Stranger Danger

(Name Redacted) posts to facebook:

“I know you guys trying to be friendly and nice and all but dont post on my friends posts when I comment them and you can see it, unless your friends with them. Thanks :S”

My response, archived here because said person is no longer in my friends list.

Privacy options are in the top corner, under Account settings. What your friend, Party C, is looking for is “Permission to comment on your posts”. If it has been set to “Friends Only”, then even if you should comment, and I should see it, I cannot comment on Party C’s post.

But don’t set that. It’s stupid. It’s immature. You’re posting to Facebook, you’re having a conversation in a public room of a party that everyone’s invited to. Should other partygoers feel that they are threatening if they should happen to speak up and try to join the conversation?

You’re living in a ridiculous “filter bubble”. Certainly, people add stupid comments to posts; You can remove them if you wish, or you can simply ignore them like a rational person. By setting this setting (or making passive aggressive postings in which you fail to realize that the setting exists), you’re perpetuating a culture that’s unable to comprehend humans as a fungible resource; You’re treating the world as your own personal monkeysphere and a group of “others” who are somehow malicious.

It’s human nature, but it’s not how the world has worked for literally centuries, since the rise of cities at the turn of the 19th. Humans are mostly good natured and self regulating. If someone is abusive or stepping out of bounds, it is possible to tell them, block them, or even go so far as tell your friends and deal with the issue on a wider basis. It’s not necessary to encircle yourself and assume “Stranger Danger”.