Advertisers, Mark Zuckerberg’s bank manager and the US security services all agree: Facebook is a wonderful thing.
But what if, as Robert Kilroy Silk might put it, you’re not there to share, but to shaft? How would you behave if you came to Facebook not to enjoy it, but to destroy it? We think you’d act rather like this.
1. Spoil TV shows
It’s the show everyone is talking about. It doesn’t hit Netflix for another nine hours. You torrented the US broadcast at 2am and now you’ll make damn sure that all your friends wake up to discover that, OMG, Skyler cooked Walt in a pot, ate his brains and stole all his drugs. [No, that isn’t really how it ends. What kind of people do you think we are?]
2. Circulating the crazy
Coke is made of rats’ wee! Facebook wants to ban pictures of nativity scenes! Bulgarians are kidnapping our cats! Don’t let “facts” and “science” and “the Daily Mail made it up” get in the way of your scaremongering: just chuck any old garbage into your news feed, use the most inflammatory language imaginable and refuse to listen to reason.
3. Inspiring everyone
A News Feed isn’t a News Feed if it doesn’t contain at least 300 trite bumper-sticker quotes rendered in horrible fonts over pictures of sunsets, clouds and angels. The less sense they make, the better: why not put “My favourite colour is October” over a picture of an angry monkey?
4. Liveblogging your kids
There’s nothing more fascinating than other people’s kids - so why not post real-time updates of every single unremarkable thing your offspring does? No detail is too small to share, and of course one day, when he or she is all grown up, there won’t be any embarrassment, fury or vows to put you in a home at the first sign of drooling.
5. Offering inappropriate opinions
Friends posting photos? Why not comment on their imperfections or outfits, or go into great detail about the rude things you’d like to do to the other person in the photo? Inappropriate sexual comments are particularly effective when the other person is their partner, priest or pet.
6. Telling the truth about their baby photos
What are they going to do, come round and fight you? They’re new parents! They’re so tired they can barely stand up!
7. Being melodramatic and mysterious
Give just enough information to be intriguing, but not so much that anybody has the faintest idea what or who you’re talking about. “I can’t BELIEVE he did that!” is good. “Someone’s going to get what they deserve. You know who you are” is even better.
8. Posting terrible things
The Facebook scandal du jour is people posting beheading videos, which Facebook says is okay provided you’re doing it to show how much you hate people being beheaded. That probably means it’s okay to post all kinds of gore on your feed, especially around mealtimes and first thing in the morning when people are checking Facebook on the train. Whatever you do, though, don’t post photos of breastfeeding, because the sight of a nipple is far, far worse than video of people getting their heads chopped off.
More after the break...
9. Silently stalking
Pick one person in your friends list and make sure you never miss a single thing they post. Then, whenever they update anything, Like it. Never comment, or reply, or interact in any other way. Just Like. Photo of their gran? Like. Comment on someone else’s baby photo? Like. Heartfelt cry of alienation and despair? Like.
10. Uploading everything
Don’t bother editing your holiday photos: just upload the lot, so everyone can see all 700 photos you took of a sardine when you were swimming. Give it a few days and then start posting passive-aggressive messages about the lack of comments, Likes and shares you’ve received.
11. Terrible tagging
Once you’ve uploaded those photos, don’t forget to tag them - even if nobody you know is in them, and the people in the photos don’t look anything like the people you’re tagging. Bonus points if you also post one of those cartoons and tag your friends according to their character traits.
12. Bringing politics into everything (see also, Jesus)
To them, it’s a perfectly innocuous picture of their dog. To you, it’s an opportunity: dog means tramp means Welfare State or coalition cuts or whatever particular political point you want to score, and you’ve got the links and charts to prove it. The same technique also works very well with religion: “he looks so patient and caring and he has a wet nose, just like Jesus!”
13. Cross-posting from Twitter
in reverse chronological order. #fb
into seven individual status updates that appear #fb
that break a single, relatively uninteresting post #fb
with automated cross-posts from Twitter #fb
It’s much better to pollute everybody’s screen #fb
Normal status updates are no fun. #fb
15. Going comping crazy
Comping - entering competitions - can be fun, but it’s even more fun now that you have to Like and Share Tom’s World of Toilets every day for a fortnight on the off-chance that you might win an iPad. Between competition Likes and shares, app invitations and Page recommendations, it’s possible to fill everyone’s feed with fluff with very little effort. And who knows, you might win that iPad too.
16. Deleting comments
There’s something uniquely unnerving about disappearing Facebook comments, and provided they’re on your posts it can be you that’s doing the disappearing. This one’s at its most effective when there’s no apparent logic, rhyme or reason to your choices.
17. Falling out and making up again
Couples’ Facebook arguments are bad enough, but if you really want to get people hiding your posts you need to up the ante and make up in public too. “Snookums, I’m sowwy. I want you, and I’m not wearing pants” should do the trick.