With election day creeping closer for Americans, online networking venues are saturated with political rants, debates and promises of expatriation should candidate A win over candidate B. With 51% of social media users posting political content to their Facebook walls, it seems the old saying that religion and politics are off-limits in polite society applied to days before the Internet.
Now, Americans take national discussion online which can drive otherwise friendly associates with different views or no concern for politics absolutely crazy. Personally, I love it. Poor information, outright deceit and apathy twists voter’s minds, but debates are opportunities to learn and share. Unfortunately, not everyone handles polite discourse. Often these heated, passionate discussions drive wedges between friends and lovers, especially online. For the apolitical, well-informed and generally exhausted, Facebook is no longer fun.
36% of surveyed social media users admitted changing their opinions of someone based on political content posted to Facebook or Twitter. Other surveys show that 1/5 of social media participants block, defriend or hide friends and loved ones over political posts. Surely we’ve all seen posts like this: Dear everyone: I don’t care about politics, so please shut up. We are all entitled to our opinions, but I’m going to defriend you”, or “You vote for Romney, I’ll vote for Obama just leave me to my lolcats.”
Thankfully, the Internet is here to help. Several handy browser tools can silence those bickering, posturing relatives, buddies, co-workers and otherwise polite strangers without using the unfriend or mute option.
1) The Social Fixer is a handy browser extension compatible with Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Opera. It activates a keyword-based filter allowing you to block specific words like “Romney”, “Obama”, “Obamney”, etc. The settings are navigable once the application is active. One refresh enables the filters! Interested?