“I’m embarrassed to report that I awoke this morning remembering the conflict carnage on my Facebook page from the night before – a thread of 75 entries posted over a four hour period, more than half of which were hostile.
Because this was my first (and hopefully my last) Facebook fight, I naturally wanted to know how common they are.
They’re really common. So common that there’s a “Facebook Beat” in Great Britain.
According to CNet, the British “Facebook beat” works like this:
“ Neighborhood Constables have to drive from address to address all day, listening to endless tales of harassment on Facebook, threats by text and insults in the [line] by the cigarette counter at the local [supermarket].”
I don’t have reason to believe there are American Facebook Fuzz, but I’ll go ahead and assume we’re at least as combative as the Brits are.
That’s a lot of conflict to resolve what with over 500 million Facebook users in the world – 250 million of whom log in every day.
So it makes sense to figure out why we fight and how we can resolve Facebook bickering without third party intervention…”
Colin Rule has worked at the intersection of technology and conflict resolution for the last two decades. He is CEO of Modria.com, an online dispute resolution service provider in Silicon Valley, and a non-resident Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. From 2003 to 2011, he served as eBay and PayPal's first director of Online Dispute Resolution, designing and implementing systems that now resolve more than 60 million disputes each year. Mr. Rule is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002. He has presented and trained around the world for organizations including the U.S. Department of State, UNCITRAL, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, as well as teaching at UMass-Amherst, Stanford, Southern Methodist University, and Hastings College of the Law. He has written and been interviewed extensively about the Internet since 1999, with columns and articles appearing in ACResolution, Consensus, Dispute Resolution Magazine, and Peace Review. He holds a master's degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a B.A. in peace studies from Haverford College, and he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997.