No One ‘Likes’ Sharing Tragic News

In the days following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, people have been sharing news about the aftermath, recovery efforts, and how they can help as far and wide as the Internet will allow. However, a reader brought up an issue with spreading the word using Facebook tools.

“Sentiment can be lost,” Jonathan Gardner, director of comms at Vibrant told us. A friend, he told us in an email, sent him a link to a story with a Facebook social plug-in. Along the right side of the page, it listed stories that friends “like,” among them, one about a tsunami threat to Russia, Hawaii, and Taiwan. “No one wants to ‘like’ a tragedy,” Gardner writes.

He suggests that communicators ought to be mindful of this “inappropriate sentiment” when sharing news and information across social networks.

We consulted with our colleague Social Times editor Neil Vidyarthi to see what people can do about this.  After rubbing our heads together, we thought it would be great if Facebook would allow people to take off that “like” option (although Facebook probably wouldn’t be too happy with that). And then, of course, you can share links and send messages which don’t carry that sentiment with them.

However, there’s really not much more we can do aside from being cognizant of it when we’re sending around stories. However, for now, like Gardner said, being mindful of what you’re sending and how it’s being shared seems to be the best option.

Have you figured out a way to tackle this problem? The comments are open or tweet it @PRNewser.