Tagging Photos on Facebook: Q and A’s

Have you ever been tagged in an unflattering photo on Facebook? Perhaps you were caught at an unfortunate angle or when you were mid bite into a plump turkey burger?  How do you handle being tagged in an unflattering photo, and what is the etiquette involved? Etiquette rule number one: always ask before tagging Facebook photos of other people.

A few more Q and A’s on Tagging Photos on Facebook:

Q: “Is it polite to tag others in a photo on Facebook?

A: The best rule of thumb is to avoid tagging photos on Facebook of others when the photo angle or quality is anything less than profile-pic worthy.  If someone is caught mid-blink, mid-sneeze or simply looking like a deer caught in the headlights, skip the tag.   Have a perfectionist friend who is her own worst critic? Don’t bother tagging. You snapped a photo during a girl’s weekend before the first cup of coffee? You know better – ask first!

Q: “What is the protocol for removing a tagged photo of myself from my profile? Is it necessary to contact my Facebook friend to let her know why I’ve removed it?”

A: If your photo is among one of a hundred photos your friend posted, you can feel comfortable in removing the tag without explanation. If it’s one picture and your friend posted a heartfelt comment, go ahead and un-tag but let her know you did it – not necessarily in that order.

(For novice Facebook users: Simply hover over your name in the photo tag and click on “remove tag.”)

Q: “Is there ever a time when I should contact a Facebook friend directly about a tagged photo?”

A: If your friend posted a picture that is insulting or not meant for public viewing, such as you sleeping off anesthesia after a root canal, by all means call her and let her know that her lack of good judgment is concerning. Hopefully, letting her know she can’t take liberties like this will take care of future problems. And, perhaps you select your friends a bit more carefully!

B: If she re-tags an unflattering photo of you after you have un-tagged it, send her a friendly note via Facebook message with something short, sweet and direct about how you would appreciate her asking before she tags a pic. Chances are she will not only understand but be happy to take it down.

C: Most importantly, if a tagged photo could put your reputation or career in jeopardy, it’s appropriate to remove the tag and request that your friend take the photo down immediately.  Photos taken after one too many margaritas or at an outrageous costume party should never find their way onto Facebook.

Admittedly, Facebook wouldn’t be such a warm environment without photos of family and friends. We all delight in scrolling through pictures of people we know and even a few that we don’t know. In a perfect world we would all look our best in every impromptu pic, but the reality is that seldom are we totally happy with our own personal image.  Accepting the fact that those who know you already know how great you look, and not taking yourself too seriously will serve you well in real and Facebook life! Give yourself a break – you are always harder on yourself than anyone else is. Relax and…

Say Cheese,


Diane Gottsman

Diane Gottsman is a national etiquette expert and modern manners professional, sought out industry leader, television personality, accomplished speaker, Huffington Post blogger, author, and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in executive leadership and etiquette training. Diane is routinely quoted in national and international media including The New York Times, The BBC, CNN, Bloomberg Business Week, Kiplinger, Huffington Post Canada, U.S. News and World Report, and Forbes. She is the resident etiquette expert for two popular morning talk shows, SA Living and Good Day Austin. She has been seen on The TODAY Show, HLN Headline News, WGN Chicago, and CBS Sunday Morning. Her clients range from university students to Fortune 500 companies and her workshops cover topics ranging from tattoos in the workplace to technology at the dinner table and the proper use of social media.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>