We’ve all done it, haven’t we? After the tenth baby photo of the week, or 12-too-many ‘inspirational’ quotes, all of a sudden the cursor is hovering over that last resort – the ‘unfriend’ button.
Inevitably the axe is bound to fall a few times over the years. But new research has uncovered a more common reason for getting unfriended than both baby pics and pseudo intellectual life-coaching.
According to the study, conducted by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, politics is the ultimate no-go zone when it comes to Facebook, and it is the single most common reason to get you kicked off people’s friends list.
The Israeli researchers picked the extremely controversial issue of the Israel-Gaza conflict and found that during a recent surge of violence in 2014, 16 per cent of the participants in their study had unfriended someone based on their political views.
Nicholas John of the university said:
People unfriend people who have different political views to theirs. We already know that Facebook and search engines provide us with a feed and search results that are tailored to us. These findings suggest that the people most likely to unfriend are younger, more politically active, more active on Facebook, have lots of Facebook friends, and have more extreme political views — these are important people in online discussions.
It seems like the results could be a little skewed by focusing on a highly controversial topic like the Gaza conflict, but it’s good to know that people are unfriending over the important stuff isn’t it?