Liking something the wrong way

I enjoyed reading Dave Gorman’s account of some peoples’ expected social behaviour on Twitter. It reminds me of a while back when someone on Flickr blocked me from viewing their photos because I liked them.

I was following the photography of a person (who shall remain usernameless) because he took some beautiful shots of a place I know well. Quite often I’d favourite some of these photos because I liked them so much. After a few weeks of this I suddenly noticed I wasn’t allowed to see the photos any more. Strange. I sent him a message to ask why.

He had noticed that I favourited a lot of his photos but never left a comment. He thought this was peculiar behaviour and that I must be up to something, maybe planning to use his photos elsewhere, and so he banned me.

I still don’t understand this (although I do seem able to see his photos again now). For me, favouriting a photo is saying “I like this” without having to clutter up the comments by saying “I like this” out loud. That and the ability to bookmark stuff you like. But for him, I guess, it’s purely a bookmarking facility, and you should also actively say “Great shot!” or something too. It had never occurred to me that there was this social behaviour that, in some parts of the community, was the accepted way of expressing appreciation. And, similarly, he obviously didn’t realise there was an entirely different way of expressing the same sentiment.

While I enjoy comments like this on my own photos, and am very thankful for the kind words, they do also seem a bit content-free. They are a bit like MySpace “Thanks for the add!” comments. Ego-stroking. So I rarely leave such comments unless I have something more useful to say in addition.

Anyway, I never thought I’d be banned from something for liking it in the wrong way. It’s interesting to discover completely different attitudes to these new ways of interacting online. If you have any other examples, I’d love to hear them. I’m sure Twitter is full of them, given how differently people use it and how they all consider their way the only way.

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30 Mar 2009 at Twitter

  • 9:16pm: @ianbetteridge If it's anything like posting links to your blog posts on Twitter, I imagine it'll be sucky :p I read your RSS feed already!
  • 1:03pm: Meeting 2 of 2: Cycle to Westminster. Should be easier than the mammoth fail of DLR to Docklands.
  • 9:45am: Even in the sun Docklands is an evil, horrific place.
  • 8:54am: Meeting 1 of 2: DLR to Westferry. So far taken 40 mins to get from the Barbican to Tower Gateway.