In an upcoming algorithm update, Facebook announced that it is making minor changes in order to create a more pleasant user experience online.
“We recognize that users deserve to be protected from undesired consequences of comments they make, or the the things they post on their respective walls,” Senior Coordinator of User Immunity Rights Annie Boswell reports. “In implementing four key changes to our terms of service, Facebook hopes to give users even more freedom to express themselves without the burden of having to defend their loudly voiced opinions.”
Boswell notes that users who continue using these types of discriminatory phrases will face disciplinary action concerning their accounts – which could include being banned from Facebook altogether.
Among others, here are the four banned phrases Boswell shared for this interview.
“Tell me more.”
“In the past, users have often been asked to explain the meaning behind their opinions or claims,” Boswell continues. “It’s ludicrous and offense to be asked to say more. I mean – my opinion is right there in ten words, or in one cleverly and strongly worded article link, or in a hilarious and cutting meme. Don’t ask me to keep talking.”
In a recent survey, Facebook collected thousands of responses from users indicating that emotional duress increased when the duration of a conversation lengthened. As a result, users are advised to simply punch the “like” button and scroll down to the next post.
“I was wrong.”
In a cultural climate that has grown increasingly polarized and hostile to discerning opinions, there simply isn’t time for apologizing. Social media is well suited for a “nuh-uh” game of mud-slinging and name-calling when faced with opposition and is not geared for sincere discussions and changes of heart.
“Can I be honest with you? And I think I’m speaking for all of Facebook here when I say this: apologizing is a huge time waster and it really puts a damper on any conversation,” Boswell reports. “If you think you’ve stepped out of line or if you are really changing your mind (I mean…who does that…on FACEBOOK), keep it to yourself. I don’t have the time or energy to enter into a real conversation with you. My Facebook wall is about me speaking my truth, not you having a ‘moment.’ NEXT.”
“Can I think about this and get back to you?”
“There is nothing more frustrating than someone wanting to stretch out a conversation further than it needs to go,” Boswell notes, citing the same survey where users rate their interactions on Facebook based upon time elapsed. Statistics show that interest in an opinion, article, or assertion wanes significantly with each passing hour. Interest typically disappears within 7.5 – 11 hours.
“The reality is: I don’t care what you think about something I’ve posted – unless you like it. Everyone loves getting likes. This is my Facebook wall, and it belongs to me. Plus, can you honestly expect me to care about something I posted for more than a day, or even two days?”
“Could we talk about this over a cup of coffee?”
With digital contacts becoming more and more prevalent without a face-to-face relational analogue, Facebook recognizes that users are now connected across great distances more than ever before. As a result, actual physical interaction is not something Facebook can plan for or concern itself with in its delivery system.
“This is the one that really gets under our users’ skin,” Boswell purports. “If you can’t say it in front of everyone, don’t say it. And if you can’t get your own point across from the comfortable anonymity of your smart phone screen or laptop keyboard, that’s too bad. I can. There’s a meme for that, trust me. I won’t allow myself to be put out by your request to talk about it in person. It’s called self-care, and I’m a firm believer in not relating to toxic people.”
Boswell had one final thing to say in light of the upcoming changes. “It really comes down to this: Facebook should be a safe place for people to say whatever they want to say without the anxiety that comes from having those opinions challenged. I mean – that’s what it means to live in a free country, right? It’s called ‘freedom of speech’ or something.”