Prosocial Gossip: Reading 5

Cyber-bullying has become a major problem around the country within the last few years as Facebook has reached all time highs of popularity.  Gossiping over the internet has had such horrible consequences to the point that people have committed suicide over the hateful words said about them on Facebook.  As this CNN article summarizes, Facebook has become fully aware of this situation and have made specific changes to help prevent this from happening, which includes a much more detailed form of reporting cyber-bullying and they provide links to professionals to help anyone feeling deeply depressed or suicidal over the gossip.  As great as these changes Facebook are making are, it would be even greater if people could learn to only get involved with prosocial gossip, the positive version of talking about others that the reading described.  The reading and a separate article discussed the positive outcomes of proscocial gossip.  As they both stated, it does not only reflect well on the person you are talking about, but yourself as well.  A person that talks well of others is thought of in a more positive light than those who speak negatively about other people.  If this prosocial gossip could be used on the internet, then Facebook would transform into a much more healthy and safer place for people to interact with one another.  I think if this happens then Facebook could become even more popular than it already is because people won’t have the negative feelings that go along with non prosocial gossip. 



Kelly, H. (2012, July 12). Facebook fuses emotion to its anti-bullying efforts. Retrieved from

Johnson, L. D. (2011, February 4). Did you hear?..positive gossip. Retrieved from

Feinberg, M., Willer, R., Stellar, J., & Keltner, D. (2012, January 9). The Virtues of Gossip:
Reputational Information Sharing as Prosocial Behavior. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0026650

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