Top 10 Golden Rules of Facebook

Important rules to keep

facebook, social media cues

  (Image credit: Facebook like via Shutterstock)

Researchers at Arizona State University used focus groups and undergraduate student surveys to come up with a top 10 list of the most important rules for keeping your Facebook friends — and for ensuring that missteps on the social networking site don't make you enemies in real life. The study was published on line in April of 2012 in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.

Rules may differ for older users, but college students listed their dos and don'ts as follows:

Expect a response


(Image credit: Dreamstime)

Users most strongly agreed that reciprocity matters. If someone posts on your Facebook wall, you're expected to respond.

No disrespect

Trash posted on Facebook

In your bin, on your wall. The BinCam shares your dirtiest secrets on Facebook. (Image credit: Newcastle University.)

Posting disrepectful content about a Facebook friend is considered bad form.

Think before you post

By 2016, more U.S. consumers will access the Internet through mobile devices than through PCs

(Image credit: Facebook Mobile image courtesy of Facebook)

It's important to consider the negative impact a post could have on a friend before making the post.

Don't repost

Facebook Ticker

Facebook's new ticker opens routes for real-time sharing .. and oversharing. (Image credit: Facebook)

If a friend deletes a wall post or tag that you made, it's considered impolite to repost that content.

Don't be a stranger

facebook, likes, hashtags

(Image credit: Facebook Friend via Shutterstock)

Facebook isn't seen as a replacement for face-to-face interaction. Real friends should be contacted through other means beside the site, users agreed.

Be honest

Love, relationships and breakups get more complicated in the digital age.

Love, relationships and breakups get more complicated in the digital age. (Image credit: Russiangal |

It's considered polite to present yourself honestly but positively to Facebook friends.

Don't be an addict


(Image credit: Internet Addiction Image via Shutterstock)

Facebooking so much that it interferes with work is a big no-no.

Protect yourself

Data Security, border security

No posting information that a friend or acquaintance could later use against you.

Think, again

(Image credit: Dreamstime)

Many users say they apply a "common sense" rule in their interactions with Facebook friends.

It's all about jobs

facebook network

(Image credit: Image via Shutterstock | Mathias Rosenthal)

Consider how a post would look to a friend's employer or potential employer before putting it on his or her wall.

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Stephanie Pappas
Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.