“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 is CEO of Mediate.com. From 2017 to 2020 Colin was Vice President for Online Dispute Resolution at Tyler Technologies. Tyler acquired Modria.com, an ODR provider Colin co-founded, in 2017. From 2003 to 2011 Colin was Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal. Colin co-founded Online Resolution, one of the first online dispute resolution (ODR) providers, in 1999 and served as its CEO and President. Colin worked for several years with the National Institute for Dispute Resolution (now ACR) in Washington, D.C. and the Consensus Building Institute in Cambridge, MA.
Colin is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002, and co-author of The New Handshake: Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Consumer Protection, published by the ABA in 2017. He received the first Frank Sander Award for Innovation in ADR from the American Bar Association in 2020, and the Mary Parker Follett Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution in 2013. He holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a graduate certificate in dispute resolution from UMass-Boston, a B.A. from Haverford College, and he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997. You can read many of his articles and see some of his talks at colinrule.com/writing.