Why I Hate Facebook (again)

If you’ve got more than a handful of “friends” on Facebook, sooner or later you’ll start seeing a lot of this sort of fluff.

It’s typically shared pictures that aren’t actually photos your friends have taken, but graphics containing Hallmark card platitudes and passive-aggressive emotional blackmail, and sometimes a tide of this rubbush threatens to overwhelm the feed. I think it’s a consequence of Facebook’s edge-rank algorithm favouring pictures over text. I’m muting them on an industrial scale, with anything from Someecards, source of the example above getting shot on sight.

Now there is a blog on tumblr dedicated to this nauseating “inspirational” drivel. Got to love the sarcastic comments against each one.

As for where this stuff comes from, it’s worth quoting this comment left on an earlier post on this blog:

You ready to really hate them? Most of them come from like-farm accounts. You make a Page, you autopost platitudes, Cheezburger pics, someecards, patriotic tripe, whatever. Then you auction off the page to spammers. Yep, you want a Facebook page with 20,000 fans? Who are pre-selected for naïveté? You can buy one.

Quite.

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11 Responses to Why I Hate Facebook (again)

  1. Chuk says:

    The ones I see tend to be more snark than glurge.
    (Also, that card would only be good for an only child. Also assumes correlation between heart sounds and ‘love’ which is not operationally defined, also also assumes that someone old enough to read still has accessible memories of being in utero.)

  2. Tim Hall says:

    “Glurge”. I like that word…

  3. Serdar says:

    I no longer use Facebook for anything if I can help it. I post to it, because other people use it, but I’ve declared a moratorium on any interactions via Facebook that don’t absolutely have to be there. If someone tries to msg me that way, I tell them to take it to email. About the only thing I actually *use* it for is a discussion group which is moderated by someone else.

    The problem is, when you work in IT *at all*, Facebook — and Twitter, and LinkedIn, and Pinterest, and Tumblr, and G+ and and and — they’re all more or less mandatory to some degree. Or if you have any public presence whatsoever, you kind of need to stake out something in one of those turfs before some twit comes along and cybersquats you, and you have to go through all kinds of pain to either dislodge them (good luck), or post annoying disclaimers that TheRealGenjiPressHonest is not the real Genji Press, etc., etc.

    I take it no one has done any serious work on the long-term sustainability of such an arrangement. And no one wants to, because the answers they’d get would be too ugly to deal with.

  4. Michael Orton says:

    Serdar, I work in IT and I do not have accounts on any of the social media sites you mention. Then again, I have not changed employer for over 28 years.
    Recent graduate recruits on receipt of company email addresses look at them blankly and asked about Facebook accounts. Facebook is firmly on the outside of the company firewall.

  5. Serdar says:

    We work in different parts of the industry. I’m on the side that sees social media as being indispensable, precisely for the reasons you mentioned: there’s all this pressure from below to make use of it.

  6. Michael Orton says:

    No doubt we will migrate to something along those lines eventually. There was a plan to move to something this year, but the funding never appeared. It probably went the same way as the funding to move our PCs off Windows XP. XP does the job, there is no business reason to spend any money on buying new kit. Likewise we are supposed to migrate off Lotus Notes, but there are so many hundreds of applications running and no staff to migrate them that we have no option but to limp on as we are. Even if we had the staff to write up to date equivalents, the end users would not have time to perform the UAT to move them into production.

  7. Tim Hall says:

    This is the problem with social media. A few years ago if you wanted to do business online all you needed was a website and an email address. Now you need a presence on up to half-a-dozen different social networks with different but probably overlapping audiences.

  8. Serdar says:

    Tim: And, worst of all, no good way to manage all of them short of doing all the heavy lifting by hand through a web browser. I finally broke down and paid for a Hootsuite account, and even THAT doesn’t cover all the territory properly.

  9. Tim Hall says:

    We’re going back to the bad old days of competing online services before the web took off. I don’t think a balknanised internet is really in the interest of anyone other than the people owning the walled gardens.

  10. Michael Orton says:

    True, but someone has to pay for the internet’s infrastructure. Alas people have got used to not paying directly for their internet access. Companies who put up the cash for the kit need to show some form of return to their investors and it usually has to be measured in terms of potential customers being exposed to marketing material.
    The walled garden cannot work quite the way it used to anymore as people can and will migrate in herds between hosts as fashion dictates.
    But I agree it cannot be a good thing to have the internet functioning as a mob. A mob tends to the intelligence of its dumbest member.

  11. Tim Hall says:

    On reason messaging on social networks has replaced old-fashioned email for too many people is because the internet never managed to keep a lid on spam. Partly it was down to the design of email protocols in the beginning, such as lack of authentication, and partly a lack of collective will by ISPs to do anything about the problem.

    So we have the situation where people jealously guard their email addresses, or keep changing them. And because ISP-level spam filtering can never be guaranteed to throw the occasional false positive, email is no longer 100% reliable. Which results in people preferring to message via social networks instead of email.

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