If you think about it, all aspects of social life are governed by rules and the world of social media is no exception. Why would it be anyway? If you go to a restaurant, you understand you may be required to dress smart, for example. You know you’re expected not to make a scene, you shouldn’t be rude to the waiter or waitress etc. It’s similar when you join an online platform: you can expect the owner to create a set of rules that you will be expected to follow.
But when those rules aren’t clear enough, people may interpret them differently. Again, there’s little difference between a restaurant (what does smart dress code actually mean?) and a social platform (what are the requirements for a professional picture?).
Some people feel the answers are very clear and they may decide to try and enforce the rules as they understand them, even when technically they don’t have any authority over the rest of the users.
Whether the rest of the users agree to follow those rules or not is a different matter of course and that is what I had a chance to discuss recently on “Tell me I’m wrong”, a recruitment show hosted by Stephen O’Donnell and Hung Lee (who also curates an amazing recruiting newsletter, On Hiring). The other guest on the show was Wendy McDougall, CEO of Firefish Software. Perhaps it’s because she works in recruitment technology… or maybe it’s unrelated but I definitely enjoyed learning more about her perpective.
If you feel like learning a little more about what others think about the so called social media police, check out the recording of the show: