How To Stop Fighting On Facebook

Check out @jeremy’s latest blog post here! :slight_smile:


Thanks, Simon!

Would love to hear if anyone has feedback (cc @MrMoir2112 @patrice58 @ColinRobinson @RossA) :ear:t4: :pray:t4:

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That’s brilliant Jeremy. If the first thing over their heading if they do something wrong is help. What help would be offered and who would the help button lead to?

Would it be to the person concerned or to a mod or leader? Would the person reaching out to the person offer counselling or would it be some other help and if so what would that be?


I don’t fight on Facebook because I’m not on it - I deleted my account and I’m not going back :wink::+1:


An interesting article. I like the seven steps - although I’m not convinced that everyone has good intentions.

For me what’s needed most of all is that cool down period. I’ve learnt that when I write a response to a parent to save it in a draft, take a break, and then go back to it (sometimes at the very end of the day) and rephrase a lot of the statements and responses that I have made. Sometimes I’m appalled by what I’ve written!

A topic becoming too ‘hot’ with negative comments needs to be ‘slowed down’ so people can’t response immediately. Breathing space. Maybe what’s needed on these flame wars is a 2min mindfulness session - maybe that’s what your ‘help’ could link to.


Great feedback, everyone! Thank youuuu :bowing_man:t4:

These are great questions and tbh, I don’t have the answers yet. I think this is the stuff we need to figure out.

I’ve been very inspired by the Humankind book (which argues that most of us are inherently good but act badly under certain circumstances) and the non-violent approaches of people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King etc.

For example, this really stood out to me the other day on MLK:

For as he was giving a speech, a white member of a Nazi party jumped onstage and repeatedly punched him in the face. Security took him away–and King didn’t press charges.

“The system that we live under creates people such as this youth,” King wrote in Martin Luther King on Leadership . “I am not interested in pressing charges. I’m interested in changing the kind of system that produces this kind of man.”

There’s a lot of research that shows that when we treat people (eg criminals) badly, they act badly, but if we show them love and compassion, they become more compassionate themselves.

So I don’t know what the mechanisms would be yet, but the point would be to show compassion to everyone (not just those who show compassion to us)! Ofc we still need to protect society from harm and may need to “lock people up” (eg ban then, remove permissions etc), but I think we’d always want to keep space for those people to return to the fold, should we deem it safe enough for them to do so. Does that make sense?

Haha, brilliant!! Yes. I barely use FB these days and really only have it in case someone of interest from my past reaches out (becoming less and less likely these days!).

I think you’re right and agree that there’s absolutely people who intend to do others harm, create conflict etc. I think it’s more that this tends to be a minority of people, yet media, negativity bias, availability bias etc makes us worry that this proportion of people is higher than it is.

The argument in Humankind is that if you believe people are nice on the whole, you’ll live a happy life, make loads of good connections, find love etc. Once in a while, you may get scammed, but overall, that’s better than going through life believing that most people are going to screw you over, shying away from getting close to and trusting people etc!

Nice. Love this!! Actually an awesome feature idea (cc @samuelcrosland). Lol, I’ve done this a bunch when I’ve angrily written an email too :laughing:

What’s interesting to me is what is it that happens in that cool down period that allows us to stop seeing red and be more mindful? I’ve been working on trying to do all that emotionally processing in the heat of the moment (eg in a few seconds vs a hours). Feels like there’s a muscle there that I can keep trying to grow!

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Maybe you should compare and contrast the approaches of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.

Would I be as brave/stupid (delete in your own mind as appropriate) enough to have somebody with obvious bad intent come up to me then have the nerve to hit me multiple times, and then to have me talking about what could have gone on in the man’s life that caused this? After that not even press charges?

Couldn’t be me I’m afraid. :confused:


I’m a huge Malcolm X fan, very influenced by him and the Black Panther Movement. Would Malcolm press charges in that instance? Maybe, maybe not. He might well argue that the system was set up to stack the deck in favour of the other person anyway.

But I think the idea is that both were working to change the system ultimately, but their methods were different. And I think what we can learn from the two of them is that with such complex problems, there isn’t a catch-all solution. Both contributed hugely to progress, and you’d have people that would identify more with Malcolm’s methods and people that would identify more with MLK.

Ultimately I’d have to argue that Malcolm was probably braver, as MLK knew that his position would likely become deified over time, and was more consistent with where mainstream America was going - he was a middle-class Christian minister, whereas X was a hustler from Harlem and part of the Nation of Islam.

I personally believe that both men saw the value in the stance of the other. Ultimately both were needed to affect change.

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Actually a great idea! I don’t know as much about Malcolm X, but defo keen to learn more (lmk if there’s any particularly good book, article etc you might recommend on it, otherwise I’m sure I’ll do some late-night Google on these quiet lockdown nights anyway, lol).

Fair enough and tbh, who knows if I’d be able to react in a truly non-violence way myself either. I know I’ve definitely gotten angry plenty of times in my time and felt vindictive or at least like the other person should be “punished” in some way.

It’s hard to know how we’d really react until it happens to us! I keep thinking about the “turn the other cheek” philosophy though and think it’s gotta be helpful in some way, even if it’s not the complete solution, as @simon says.

Exactly. Very nicely said! :clap:t4:

Someone also shared this with me recently, which is a documentary about an FBI investigation into MLK and has some info about how MLK wasn’t necessarily a perfectly pious person himself (who of us is really, at the end of the day?).

Always worth remembering that as much as individuals might inspire us to act or change at times, every single one of them is a human just like us, with their own fears and fallibilities, as well as strengths.

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I would recommend the Malcolm X movie by Spike Lee, it’s really great. One fact I really love about it, is that when Spike ran out of money part way through production, and the film was at risk of not getting finished, Prince and Janet Jackson amongst others gave him the money to finish it because they knew how important it was that it be seen :slight_smile:

If you’d rather read something though, the screenplay is largely based on Alex Haley’s book, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which he worked on with Malcolm, although it was completed after Malcolm was assassinated.

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Oh, nice. Thanks. Just seen it’s available on Prime. That might be my Saturday night right there :heart_eyes:

And haha, makes sense that you’ve know all the Prince-related trivia :grin: :sunglasses:

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Malcolm X would of gone to prison probably for murder or attempted murder. Speaking of Martin Luther King I wonder if the amount of punches inflicted was from Martin Luther King himself turning the other cheek? One on the left and one on the right then one on the left…:thinking::smirk:

Sorry I couldn’t resist, forgive me. :wink:

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Me! Well somebody had to say it. Lol :roll_eyes::grin:

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I think one of their methods was a lot more palatable to the people in charge. You can’t reason with people that want you dead by being peaceful. Of course the people in control would like that as then you’re not a threat to the status quo. Now as for Malcolm X…


I definitely agree that there are those who actively try to harm others that we need to be protected against (and sometimes protect ourselves against).

I’m keen to keep exploring and understanding this topic more, so might host a future discussion on it! :thinking:

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I’ll definitely be there as that topic sounds brilliant.

You could even semi spin it into what communities can do to protect themselves against infiltration by bad actors.


Yesss!! Absolutely love that idea :heart_eyes: