Please tag responsibly

We’ve all got them, haven’t we. Those few friends who constantly tag you in every single bloody post they stick up on facebook, just because you once expressed a vague interest in kittens, or bacon, or reading books. As far as I’m concerned, tagging people should only really occur if it’s a photo they appear in or an event they were at, and even then, personally, I’d say they should be allowed to tag themselves.

I understand that those friends mean well, they find something funny or interesting and want to include you, but the end result is that your name, your online identity on facebook is associated with that post for ever and ever. If I’m your friend, and I follow your posts, then I’ll see that post. If I don’t follow you or have hidden you, then I probably didn’t want to see your posts anyway. Either way, you don’t need to tag me.

The only options that facebook provide in this case are to hide the post from your own timeline (the tag remains for everyone else to see, and depending on your friend’s settings, that could literally be everyone) or to report your friend to get them to remove the tag, which seems overly dramatic just because you don’t want to be associated with yet another quip about how you couldn’t live without wine (I don’t drink) or coffee (can’t even bear the smell).

Of course, you can try simply explaining to the friend in question that you’d rather they didn’t associate you with that post, but that opens the risk of either upsetting the person (it’s happened, believe me) or them thinking it only applied to the latest case and just doing it again when the next kitten rolls down a slide on video in rollerskates and a tutu.

I wish facebook just had a little setting that said “Can people tag me in stuff? Yes/no” That’s it. It would take a single, neutral, impersonal click to make the whole bloody thing go away. What’s so damn complicated, Zuckerberg?

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