Why character assassination is less in Twitter


I can even say ‘it won’t exist’ and they would die a natural death, as compared to Facebook.

A friend of mine had a very tough time dealing with bullies in Facebook recently. She joined a contest and on that contest page, people are jumping in to accuse her of something she didn’t know, for all the world to see in an effort to disqualify her because she was the obvious winner (through honest means and effort).

Facebook is full of immature retards like that.

Malicious comments. Insults. Bullying. Is this even new on Facebook? Everything in Facebook gets hot easily and catches fire, before you know it, you are engaged in an online brawl, protecting your dignity and self pride, especially if you are using your real name and photo in your Facebook profile. You are on desperate call to save face, even if the rumors about you is untrue.

I have always been hesitant using Facebook and prefer Twitter. Maybe mostly because Twitter is less personal – I don’t need to see a string of photos or detailed profiles of people before I can exchange messages with them. Twitter keeps me up to date with events, it’s not about people all the time.

And there are less mean people on Twitter. (Depending on the people you follow, there are actually more intellectual stuff going on.)

This doesn’t mean that mean people are not in Twitter. There are but the chances of these trolls getting into you is less, than how it would be on Facebook. Here’s an illustration. Please keep in mind that I am not an artist, ok?


twitter troll

You have a Twitter account (mine is @sandierpastures) then you follow a bunch of people (referred to as “FOLLOWING”) and a bunch of people follow you, referred to as “FOLLOWERS” in the illustration. Sometimes a person can be your follower as well as someone you’re following (vice-versa relationship, like a Facebook “friend”).

If you’re still confused of the follower-following in Twitter, to simplify:

Followers – they see your tweets

Following – you see their tweets

How Twitter works and what is a ‘tweet’
Every message you send out, called “tweets” in Twitter language is only visible to your followers, not to people you follow unless people specifically access you main Twitter page (http://twitter.com/sandierpastures) where all sent out tweets are found.

For example, if you tweet “Good morning, world! I don’t feel like working today.”

Your followers will know that it’s morning in your world and that you don’t feel like working today.

The people you are following on the other hand, won’t have any inkling of what’s happening in the neck of your woods. Remember you are following them, so you read their tweets, not the other way around.

Twitter is an open channel. People don’t need your acceptance or confirmation to be your Twitter ‘friend’ and see your tweets.  Sounds scary? NOT REALLY. See, if a bully twitterer send out a nasty tweet of accusation or anything bullying in nature like:

@nastytweeter @sandierpastures You’re cheating in the contest. You should be disqualified!!

The nasty tweet will be visible in the main twitter page but follower wise, only his followers will see that nasty tweet, not mine. And sometimes because @nastytweeter is a troll (with sometimes a fake account), he has no followers so his nasty tweet is really void of meaning. Unless of course if I reply then my followers will know the conversation stream. That I’ve been accused of cheating.

But nasty tweets only need to be ignored like this one because not only because it is baseless – I believe answering to nasty tweets are a complete waste of my time.

And the good news is that, they don’t matter at all really, even if @nastytweeter sends 500 or a thousand similar tweets directed to me, there’s no harm done! The nasty tweet won’t ‘leak’ to my audience (followers) or the people that means to me and I have connection with as long as I ignore it.

Plus, I can mark the twitterer in question as spam or block them and they’ll be gone from my Twitter time line forever.

*wipes dust off shoulders*

Facebook has always been the reciprocal  relationship so I see it as personal type of social media tool as opposed to being professional. This is where family, friends old and new gather to share photos and chat.This is also where people stalk and keep tabs with other people.

You post something people on your friend list sees it, along with hundreds especially if your friends start engaging in your posted status. If you’ve got 5 people commenting on your status and they’ve got 100 friends in their list, your status is immediately available to 500 people all at once.

FB troll

Well, nothing wrong with that if the conversation stream is pleasant. What if it’s not? Like if someone jumps in and comment that you’re a cheat blah, blah, blah *insert vitriolic comment here*. And remember there is no 140 character limit in Facebook unlike Twitter so your destroyer can have his bullying festival.  ‘Course you can delete that nasty comment from your stream: IF YOU ARE ONLINE ALL THE TIME and you had the perfect timing to nip it in the bud before it gets worse – sucks most especially if the comments are not true at all and the only intention is to damage your reputation.

So back to my friend who joined a contest…in that contest page, people were trying to pull her down by posting negative comments, accusing her of cheating her way to win (which she didn’t do at all). The nasty commenters couldn’t even provide a proof but my friend has naturally, reacted to her defense and now the whole conversation stream is uncontrollable and visible to her friends because every move you do in Facebook whether on your own page or with others are visible to everyone on your list.

It’s exhausting and emotionally draining, not to mention time consuming to drop comments here and there to save face, even though it isn’t true.

With so many people using the crazed hysteria that is Facebook, I am sure there’s more to it than meets my eye but it makes an easy channel for character assassination, bullying and easily open to abuse . It puts people on the defensive to protect themselves, it turns vitriolic, it makes real life friends fight. I can’t remember where this original tweet came from but it makes sense to me now:

Twitter makes me like people I’ve never met and Facebook makes me hate people I know in real life.

The reason I don’t like Facebook (as much as Twitter) is that it keeps people busy with useless diversion. Twitter keeps it short, you are bombarded with tweets but only if you choose to, otherwise you can ignore it. No Farmville!

In short, if you like Facebook and it suits you well, fine. I am only saying the worst things that can happen there and we all need to be careful.


  1. I agree with your overall point that character assassination is easier via Facebook.

    Facebook does have a 420 character limit (which is considerably more than 140, but is still a limit). Also, you can set comment security in Facebook so that only your friends can see your comments, or so that only friends in specific lists can see your comments. If both people in an argument have that set up, then only people who are mutual friends will see both sides of that argument, not all the people on your friend list. You can also put up security settings for each time you post. Now, granted, if you are allowing everyone to see all your posts, which may be the case if you are in a contest, then there is not a way to protect yourself from that.

    It’s sad that it’s even a concern or that people feel the need to attack others through social media in general. In Facebook if someone does that to me, I just remove them from my friend list and/or block them if necessary.



  2. I agree with the above comment in that in Facebook it’s possible to set privacy so that you are visible only to your friends (and not the friend of friend that seems to be the default).



  3. Years ago when Facebook first started my husband did a project for them. So I was encouraged to sign on in the early years. It has evolved to different things for different people. As Mezba and mm said you can edit your privacy settings so the whole world can’t see or comment or harrass you. And you can always block or de friend.
    Twitter is more real time obviously but I think FB can still be useful as a back burner or even non urgent means of communication.



  4. Haha! I love your ending argument…”No Farmville!” I’m a recovering FV addict, so I know how annoying and addicting those darn games are O.o

    Anyway, this is a great post Grace-The way you explain it is so straightforward and simple to follow.

    I’m pro Facebook AND Twitter, but that’s because I actually use both for their intended uses instead of just posting random crap.

    Either way, there will always be those bullies out there-I HATE that they have to ruin good things like these!



  5. The scary thing about FB is that you don’t know before you comment if your friend has their profile privacy locked down or not.
    If they don’t have their privacy settings secure then all of your other friends can see what you wrote, which is really embarrassing. For example I comment on a friend’s status and their profile is set to ‘friends of friends’ and I didn’t realize that my Father can also see in his news feed what I am writing there. Business never restrict their profile, so if you have to inquire on their wall the whole world can see it. For example I can write on a hotel’s page “how much for a double bed for two people” and everyone I’m associated with can see it.. how embarrassing.
    On Twitter, can you control who is following you or is it entirely public?

    I’m sorry for what happened to our friend though, I’m sure she deserved to win.



  6. I’m not entirely sure I agree here… because on Facebook you can set your privacy entirely to Friends Only so unless you post something on someone else’s page then no one will ever see what you write. As long as you keep all your conversations on your page then only your friends will see them. Although perhaps that’s part of the problem as you point out that on Twitter your friends WOULDN’T see nasty comments.
    But I think that Twitter is so much more open that if any well known Twitter user gets involved in drama it actually spreads and can do a LOT more damage to an individual.
    As far as the contest, it sounds like that’s actually the worst of both worlds because she was using a third party page she had a) no control over the privacy and b) anyone could access it.

    I think I was writing it in behalf of the people who are not so adept in manipulating over Facebook privacy settings (like, ahem, me).

    If a well known Twitter user tweets bad about me, unless I reply I think damage is minimal. But in Facebook, if a Facebook user (either a friend turned foe or a person in a third party page like in a contest) tags my name in his/her status along with nasty remarks, then my friends can see it right? (and they might even believe it’s true)



  7. on FB, some users have no concept too of protecting their own privacy. Case in point, a wife accusing her hubby’s once- mistress of harrassing them both. Dirty laundry should be kept in the hamper. And wash days are done exclusive of FB. just saying.



  8. I agree with your whole post, and I agree with the other commentors that you can set your privacy settings to keep people away from what you’re posting.
    In your friend’s case, with a contest, she wanted as much exposure as possible, I’m sure, so that she could win, so using the privacy settings wouldn’t have been in her best interest.
    No matter what social media you use, there are going to be nasty people and it is just a shame ~ but it is just like in real life, unfortunately.
    Great post & I love your drawings! I also agree with you on NO FARMVILLE!



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