My New Social Media Pet Peeve: Group Tagging. Don’t Do It. Ever!

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By: Hillel Fuld (@hilzfuld)

Over the years since I started blogging, I have found myself writing a post for the sole purpose of sending it to someone the next time they ask me a question like “What is the point of Twitter?” (I send them this post), or send me a message asking me to like their Facebook page (I send them this post.) Well, this post is another one in the series.

Every day now, I get that push notification on my phone telling “X tagged you in a status on Facebook” or “X mentioned you on Twitter” No big deal, right? Wrong. So very wrong. I immediately click through to see who tagged me and in what post. Nine out of ten times on Facebook and too often on Twitter, I find my name in a list of ten or more people who were tagged by that person in the hopes that all the people on the list will tweet/like/share the post/startup/picture. People; this is SO not the way to do it.

I am not going to go into the whole “There are no shortcuts on the Web” speech but group tagging people on your posts, especially but not only, when it is not relevant to the person, is just so not ok. Here’s why.

Bad, No, Horrible Marketing

Let’s just start with why this is a bad idea from a marketing perspective. People, almost across the board, like to feel like (are you sitting down?) people. They do not like to feel as if you are treating them like a Twitter handle or a person with a large following. By tagging a person with ten or fifty other people, all you are saying is “You are just another opportunity for me to spread my content and nothing more”. Was that what you were hoping to achieve? Yea, didn’t think so.

Spam Your Friends, Not Mine

But forget the philosophical mumbo-jumbo, let me tell you how annoying this is. By tagging me on your post, first of all, you are not only spamming my friends but you are using me to do so. How? Because, like it or not (and I admit, this is a fundamental flaw with the way Facebook works), when you tag me, your post shows up on my timeline, which is seen by my friends, not yours.

Please do not start telling me that I can delete the post from my Timeline, that is really not the point. Did I ask to be tagged? Did I benefit in any way from you tagging me involuntarily? If the answer is no, then you should not be doing it.

Push Notifications Galore

But the annoyance of being group tagged goes a lot deeper. As soon as you group tag me, and all of the other people you tagged comment on your post, guess what my phone does? That’s right. It notifies me. Every time. Yes, I can unfollow the post (not on the Facebook app) but again, SO not the point. Why should I, a person who did not ask to be tagged, have to go to the browser on my phone, and unfollow your post, which was shoved in my face against my will?

And one more thing. If this happens once a day, it’s really not the end of the world but when everyone starts using this method and a person gets 100 such notifications every day, manually disabling them can get quite annoying.

Just to clarify, this is a messed up system and Facebook should fix it, but for now, it is the reality. You tag me, I get a flood of notifications on my phone. Period. By the way, if it was not clear, this is true for Twitter as well.

You tag ten people in a tweet to start a conversation and you know what everyone does as a result? They respond after clicking Reply All. So I am now tagged on a thread, which often lasts for hours, between people and on a topic I have zero interest in. Every tweet that follows means another push notification and a distraction from whatever I am doing.

Yes, I am fully aware that I can disable notifications or <gasp> ignore them, but again, not the point. I did not ask for this distraction and as far as I am concerned, getting involuntarily tagged in a tweet or a Facebook post, is 100% the same as getting an unsolicited email, which I believe there is a name for. It starts with an S and ends with a PAM.

That’s the Bad News, The Good News is…

I know what you’re thinking. “What a snob!” So allow me to tell you something that if you follow me on Twitter or if we are connected anywhere, you should know by now. I am the easiest person on earth to reach. If you want me to hear about a startup or read your article that you think is aligned with my interests, trust me, I will. I always do.

Send me a message privately. You can tweet me on Twitter at @hilzfuld or email me at that same name at No one who knows me will ever say that I do not like seeing new technologies over the occasional steak. I can never get enough of meeting entrepreneurs and learning from them.

 To Sum it Up…

Here is the bottom line: If you expect people to treat you and your venture/content as something special and unique, treat them that way and don’t tag them with fifty other people because that is how they will treat you in return.

There! I said it.


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Hillel is Co Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at ZCast, a company taking on the pain of modern audio broadcasting. Hillel also blogs for many influential sites including TechCrunch, Mashable, The Next Web, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Venturebeat, and others.

Additionally, Hillel mentors startups across Israel in different accelerators including The Google Launchpad, the Microsoft Ventures accelerator, Techstars, The Junction, and more.

Hillel has been named Israel’s top marketer, has been featured on CNBC, Forbes, and many others and was recently added by Google to its marketing experts program. You can find and talk to Hillel on Twitter. He is @Hilzfuld.

  • Shimi

    Facebook added a feature where you can prevent things from being posted on your timeline until you approve them. You get one notification saying that something is awaiting approval and nothing more until you give the OK for it to be featured on your wall.

    It’s a good start to solving the problem of tagging abuse.

    • Thanks, will take a look. But still not the point 🙂

    • Actually this is not true. You will continue to get notifications whether you approve the post or not. Trust me I know. Been there. Done that.

  • Shoshanna

    well said Hilz

  • It’s not quite a book but it will do 🙂

  • Farhana Rahman

    You couldn’t write this out any more clearly no matter how hard you try.

    If I were you, I’d group tag your common offenders to this link on FB, and let them momentarily face your annoyance with all the notifications.

  • FuR

    Having a short Twitter handle that people think is a nightclub in DC has been particularly annoying. People don’t look up the correct handle and @ me on twitter and Instagram. I’ve given up on them actually learning how to use the @ and changed notifications to only – send me notices in this case:

    Mentions and replies
    -Only from people I follow

    Interactions and Mentions are a joke, these need help.

  • The most annoying part about the Facebook Group Tagging is not only that someone might tag you in a post that’s not relevant to you, but that the dolt that tagged you somehow THOUGHT IT WAS. It makes you question why you’re still “friends” with them.