Why there are so many drunk Brits on Facebook

Dec. 16, 2011 at 1:54 PM ET

Helen A.S. Popkin /
To be fair, this Facebook photo features two Americans, one of which is me.

British Facebook users are under the influence of old demon alcohol in 76 percent of the photos in which they are tagged, according to a recent survey. More than half said they sure wouldn't want their employers or co-workers to see those photos. And yet, two-thirds of survey respondents said they'd intentionally tagged their "friends" in embarrassing photos to make sure other Facebook friends got a look.

So the big take away from this survey seems to be that three quarters of British Facebook users are lousy friends.

Sure, only 8 percent of survey respondents said they'd been tagged in such photos on Facebook that might cause them to get in trouble with their employers or even lose their job. But nearly all survey participants (93 percent) said they'd actively untagged their names from photos they found "too embarrassing." 

That's some pretty lax observance of the Golden Rule, IMHO.

It might really make me question the superfluous "u" spellings of our former rulers across the pond, if my own self-hating xenophobia didn't make me suspect that we Americans are way more obnoxious when it comes to blatant attempts to humiliate our closest compatriots via tagged photos on Facebook. 

Alas, I just don't have the science to back that up.

The survey — conducted by photo website MyMemory.com — is restricted to British Facebook users, and only 1,781 of them at that. With such a humble polling pool, we are not even assured how accurately it applies to the more than 30 million Facebook users in the UK.

Such a survey does remind us however — especially during holiday party season when drunkenness has been known to occur — how it's important to remain vigilant about who's posting what about you on Facebook. Now, it used to be you didn't have much control over who tagged you in photos. Over the summer however, Facebook rolled out new privacy settings that allow you to approve who can tag photos of you, as well as who can see those photos.

More than 50 percent of the survey respondents said their settings allowed Facebook friends to view photos tagged with their name, and a quarter said their tagged photos were set to "Public."  One in 10 however said they blocked their friends from seeing photos in which they are tagged. 

You can change the "Public" default settings on tagged photos by clicking the drop down arrow at the top right of your Facebook page, choosing "Privacy Settings" and on that page, scroll down to "How Tags Work" and click "Edit Settings."

— via The Telegraph

More on the annoying way we live now:

Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah about privacy, then asks you to join her on Facebook and/or Twitter ... because that's how she rolls. Oh! Also, Google+.