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Geek Tip: How to Not Get in Trouble on Facebook

After hearing about the umpteenth person to lose their job or otherwise get in trouble because they posted something on Facebook, the message is clear: It's not Facebook, you may just be oversharing.

Whether it's the wrong time or the fact that you're flaunting an event that you lied about being at to someone, you are in control over whether you endure the consequences for it — from Facebook anyway. Below, a few common sense guidelines.

  • Don't go on Facebook drunk.
  • Don't post photos from events someone may not have known you attended or hosted.
  • Don't post photos of yourself intoxicated.
  • Privatize your Facebook account.
  • Be judicious about which people you will add as friends, and then constantly edit said list.
  • To see the rest of the tips, just


  • Never make comments about coworkers or students; if you have them.
  • Keep status updates to a minimum. Fewer questions will be asked.
  • If you're a teacher, probably don't post any photos of yourself aside from those in which you are looking boring, healthy, and smart.
  • Don't post anything on Facebook while drunk.

If these things don't seem to work, I have an even better idea: Delete your Facebook account.


Calekey Calekey 8 years
I agree 110% with anakiya. It's so true. I have a love hate relationship with facebook. I love it because it lets me keep up with those who I never see and go to different schools or have graduated... But it just gets annoying. Myspace I HATE passionately, but have one just so that I can keep up with a few friends when they're away or I don't have their numbers so I can tell them something... hate it though.
macchiatolove macchiatolove 8 years
anakiya, I think you make a really good point! Like some of the rest of you, my boss is on facebook, so it's a great filter system! My mum is not on facebook and I so totally can't imagine my boyfriend adding her even if she was. I don't know if my bf's mum is on there... I can't imagine adding her either though! I'm not sure what's worse - boss or potential in-law?! hmm. :)
anakiya anakiya 8 years
I think the rule of thumb should be "don't post anything you don't want anyone to know...." Can I play devil's advocate? Has anyone ever thought of maybe there are people that may get a job or be considered for a job due to their ability to navigate the web and do things on a computer that someone else would not? Maybe you have blogs that are very well written and if HR sees them they will give you an opportunity that otherwise you would not have. In my opinion, just be grown up about it and responsible. Facebook is not the problem, irresponsible people are. We need to stop blaming the internet for people's stupidity. Just my two cents.
krae85 krae85 8 years
I barely use my facebook account, and also have common sense, lol
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 8 years
Good points, everyone. I have FB set to private, but my political views are well known. Maybe I need to be more reserved just in case.
Phorrest99 Phorrest99 8 years
My profile on Facebook is private. The pictures I have can only be seen by my friends. I agree, a lot of it is about being smart about what you're putting out there. I have a myspace that barely has anything on it, so I've been thinking of deleting it. I also have an LJ which is mostly private. And also, there's always the option of un-tagging yourself from pictures that you don't like or asking the person to remove it. Be smart, or if not, so do like GeekSugar says & just delete your profile altogether! I will admit, I'm one of those people with 200+ friends, they're all people I know (I don't accept request unless I actually know you) from high school, college, past jobs, & my sorority. While, I will admit, lately I've been thinking about deleting some of them since I haven't talked to a lot of them in ages.
Advah Advah 8 years
I'm with Stargazer, I used to have only my last name's initial but now I can't change it back. :( Good tips. I enjoy my Fbk profile, but it won't have anything I wouldn't want other people to see. It's private, doesn't have embarrassing pics (well, apart from the usual pictures where I'm not photogenic, but there's nothing new here :oy: ), and I know all the people I've added as friends. Only one of them is one of my current co-workers, but she's a close friend - I'd rather keep the rest separate. I don't spend much time on Facebook since the new version anyway.
neko neko 8 years
I am constantly amazed at how many people get on trouble on Facebook. Is it really that difficult to not post drunken photos or broadcast news that's only meant for a couple of people?
ChicBookFiend ChicBookFiend 8 years
My FaceBook account is very private... and boring. It wouldn't matter to me if co-workers did find it.
Blackwidowchick Blackwidowchick 8 years
I have nothing on my myspace that I would be ashamed of. My boss isn't computer savvy, but if she found my profile, she couldn't fire me for anything on there. I don't talk about work or anything on my profile, and everything I have on there like music is stuff I play at work. Then again I am a dog groomer, not assistant to a president of a company or anything.
eveningfaces eveningfaces 8 years
The easiest way to not get in trouble: just don't go on Facebook.
Cris1192 Cris1192 8 years
I got an e-mail from facebook while i was reading this lol
EvilDorkGirl EvilDorkGirl 8 years
I'm feeling you syako! A lot of people tell me I'm being paranoid for keeping my real-life name completely separate from my EvilDorkGirl online personna. I do have an LJ account with my first & last name, but that's so high school friends can find me. It's set to private so only friends can read my LJ after I realized that my boss at my last job was reading it weekly... it wasn't anything incriminating -- just exciting stuff like "I'm going home for Christmas" and "I did a lot of laundry today."
yellowshoe yellowshoe 8 years
I preach this to my sorority sisters, and they learned first hand when another sorority on campus was caught breaking rules through online photo albums... I wish people realize it could happen to anyone, instead of thinking they will be the one who won't get caught this time...!!
syako syako 8 years
I'm not advocating to throw out facebook or myspace. I'm advocating for either doing what you guys do (add your mom and pastor to keep your stuff in check), or just overall keep things as private as possible. For me, I don't want people from high school to know where I live, what I do, who I'm married to, etc. so I don't use it. But that's just what works for me.
Sasseefrass Sasseefrass 8 years
LOL! Yeah, my mom, mom-in-law and pastor are all on my Facebook friends list.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
ahaha anaisethenry, so funny, i didn't even see your post...yup, the mom will do it everytime
skigurl skigurl 8 years
as soon as my boyfriend's MOM added me to facebook i learned how to hide all my inappropriate photo albums as of now, there is nothing on my profile that i wouldn't want my boyfriend's mother to see...i feel like that's a pretty good filter system and i don't have my employer posted on their either
anaisethenry anaisethenry 8 years
I'm with Sasseefrass... just know your limits! Best way to stay ground though, is be friends with someone in your family, or like me, be friends with your bf's mom... that'll cool your steam :rotfl:
Sasseefrass Sasseefrass 8 years
Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Facebook's not the problem. Because social networking, blogging etc are so new there hasn't been much opportunity for people to learn proper online ettiquette. And we all know manners are common sense and consideration condensed into a few easy-to-remember rules. People without enough common sense to be appropriate about what they put on Facebook should probably avoid posting anything online. Social networking, blog posts, blog comments,'s all trackable even if you think you're anonymous.
syako syako 8 years
I just wanted to note, it's not just doing embarrassing things. It's the idea that anyone who wants to can find out tons of information about you, your friends, your groups, your school, your life with just one click. This is especially true when you're searching for a job. Everywhere I've worked, all potential candidates are googled and facebooked. And plenty of them have gotten their resume thrown in the trash for things found out. It doesn't have to be a pic of you half-naked doing a keg stand --- it can be something as simple as a political stance you mentioned, a comment someone said about you, or even that you don't "mesh" with the company's culture. :shrug: It's just things to consider...
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Facebook is automatically private so their aren't too many issues. I don't have anything too personal there, if at all.
ummyeaitsmarcie ummyeaitsmarcie 8 years
Eh, I don't do anything embarrassing so I don't have to worry about it winding up on facebook. If there is something I don't like in a photo, I untag it. I don't care if people find me, but unless I want to talk to them I don't add them as friends so they can't see my profile (friends only). Used to have my phone number up but available only to people at my school (200 people, so I wasn't to worried and nothing bad ever happened).
stargazer25 stargazer25 8 years
I was an early adopter of facebook and unfortunately have my full name up there. I've tried to get rid of my full name tho and can't. But I have made it uber private and it's hard to find me on there unless I am already your friend. LoL.
ladychaos ladychaos 8 years
I had to make ALL of my photos private as well as block people being able to see my profile without being on my friends list as well as the monthly weeding of people that I have only talked to once or never have talked to. I had to do the above because someone who I thought was a friend (never trust females no matter how long you've known them), posted everything from my address all of the way to every last one of my photos online on a pseudo myspace page, and was even pretending to be me on messenger (which is where I found out about her stealing my identity...she had a photo of me as an avatar). I also have NEVER used my last name on any websites, facebook is the only place that has any of my school information, and I don't talk about anything that makes me identifiable. People are creeps.
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