The Etiquette of Tagging on Facebook

Categories: The Intertubes

Use the Force for good, Luke!
I actually do a fair amount of my work through Facebook as far as picking up pop culture news, crowdsourcing ideas, and connecting with bands and artists. Of course, I also do a lot of not-my-work on Facebook because it sucks in your soul like some kind of reverse Ark of the Covenant. Which brings us to tagging.

Facebook allows you to identify people in pictures, or people who were with you when the pictures were taken, or link you to an ongoing discussion in the comments. It's as simple as typing their name most of the time, and it can range from endearing to extremely annoying.

After having to correct several people this week, I thought I'd make a list of simple do's and don't's when it comes to tagging. Hopefully it will smooth out the ride for us all.

DO: Tag pleasant pictures that really have your friends in it. Family outings, vacations and just life in general make for wonderful social media content. Everyone loves that.

DON'T: Automatically tag people drinking, smoking, booty shaking or engaging in other after-hours shenanigans in pictures. Ask first. Remember, 92 percent of employers are using or are planning to use Facebook to check out new hires, and the two biggest turnoffs are alcohol and bad grammar. You don't want your friend to lose a job over, "GAWWDD! Ur so waisted here lol."

DO: Tag someone in a comment if they aren't friends with the person you're talking to but may have some insight. For instance, I had a friend looking for a pug breeder, and I tagged my aunt who has had pugs for years. The friend, from my raging weirdo goth circle, and my aunt, from my more conservative family circle, had a nice chat and someone got a puppy!

DON'T: Tag someone in order to bring them into an argument. 'Oh yeah? You think every girl who has had an abortion is a whore? Well, [Alias McMadeupname], what do YOU think?" You don't win arguments by outnumbering your opponent, and it's bad form to conscript people in any case. Trust me, we're all already fighting our own little wars. No one needs to do it on two fronts.

DO: Tag people who have dedicated shared interests. I have a core of about ten online friends who are all Doctor Who fanatics. Whenever I find something awesome Doctor Who, I'll tag them and we'll all have a wonderful, nerdtastic discussion.

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"DO: Tag someone in a comment if they aren't friends with the person you're talking to but may have some insight." 

Um, no. If a conversation on your friends' wall is private, it's absolutely NOT okay to open the conversation up to whomever you want. I've had people do this on my statuses - and tag people whom, unbeknownst to them, I've had a nasty falling-out with, asking them to contribute to the conversation. Not cool.

Hugh Bishop
Hugh Bishop

You're asking for tagging etiquette from people that show no signs of etiquette or manners in anything else they do? Not gonna happen.

MadMac topcommenter

Nice photo, btw, Mr. F. Last time I went sleeveless, I kept hearing "I didn't know you could have arm cankle," comments.

MadMac topcommenter

"DON'T: Tag more than ten people at once."

For the love of Oprah, please don't do this. My Mrs.' cousin did this bit--I'm the OLDEST of 98 peeps he tagged--over his new car. My fb page, (everyone's? I said I'm old) is tied to my email. So, I got 97 notifications of 97 comments every 97 minutes. I love my Mrs.' aunt, I LOVE my Mrs., and the cousin's a sweet kid otherwise, his body would still be missing.  

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