, than to love one another.”

    • Dom May 31, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

      Good insights and observations, Gary. A lot of these behaviors are clearly evident in various aspects of American society. The anonymity and social detachment of the Internet makes it far too easy for people to behave in an aggressive, angry and hostile manner.

  16. Joanna February 15, 2016 at 12:44 am #

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Dom. It’s ‘over the top’. Thank God there are ways to block off-color sites. Occassionally I’ve had to block family members who are also over the top. Never ending. But, I maintain that my accounts are for MY ENJOYMENT and when something or someone upseta my apple cart……BOOM…..they are GONE!!

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