It's healthy to consider perspectives that don't perfectly match yours -- but there might be times when you feel threatened by posts you see on Facebook. If you're seeing abusive posts on Facebook in the wake of, say, the Supreme Court's historic decision to legalize same-sex marriage across the country, there are a few things you can do.
Facebook makes it pretty easy to tackle threatening language. If you're seeing harmful posts from individuals you're friends with and don't want to, there are a few options available right in your News Feed, that central page where you see updates from pages and people you follow:
(No offense to Nick, who is great.)
There are different levels of intensity you can experiment with depending on how you feel about the language you see.
1. The "Hide Post" Method
This is a pretty gentle approach. If you see a post with language you consider offensive in your News Feed, click the little arrow in the upper right of that post. (You can see it in the GIF above.) Click "hide post" and you'll be given the option to "see less" from that person:
If you choose to "see less" from someone, you'll likely continue to see major news from them. You might want to know that your friend from high school is engaged, but maybe you don't need to hear their views on everything.
2. The "Unfollow"
This is a littler harsher, but it's not quite as extreme as unfriending someone. As with before, click that arrow in the upper right of a News Feed post, then select "unfollow." You won't see further updates from this person.
This doesn't need to be a permanent thing. If you want to see a list of people you've unfollowed -- perhaps to remove someone from timeout -- click on your News Feed preferences by selecting the gear in the upper left:
You'll see a list of "unfollowed" people in the "Summary" section, which is the first thing that comes up.
3. Never Getting Back Together: "Unfriend"
This is the harshest option of them all. Maybe one of your Facebook friends said something so hateful, threatening or venomous that the mere thought of hearing from them again makes you furious. In that case, head over to their profile page -- rather than the News Feed -- and select "Unfriend" from the "Friends" dropdown menu, which will appear over their cover image:
This is potentially awkward, because an "unfriended" individual one day might try to contact you via Facebook and realize you cut them out. Yikes.
If you'd rather not take the risk of cutting someone out of your virtual life, you can try setting up custom friend lists that you can click between. This will allow you to see posts from specific people you enjoy or find interesting or smart, versus whatever content Facebook puts into your News Feed.
And if you're also getting notifications from people that are driving you nuts, Facebook offers plenty of options to tweak those, too.
Now, then: Stay civil out there, people!