Facebook friends get un-friended during election - WKRN News 2

Facebook friends get un-friended during election

Posted:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Online friendships were lost during the 2012 election.

Facebook users who posted about their political beliefs and leanings were met with retorts, some angry, from their online and real life friends.

On WKRN's Facebook page, more than 156 people answered the question, "So, who lost Facebook friends during the election?"

Most all said they had either un-friended or were un-friended on the social media network.

"People post things they would never say in real life to your friends," said Kristen Steele, Online Communications Manager for Trevecca Nazarene University. "People feel this weird security that they can say whatever they want to say online and they never really have to be accountable to it."

Faith-based posts grew especially angry.

Pastor Aaron Schwartz of the Restoration Church in east Nashville agreed with Steele that online statements are easy to make.

"Digital courage, that's what I call Facebook," he said. "If I stare you in the face I realize that you're human and there are emotions."

Schwartz is passionate about the role Facebook and Twitter now play in people's lives, and how people communicate online.

"The more sensational you can make it, the more people will listen to it, which further polarizes everybody," he said.

Steele said she started using Facebook's "hide" feature before the election season began.

"I was like, ‘Oh, you're going to be one of those people that I'm just going to have to hide.'"

She won't name names, but said she'll re-evaluate those hidden Facebook friends now.

"I'll probably go back now that it's all over. Maybe. I'll put them on probation," she said jokingly.

Click here to see how to determine if you have been de-friended by a Facebook friend.

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