Surviving a mud wrestling match: 3 Rules for Navigating Election Season on Facebook

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This post is from the Local Rock Star archives. It originally appeared on Renia’s first blog about business back in 2008 and has been updated August of 2018. These Facebook rules for election season were first created during the 2012 campaign between President Obama and challenger, Mitt Romney. 

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Be warned: This post is going to piss off a few of you.

If you’re already offended by my choice of language I suggest you quit reading right now. Skip to the next post, It may be a little less agitating …but I can’t promise.

We’re currently waist deep in the stinky, trashy, can’t-take-your-eyes-off-of-the-carnage mud-wrestling match that is an election season. This one is particularly tough because any semblance of the American Dream is, for most of us, hanging out somewhere in the underwire of Nancy Pelosi’s left boob trying not to be completely smothered under the weight of the most ridiculous President the USA has ever seen bouncing up and down on her head screaming “Yield! Yield! Yield!” We’re so distracted by the muddy partisan circus that it is sometimes tough to distinguish what is really going on.

Meanwhile, we have two largely out-of-touch parties trying to convince us to come to the show with the promise they have what we need. They’re handing out counterfeit tickets that get us about as close to the main event known as “The Good Life” as my comfy computer chair gets me to those dumb girls on YouTube. Emotions are high and whichever side you’re rooting for — if any — you have a front-row seat to a brawl and mud in your face.  

Does that sound like fun? Great! Then saddle up and grab some protective eyewear because we’re in for a dirty and risky ride…

 

3 Facebook Rules for Election Season:

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Stand up for what you believe in instead of bashing what you don’t.

 

Do you like the smear advertising campaigns that politicians use to constantly interrupt your evening TV time?  

No?

Then don’t participate.

It is tempting, when mud wrestling, to talk smack but remember:

If you open your mouth too wide you might end up with a face full of dirt. So, make sure what you have to say is worth the risk.

Standing up for your core beliefs might be worth a mouthful of mud. But, if you’re just being nasty, you’ll regret it later.

If you follow me this election season you’ll find me posting about clean energy, gay rights, women’s issues, campaign finance reform, or healthcare access. You won’t find me posting about affairs, alleged drug use, what Mrs. Trump wears or sound bites were taken out of context to make the speaker look bad. These tactics are not useful and are likely to cause others to unsubscribe from your feed if they disagree with you.

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Be willing to debate and be prepared to back up your opinion.

 

In mud wrestling, if you grab your opponent by the hair you’d better have a left hook to go with it.

If you are going to talk about politics, be prepared to debate. Posting a strong opinion and then ignoring someone else’s disagreement in the comments is the equivalent of walking away from a conversation after asking a question.

(Need more help understanding Facebook etiquette and how it affects your position as a Local Rock Star? Learn more here.)

If you don’t want to debate don’t post about it.

Facebook is a CONVERSATION forum.

Those posts that read, “Like if you agree. Move on if you don’t,” make the person who posted them look narrow-minded and insincere.  

(A word of caution: With Google just a click away it is important to be able to name your sources and link to them when possible. It increases your credibility and your readers’ understanding. Fake news is a real thing.)

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No scratching, biting or hitting below the bikini line.

 

Keep your opinions and comments based on the issues or the candidates.

Do not, under any circumstances, devolve into calling your opponent a “doody head,”  because when it comes to being mean on Facebook, that kid you bullied in school was right: “I’m rubber and you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks on you.”

It’s important to think about your overall digital strategy when engaging in political debate online. Does it make sense with your brand? If yes, do it carefully and respectfully.

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Politics is a hot topic right now and you can benefit from engaging in the debate if you do it in a respectful way. However, understand that you will lose some people who disagree with you. Follow these three simple Facebook rules for election season to stay sane online. If you decided you would rather stay clean and avoid that icky-squishy feeling of mud between your fingers, take a look at How to hide your Friends’ opinions on Facebook in this video:

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