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Facebook revenge: Your frenemy may have just posted a nasty photo of you

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With (Facebook) friends like these … who needs enemies?

A new survey, The Telegraph reports, has found that one in four women have posted unflattering pictures of their "frenemies" on the social media site – many of them saying they did so either because the friendship broke up or to take revenge on someone else who did the same.

The picture of choice appears to be the dreaded bikini shot – and according to the survey, one-quarter of women had posted a bathing suit pic online that they knew wasn't flattering. (The makeup-free shot was also popular.)

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You also can't count on your so-called friends to remove the picture when you ask them to – of the 1,500 women who answered the questionnaire by photo website, 20 per cent said they refused the request. (And don't expect help from Facebook for that embarrassing butt shot; according to The Telegraph, the website won't get involved unless its rules are violated. And there is no rule about posting a picture of someone chewing food indelicately.)

So you'd have to reach a resolution on your own. The most an individual can do is remove her name from the picture. (Or, as almost one-third of the women in the survey said, take revenge.) This also makes for a full-time job of managing your digital image: Three-quarters of women in the survey said they regularly "detag" pictures they don't like.

Rebecca Huggler, co-founder of, told The Telegraph: "To see that so many women deliberately commit 'photo sabotage' and upload unflattering pictures of friends is somewhat surprising, particularly when you consider how many said they'd be mad if the same was done to them."

At the same time, as other studies have found, the type of pictures we post on Facebook says a lot of about us. In recent months, there have been a number of studies debating whether sites such as Facebook and Twitter are the playground of the narcissist (or fostering the attitude among otherwise humble types). People who score high on the narcissism scale also amass more Facebook friends, for whom they are more likely to post solitary pictures of themselves in sexier poses and with less clothing. But narcissists are more easily outed than they would, naturally, believe – since studies have also shown that people are familiar with their tricks.

It's another matter, however, when your own friends turn paparazzi on you and reveal for all the world to see the string bikini you only don at the cottage when no one else is looking. Who needs a hobby, when you can spend your spare time watching your Facebook back?

Have you asked friends to remove unattractive pictures of yourself? How careful are you to choose flattering pictures of your friends to post (lest they take revenge)?

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About the Author

Erin Anderssen writes about mental health, social policy and family issues. More


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