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Politics Cause Discord on Facebook | Politics

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Politics Cause Discord on Facebook

President Obama and Mitt Romney touched on themes of healing and unity in their Tuesday night speeches, but some people say in order to heal, they'll have to hit the "unfriend" button on Facebook.

Political discourse has gotten heated on some wall posts.

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"I respect others views," commented Donna Antonio on 13WMAZ's fan page. "When folks started posting ugly political stuff I informed them that I wasn't unfriending them but I did take them out of my news feed until after the elections."

Kristina Pike added, " I respect everyone's right to choose. However, if the posts were incessant, or rude, hateful, disrespectful, or downright racist I won't tolerate it. It's my page, my feed, my content, my right to pick and choose what I see."

Tim Regan-Porter, director of Mercer University's Center for Collaborative Journalism says social media is reflecting and amplifying a larger trend in society.

"if you look in the last 30 years," said Regan-Porter, "all the way back to the Robert Bork hearings or the Clinton impeachment, there's been this increasing trend to demonize people who don't agree with you."

He said social media sites make constructive conversations a challenge because comments are brief, and commenters are interacting with a computer rather than face to face with a real person.

"Face to face, you see how peoople are responding, and they're actual human beings, so you don't want to be insulting. But when you're sitting at your computer on a couch at home or in the office, you're just talking to nameless, faceless people and so you just say whatever comes to mind in very stark terms, gut reactions that are snarky or mean," said Regan-Porter.

Find the extended interview in the attached video.


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