The Reprehensible Six: meet some of Facebook’s worst offenders

Annoying Facebook user lineup

People in the United Kingdom have different names for things. Fish and fries are fish and chips, for example, and eggplants are called aubergines. Our favorite, though, is that they call their police lineups “identity parades.” There can be no greater metaphor for Facebook.

Think about it: everyone you know (probably, by now) gathered together to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings in one central meeting place, dancing around for validation before an audience of peers, committing the most aggravating acts for attention and proof that they count.

There are plenty of kinds of Facebook jerks, but we picked our favorite six to highlight exactly what we mean:

The Life Coach

One of the most prominent figures in Facebook annoyance, bringing a slew of motivational phrases, quotes and alarmingly generic advice about life, love and personal success to a mass of people that probably are fine without the help. The most common offender is a picture — an image, mind you, where we put things that are interesting to look at — of plain text, with inspirational gibberish like, “If you don’t give yourself a chance to change, others will change your chances.” You know, fortune cookie overdrive.

There’s also the Pledge of Shining Victory Over Whatever Was My Problem, in which the Life Coach will tell the world that things have been hard lately, but they’ve kept on keeping on and you should probably click “Like” and leave a comment validating their personal strength.

The Sucker

1988 gave birth to a little publication called The Onion, a satirical news source that created fake stories written in perfect AP style, with a reassuring air of authority and believability. The Onion is now one of roughly ten billion websites running satirical news stories, and for all their popularity, the Sucker has no idea it’s a gag.

Sample status: “Sad to think society could produce someone capable of such heinous crimes…” with a shared story about Peter Jackson murdering hobbits. Fun fact: we didn’t make this up.

The Town Crier

With little more than a share button and the drive to tell — nay, deliver the news to their friends list, the Town Crier has something to say about what’s happening in the world. Everything that’s happening in the world. All the time. Even when they don’t know what the story is about and haven’t done any research, instead cramming their personal rhetoric into their poor, abused status update field. Which they do while sitting back comfortably in their chair, no doubt taking a drag off of a cigarette, staring forlornly through a window as children play in the streets below. “Who will bring them the news?” asks the Town Crier. “I will take up the mantle. I will become… a loudmouth.”

Crouching Status, Hidden Meaning

Where others might privately settle conflicts in person or even through a Messenger chat, some social dynamos stand tall, fearless and willing to drag virtually anybody through the mud. Fortunately, they almost always do the dragging after putting their victim in a mask, cutting deep with vague barbs like “I can’t stand fake ppl smh” and “if ur gunna talk abt me behind my back thats cool at least im not on house arrest.” As some readers turn into detectives to figure out who the latest victim is, others will leave to read something less cryptic, like the Necronomicon.

The Friendly Reminder

According to Sun Tzu’s “Art of War,” for every vague, passive aggressive tactic on Facebook, there is a complementary slap in the face that echoes through the News Feed. These users will alert you to a variety of things you’re obligated to care about, from leaving Facebook forever (or a week, when a lack of outcry draws them back in), to the old “I’m cutting friends in two days so leave a comment if you want to stay,” a call to action requiring us to prove our loyalty. With our friends list filling up with work acquaintances, distant relatives and other reprobates, we could stand to lose one or two B-list connections.

The Plaintiff 

Then you get these creeps who go around complaining about everything, writing snarky blog posts and trying to fit the way people use social media into clever tropes and acting like they’re all elevated and smart when they’re just one more kind of internet weirdo. Ugh. They’re just the worst. They could conceivably do a pretty good job of running your social media accounts, though.