Real Friends Don’t Back-Stab On Facebook!

Real Friends Don’t Back-Stab On Facebook!

Report Fake Facebook Profiles For Abuse or Spam

It used to be that when you had a disagreement or an argument with a friend, the worst that could happen is that they would “bad mouth” you behind your back. Local rumours might be spread, hurtful yes, but in many cases repairable, if on a small scale. If you were in the public eye, the slur might end up in print, in extreme cases a book could be written about you and it might go global, but that would take a while.

With the advent of the internet, and especially social media, there are some very big changes to our personal and professional relationships occurring. Sustaining a long term healthy friendship or partnership whilst engaged online can be a minefield if you let good judgement be taken over by anger, impulsiveness, and the perceived power of the internet.

How easy is reconciliation if one or both party’s have gone “public” on the internet with their grievances?

Courts today are full of warring couples who are exposing their partners bad habits and at worst their supposed dalliances and addictions online. Facebook is actually being used in court as hard evidence in many divorce and custody cases.

If more relationships are breaking down, never to be repaired today, it might be attributed, in some ways, to online behaviour.

Once you post online your grievance, even if you disguise it as “a friend of a friend” or dress it up as a commentary on a similar situation, you are almost never going to be able to repair your friendship if the other person finds out. Using the internet to garner support for your side of the story from your online friends, is in my opinion, the cowards way out. What you are doing is avoiding a confrontation or discussion with the one person who you probably most need to talk to. If the relationship has really gone beyond repair, then just move on my friend, let it go.

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As humans, we can forgive each other for words said in anger, and perhaps even if those words are repeated amongst family and close friends, but anything that is written down and not able to be deleted is much harder to overcome. Memory can fade but hard evidence doesn’t. Everything that is said on the internet is forever, and a bad rumour or slur can now go around the globe at the speed of light! You may try to erase the comment or delete a post in regret, but it will still be stored in a data base to be dragged up at a later date, and as soon as it is published it can be easily captured and passed around, and often is.

The social networking highway is littered with ex-employees who blabbed on Twitter or Facebook, perhaps innocently forgetting which account they were on. Online slurs are irreversible and in some cases you can be sued.

So how are social networks and the internet affecting our very real friendships if one or both people in the relationship go “public” online with a dispute. Can we forgive a very public permanent betrayal?

I’m certainly noticing more and more amongst my own friends, both offline and on, and family and their friends, that friendships that might have weathered a storm in the past, are now being completely blown to shreds. I think there’s a new mantra being developed in this digital age, “Good friends keep confidences and don’t stab you in the back on the internet”.

The internet has changed the fabric of our relationships and the ability to sustain long term friendships. The remedy for avoiding relationship “Death by Facebook” is education and a greater awareness of how we use the web our responsibilities on social networks and how the internet actually works.

Children, and many adults, it seems, must be made aware that “what is said online, stays online”. And to keep in mind, that if you really want a long term friendship, then take care you must never…absolutely never, wash your dirty laundry on the Web.

This online betrayal effects so many types of relationships, partnerships both married and unmarried, working relationships, client relationships and friendships.

Next time you want to Tweet or post on Facebook a private grievance with a friend or loved one….stop…YOU might be the one who ends up regretting it more than they.

What are your thoughts on this? Leave a comment below. Have you had any experience where you have had to sever a friendship because of something that was said online?



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  • No but Ive had it in reverse. A relationship where the ex just would not leave me alone. Coming to the point where I felt backed into a corner and I lashed out on the internet via my blog in an attempt to push him away.
    It went as far as three post where the third was a full stop from any more drama from my side. It has not gone into the ignore phase as far as Im concerned.
    Funny thing is that just after reading you post here I listened to Depeche Mode “Walking in my shoes”
    So we might not always understand other peoples motives for the simple reason that we havent lived through what they have.
    Some people might look at my posts and wonder why I reacted like I did and outed an ex that I had a three year relationship with. They might even get to know the full story behind it and still not understand. Im perfectly ok with that. I stand by what I did because that is / was the last resort for me.

    • Lady would you say your case was verging on stalking? what happened afterwards, did he back off?

      • Some might called it stalking. I didnt see it so thou.
        I know my Ex, We went throu the same thing last year as well where he finally managed to get under my skin again and I dunno he might have thought he could so again.
        Nothing is ever simple and nothing will ever have a clear and simple answer.
        Know me and knowing him I felt this was a mean to get him to back off and stop contacting me. I had tried other way to get him to understand but it wasnt sinking in for some reason.
        After first post he backed down for a few days and then it just tok a 180 and got really nasty with him threatening me via email. I had to contact the police and make a 2nd post letting him know I was standing firm. Then his current (one of them) girl took the contact on the blogpost and tried to defend him.
        While I fuly understand the need to defend others that you like / care for one should be carefull when one dont know the full story. I olitely informed her of such and then proceeded making the 3rd post where I put a full stop as said before. I could clearly see this was evolving into major drama and it could turn uglier and uglier and relaly just be redused to mudslinging on the web. Not worth it at all.
        Im officially in ignore mode and stated so in the most public way I can. If they wish to harp on about it they can I walked away 🙂
        I do however could have seen it turn to stalking if I hadnt made the blog post in the first place and also ended it as fast as I did.
        (All the clever stuf didnt come from me alone, I had some great friends on- & offline that rallied round for support and gave me advice)

  • In 1999 I was away from home for 6 weeks studying the sociology and myths of Hawai’i. At that time my email account was hacked… including RL info.

    When I returned I learned that the person who did it not only sent many nasty and evil emails from my account to my friends (and he knew about most stuff enough to fake it because we shared a community that gossiped a lot), but he distributed my personal info. I was alienated from my community (which taught me really who was a ‘friend’ as most wouldn’t even talk to me or let me explain) but I awoke one morning to find slurs and curse words painted on my car outside which scared the beejebus out of me (because there was a hacking war in the community and I was one speaking against it, providing security tactics and programs and protecting people from black-hats).

    I had been a Chat Host on AOL and also in various communities for years; the net was my love and my life. I felt berift; completely torn and lost. I was devastated. My accounts were compromised. I had no RL family and my other family that I had built had been torn from me.

    This was a large reason why I left the main social nets and spent 10 years drinking. I had lived for the net and now I was alone and isolated and too frightened to try again. At that time… there weren’t a lot of OTHER places to go.

    It took those 10 years to feel brave enough to start talking to people again, to rejoin a community.

    Mine is an extreme case, but you can see why I am very much against these types of flamewars that can get so out of hand; I saw it happen to more people than just me. And it is also one reason why I am very thoughtful and careful about what information I put out onto the nets.

    I am glad there are many more communities now, although the psychological repercussions of such a thing can prevent the victim from trying to make contact with people again.

  • Do you think Miso that the person that did this to you realised what kind of effect this would have? It certainly shows how damaging networking and the digital age can be, it happens so fast!

    • Oh yes, it was deliberate. For one thing, they had been “friends” with a number of the same people I was; all those people also got gamed; this was a deliberate move in the hackwar that raged across the dying days of ExciteChat when the jerks found their way into the source code.

  • Yes Alex, so true how many times have we sent an email that we think makes sense only to have to have a back and forth to clarify its meaning. Communication is very difficult even face to face where we have body language to read and often the opportunity to ask for clarification. You need to often have another person read what you write before clicking send, but often its the very short 140 characters in a Tweet that might set off that sort of drama you are talking about where typically we don’t have them proof read. I hope your friends sorted it out amicably and are still friends.