I keep hearing on Skeptic’s podcasts that debunking does not work because people only remember the more outlandish facts, but Facebook seems to be dead set on making it worse the way it shares these things now. So if I critique something and someone “likes” it, I actually have no idea what they mean and what they like.
On that note, there is article I saw on feed today, Facebook product director furious at Facebook’s effect on news:
And we come to Ezra Klein. The great Ezra Klein of Wapo and msnbc. The man who, while a partisan, does not try to keep his own set of facts. He founded Vox. Personally I hoped that we would find a new home for serious journalism in a format that felt Internet-native and natural to people who grew up interacting with screens instead of interacting with screens from couches with bags of popcorn and a beer to keep their hands busy.
And instead they write stupid stories about how you should wash your jeans instead of freezing them. To be fair their top headline right now is “How a bill made it through the worst Congress ever.” Which is better than “you can’t clean your jeans by freezing them.”
The jeans story is their most read story today. Followed by “What microsoft doesn’t get about tablets” and “Is ’17 People’ really the best West Wing episode?”
It’s hard to tell who’s to blame. But someone should fix this shit.
As Vox says, except its not. Facebook is pretty clearly the prime driver of this.
Furthermore, while we are at it, it is clear that revisions to the Facebook algorithm are disproportionally hurting viral marketers and small art markets, as opposed to corporations and buzz feed.
I have seen this myself, my literary site and my old blog site have 300 and 600 followers, the average non-paid post reaches only about 30 of them. Since the algorithm changes, traffic from Facebook shares is down by half on my public blogs.
Furthermore, paying for page likes may only make the situation worse. As discussed in this episode of “Reality Check”, paging for Facebook likes may not decrease site visits because of the increasing number of like bots. While probably not intentional on Facebook’s part, it has little incentive to correct the situation since it encourages you to page for promotion of individual posts to get past both the bots and the algorithms.