25 Facebook posts and Tweets we love to hate


Kirstie Lundgaard (@KirstieLund) and I had a rant on Twitter about Facebook and Twitter abuse yesterday.

Facebook and Twitter is social, it’s a conversation but yet much of our behaviour on the networks is anti-social.

There are two principles that will always keep you on the straight and narrow: create and share good content; and don’t be an idiot.

Several people jumped into the conversation.

We’ve compiled a summary of the worst abuses below and yes we could have focused on the positive but that wouldn’t have been as cathartic or nearly so much fun.

#1 Self-promotion

RTs of your own content (guilty as charged).

#2 Bad behaviour

Divas, egotists, gurus, meanies, moaners and screamers.

#3 Bombing runs

Repeatedly tweeting out the same link or hashtag to multiple people to get attention.

#4 Humble brags

Any contrived mention of your car, commute, home, travel or work. We don’t care.

#5 Faux wisdom

Random out of context quotes. “Adversity is just another word for opportunity.” No it isn’t.

#6 Hashtag abuse

Over use of hashtags, inappropriate hashtags and hashtag spam #for #no #sensible #reason #at #all.

#7 Clients and employers

Disclosure please. Simple.

#8 Content curators

Facebook and Twitter feeds that look like an RSS feed of content from other sources.

#9 Passive aggressive posts

“I no longer have the patience with some people,” and similar posts. We haven’t got a clue what you’re on about. If you need help please ask. Mainly a Facebook thing.

#10 Flawed #FF

#FollowFriday, or #FF for short, has been abused by spam. If someone is worthy tell us why, and one person at a time.

#11 Follower chasing

I’ve only 984,970 followers or likes to go to get to a 1,000,000. Please follow, like, RT.

#12 Needy posts

Please RT my message, image, or video. Mainly a brand thing but often used by teachers demonstrating how a message travels in a social network. Embarrassing when it fails.

#13 Favourite stalkers

Followers that repeatedly favourite content on Twitter but never engage. Not to be confused with people that use favourite as a way of building a list of people or collating content.

#14 DM stalkers

Creepier than Favourite stalkers these frequently sleazy Twitter users communicate solely by DM. Often a boy thing.

#15 Internet of things

Data from devices, often wearables. It’s great you’ve been out for a run (although you could probably go a bit faster). We’ve been eating cake and don’t care. Jog on.

#16 App automation

My best RTs this week came from you and other tweets. Thanks for followings DMs. Auto content curation. It ain’t social.

#17 Daftness

Lots of this mainly on Facebook. If you don’t share this you will die alone in the most awful way imaginable. Share if you’re not a racist, sexist, homophobe. I need 10,000 likes to get my kid an operation.

#18 Desperate measures


#19 Food tweets

We all have to eat. Please use Instagram.

#20 Over the top

Your tweet was so awesome. No it wasn’t really.

Thanks for adding me to your fantastic list. Its just a list.

#21 RT fail

People that mean to RT or MT but use quotes because they’re using a lousy app.

#22 Theft

Nicking ideas or content and re-purposing it as their own. It’s not cool.

#23 Tweetlonger

Tweetlonger and its ilk. Twitter is 140 characters. That’s it.

#24 Links behind a paywall

Facebook groups from Twitter, Financial Times, The Times etc. We can’t see them.

#25 Klout bragging

Touting Klout scores as a metric of personal influence. Everyone is influential in their own networks. We wouldn’t be following you otherwise.

Thanks to @adparker, @danslee, @EEPaul, @forgepr, @hallmeister, @kchadda@Raphaelite_Girl, @saturngirl@Shedworking, @ThePaulSutton and @tonyveitchuk, for joining in the chat and offering many of the contributions above.

Image via Wikimedia Commons with thanks.

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Stephen Waddington

Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum and Visiting Professor in Practice, Newcastle University.


  1. “DM stalker”? How does that work, exactly? You have to follow someone before they can DM you. Just don’t follow them, or unfollow them. There, problem solved. You’re welcome.

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