Facebook to Implement a Stalking Diversion Policy

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If we go back a couple decades, I am sure many of us associated bullying to children’s school behaviour, as they tried to find their place in the world, but with the changing social landscape, and with social media, it has enabled grownups to join in. Stalking was normally associated to problematic personal relationships, need not have any pre-existing relationships for stalking to occur these days.

I am a great believer in things happen for a reason. An insignificant but noticeable Facebook occurrence arose, and I thought, ok, it’s time to share my thoughts on the bullying and stalking epidemic in greater light. Perhaps it will nip some issues in the bud for others.

I recently closed my personal Facebook account and opened a new one with zero friends for the sole purpose to manage my business pages. I didn't look at anyone's profile, or search for anyone. The basis of my decision was, I would rather speak and communicate with people I know, opposed to looking at a profile to see how they are travelling. That's just me.

We all have people in our past that we had to interact with. Most of the time they are pleasant and sometimes not. Someone (well, a group) from my past bullied me in the workplace, I won’t go into detail. The head bully choose to be one, for reasons only that person knows within. I understand everyone has their issues, and I am very tolerant of that. I am super patient. Some people want to evolve and discover their purpose in life, and some don't. Their choice and I accept it.

The experience gave me an understanding of the world of a bully and more importantly, how I can help others that are being bullied. So, I see it as a positive experience for me, as what better way to teach than via direct experience, and about how I regained my strength 1000 fold. We are not given anything we cannot overcome and learn from. The bully(s) was my teacher.

So back to Facebook... new account, no search history. So no suggested friends from my perspective, right? The only explanation I can conclude, is that Facebook algorithms came into play, based on who is visiting my new profile and my pages, remember I have no Facebook friends so no leverage on who I might know. So guess who is the number one person, almost every day on my suggested friend list?

The head bully from my past.  

I have not thought about this person in a long time, nor interacted with them for the same period of time. But here they are for the past week or two, on my computer screen as a suggested friend. There would have had to be a great deal of profile and page views to garner this response to the algorithms. We had very little if not zero things in common, and all I have to say about them is, may God bless them and maybe it is time for them to move on. Actually, it is overdue.

The other thing it has highlighted to me that bullying will nine times out of ten, be supplemented by some form of stalking behaviour, especially on social media. That is what I would like to address.

What can we do?

Bullying can often progress to stalking when you have left that environment. I would love to see Facebook implement a Stalking Diversion Policy that goes along the lines of if someone who is not a Facebook friend or doesn’t like/follow your page(s), (especially for people who publicly share their work), who views your profile or page:

-five times in a 24 hour period, that a notification is sent to the profile/page owner,

-five times in a week, that a notification is sent to the profile/page owner,

-five times in a month, that a notification is sent to the profile/page owner.

 Then you can decide to send a message, a friend request or block them. LinkedIn has a similar feature to see who is viewing your profile.

I see stalking as repetitive peeks into your home or place of business through a window (your profile or page), in hope that they can see what is happening inside, and in hope that no-one will see them.

Implementing a Stalking Diversion Policy on Facebook would make all users accountable and responsible for their actions by introducing transparency, for repeat actions, on the premise there should be nothing to hide if they are not stalking. It also poses the question as to why would they not friend request you or why are they not liking/following your page? If a viewer does not want to be seen, you really have to ask what the motivation is.

I believe this would be a great tool for parents as well. Any parent and their children, would want to make sure they have the ability to identify who is repeatedly looking into their child’s window (profile).

In addition, Pages don't allow you to block any user, nor does it show all shares of your page and posts. So I would like to see Facebook introduce these functions to Pages.

Some cyber stalkers don’t think they are stalking because if it is accessible, then they believe they have a right. And, yes a Stalking Diversion Policy will implicate those who look at other people’s profiles often, without a pre-established connection. It is in hope that it will divert stalking behaviours that are prevalent on Facebook, and place accountability on the users for their actions. Facebook is the most popular social networking site in the world with 2 billion active monthly users. I do not know what the appetite for it is, so I have created a change petition to gauge it, so please sign it if you agree.

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