'Unfriending' Over Political Beliefs? - NBC4 Washington

'Unfriending' Over Political Beliefs?

If you've done it, you're not alone



    Political messages dominated social media during the election, but what happens when a post crosses a line? (Published Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012)

    During the exhausting 17-month run of election madness, you probably learned more about the political views of your Facebook friends than you ever cared to know.

    Tempers flared even after election results had rolled in, and on Facebook, it's been The War of The Rants. Some are prefaced with warnings such as "If this offends you, remove me or block me while you still have freedom."

    It's not hard to find users who admit they've blocked or unfriended people because they're sick of ending up angry after scrolling through their friends feed.

    "I have defriended several people for posting insulting, hate-filled rants, while maintaining connections with contacts who were simply enthusiastic about their candidate or reverent in their beliefs," Barbie Saylor Kurt posted on NBC Washington's Facebook page.

    Another user, Darlene Caldwell Weaver, wrote: "I don't slam anyone's opinions, but when I read something that is totally offensive to me.....they're GONE from my FB! Sorry, but I've got to keep my stress level down as much as I can."

    Amy Domianus, however, said she doesn't unfriend for political reasons. "I was raised to respect others' opinions and therefore I felt no need," she wrote.

    While Facebook users can remove friends entirely, there's also another option: You can simply unsubscribe from a user's status updates.

    To unsubscribe, visit that user's Facebook page and hover over the Friends button. You'll get a drop-down menu that includes "unfriend" -- but also a Settings option. Click on that, and you can then choose which (if any) of that user's posts you want to see on your feed.

    So is unsubscribing a better choice? "I would say so, because nobody knows if you unsubscribe," Facebook user Torie Partridge told News4's Erika Gonzalez. "Defriending is a pretty serious offense."