Facebook photos: weapons of petty sabotage

One in four women deliberately puts unflattering photographs of their friends wearing bikinis on social networking websites such as Facebook, according to a new study.

The majority of women posting the photos said they did so after falling out with their friends, while nearly a third said they were taking revenge on people who had done the same to them.

Two fifths of women also admitted deliberately posting photographs of their friends without make-up. Even when asked to permanently delete the unflattering picture from Facebook, a fifth of women said they had refused to do so.

From the story Women ‘deliberately post ugly photos of friends online’ by Emma Barnett, on the Telegraph 

Facebook increases the number of ways we can be petty with one another and exacerbates every existing pettiness we’ve already got. This story exemplifies both of these effects.  It’s also demonstrative of how the things we do on Facebook greatly influence, shape (and in the case, kills) relationships. This is the point I keep harping on about on this blog.

As an aside, in general, I don’t think women should post pictures of themselves or their friends in bikinis on Facebook. This is a pretty conservative view on the topic given my age and gender, but it’s tasteless, unnecessary and harmful. (It’s also pretty obvious that those posting are doing so to get more attention or tell themselves in their heads that they’re getting attention!)

Competition among women has gotten so bad because of Facebook…When one gal posts pictures of themselves in bikinis, others follow suit to show off and show up. This is harmful and can lead to lower self esteem, particularly among younger females. It’s one thing to see professional models in bikinis in magazines; it’s quite another to see someone you know pose in a bikini and think “I should be that skinny, or look that way, and share my body with the world.” My own self esteem has been dented a few times from viewing vacation photos where my friends are scantily clad.

Recent studies on Facebook causing self-esteem and body image issues:

Update 7/15/12 10:28pm: As someone pointed out, we shouldn’t really be surprised by this — after all, Facebook started out as Harvard’s “hot or not” game.


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