How do disputes arise in social networking? A good question, and the answer is that social networking disputes arise because there are actually people running the sites, and using the sites. You can put the person on a computer, but you only turn the computer into a tool of a human being to use. You aren’t changing anything about human behavior, if anything, you are making it less socially restrictive.
Disputes arise in social networking because you are still just being social, but you are doing so on another venue. For most people these days, the social networking venue is just another way to talk to people, and is no different than a bar might have been a generation ago. Whenever you have people networking with each other, you are going to have people getting into conflict because we don’t change the social rules that much when we are on-line.
The interesting thing about social networking is that very little is private. You don’t tell something to one person, and then that person is really the only person who knows what was said. You can post comments, articles, gossip, whatever you want on your Facebook feed, and the whole world can see it. What might not even be a big deal can become a major controversy.
The other major way that a dispute can arise on a social networking site is that someone can comment on your picture, or on something else, and start a fight. Maybe this person says something offensive, or rude in the comment box. Maybe this person doesn’t even know your friend, or you, and just starts talking. This could cause a fight to start, and this is because most people are free to comment on just about anything.
Ironically, social networking just goes to show that freedom of speech is a double edged sword. You really do have to take the good with the bad, and you can’t hide behind a computer to talk about someone else. The rules of social interaction are still basically the same, even they have been liberalized by the fact that everyone has access to a computer, and these types of comments typically are overlooked.
At the end of the day though, it can be easier to start a fight on a social networking site as opposed to at work, or on the street. All you have to do is throw out one comment, or have someone comment on something that they just didn’t like because they were in a bad mood, and all of a sudden you have a dispute on your hands.