Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ask Angie: Trashy Pics on Facebook

I got this question: My cousin is a teacher. She has been posting pictures I consider inappropriate on her Facebook page. I have tried to talk to her about it, but she just blows me off. What should I do?

I understand this concern. There have been many examples of school districts cracking down on employee’s Facebook pages. Many employers are now checking social networking sites before making offers. Some teachers have been fired for what appeared on their site.  One teacher was forced to resign because a parent complained about her holding a drink.

As for how to raise this with your relative, I think you need to make sure she has all the information and then walk away. People have the right to make poor choices and all we can do is make sure they have the information of what the consequences for those actions will be. I would say something like:

“I want to talk to you about your Facebook page because I love you and I want the best for you. I don’t think you understand how serious having these types of pictures on Facebook can be. A teacher is Arizona was fired because a parent complained about a photo on her Facebook page where she was holding a drink. I know that your page is private, but with all the changes to Facebook – there is a very good chance that those photos could become public. Maybe instead of posting photos directly on your page – you could link to an online album that is password protected or just email the photos to your friends. I don’t want to nag about this. I just want to make sure you have all the information. I am not going to bring this up again. I love you and I just don’t want you to be surprised if something does happen.”

And then you really have to walk away and not mention it again. I would recommend defriending her on Facebook so you are not tempted to mention it again. Good luck!


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  2. Along the same lines, I have "hidden" updates from family members because their statuses made me feel uncomfortable (one person was going through a rough patch with her husband--my daughter's godfather--and airing it all out on facebook.) I don't have to see it every day, but when I get nosy, I can still check her page out ;-)