In the age of Photoshop where there is practically an art in taking the most flattering photos of yourself, unappealing pictures of yourself friends post of you is as toxic to your online persona as wRiTinG liKe thiS.
We've all been there. It's bad enough that your friend's camera pretty much rendered that pretty wicked dance you pulled off last night as an awkward display of full-body seizures and constipated looks that you thought had made you look extra intense.
But to have it documented and forever solidified in picture form, and then posted online, is plain terrible. Worst yet, you would have to relive that poorly timed capture every time you're on Facebook.
What to do now? You could beg/bribe your (hopefully) sympathetic friend to remove that picture.
Or you could thank Facebook for the new flagging option that rolled out last August. Along with its series of "improved" security options, Facebook made a tweek under the photo-reporting dialogue in which you could choose "I don't like this picture of myself" as a new option.
This specific change came from the realization by Facebook that the majority of flagged photos are not actually "offensive" (in the Facebook criteria, anything that depicts nudity, hate speech, drug use, violence, and spam). Rather, flaggers just felt that the photos were ugly pictures of themselves.
However, while Facebook will remove offensive photos, these "ugly pictures" will not be removed; instead, the new option asks the poster to feel for the poor person being compromised, and FB hopes that the complaint would convince the poster to remove the photos.
While the effectiveness of this flagging tool is uncertain, it does offer up a possibility of satisfying two needs in the age of social networking. Other than the fact that it'll protect and please our vain (online) egos, it will also ensure that when future employers do our background check, they won't see those incriminating party photos your friends took of you that one night.
Ada Lee is a sixth year Human Geography/International Relations student who is interested in people and what makes them tick. The list ranges from social justice to astrology. She tries to get by in life by getting high on ideas, breathing deeply, and dreaming vividly. Follow 0415ADA at your own risk.