Posted on March 14, 2011 by Jennifer Pointer


UPDATE: The feature is back, and there is still no way to untag yourself. These tagged comments, however, do not at this time seem to be showing up in friends newsfeeds if those friends were not involved in the conversation.


Be careful what you with for.


Last year, I explained how to tag you friend in a post on Facebook, and explained that this would not work in the comments, but only on the main post.  This weekend, the social media community was all excited, because Facebook rolled out the feature to allow users to tag each other in comments.  Unfortunately, that excitement soon turned to frustration, as users started getting tagged in conversations they didn't want their other Facebook friends to read.


This is one of the pitfalls, unfortunately, of having all of your friends gathered in one place.  Imagine having your mother, your ex, your current significant other, your third-grade teacher, your college dorm's resident advisor, your minister, and your current boss all stuck with you on one elevator.  Not many of us would really want to be in that situation; however, this happens to many of us all of the time on Facebook.  Our conversations with each other show up on our other friends' newsfeeds, and can potentially create awkwardness.  This awkwardness apparently reached critical mass for some people when Facebook started people to tag each other in conversations they were not even previously involved in.


Soo...the feature was quickly disabled.  Just the one that allowed people to tag each other in  comments, not the one to tag each other in posts - at least until Facebook can sort out a way for users to "untag" themselves on such mentions.  While this will probably be criticized as one of Facebook's many privacy violations, it seems to me that this is really more a case of users needing to be careful what they ask for.  In this case, Facebook was simply creating a feature which some of its users were asking for - and it was not known until after it was rolled out that there would be the unintended consequences of some people not wanting to be tagged in conversations. 


Also see Facebook: Commenting on Content



Jennifer Pointer


Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. 

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