Thanks to the recent data breach debacle all the previous news of Facebook demoting Pages seems a long time past and not all that important anymore. Especially given the latest development regarding a memo stating (quote from BBC article linked):
‘the “ugly truth” was that anything it did to grow was justified has been made public, embarrassing the company. The 2016 post said that this applied even if it meant people might die as a result of bullying or terrorism.’
Nonetheless, I’ve started so I’ll finish.
Besides, as soon as Facebook isn’t in the news for the above or any other likewise scandal it will only be a matter of time before the question of what appears in Feeds rears its ugly head again.
Remember the ‘Super Wall’?
Give it a search today and a couple blogs circa 2007 can still be found bemoaning its impact, while Yahoo questions remain asking if it’s better than the ‘normal’ one.
The Super Wall story begins when Facebook was first made open to all and sundry of the internet:
Initially, it only attracted a certain type of demographic.
A bit of a contradiction given its position as King of Social Media today; though not so much when remembering the singular purpose it was first conceived with; from the Facebook Wikipedia Page:
‘According to The Harvard Crimson, the site was comparable to Hot or Not and used “photos compiled from the online facebooks of nine Houses, placing two next to each other at a time and asking users to choose the “hotter” person” ’
Facebook was aimed at the lowest and most common of the lowest common denominator.
For them, the shock value of being able to just drop whatever outrageous video, gif or jpeg into all their friends’ Feeds was hilarity Heaven.
For the rest of us turning up late to the party to see what all the fuss was about, the overly hairy genitalia laying in literal ambush risked outweighing all the features and benefits that themselves far outweighed Myspace.
And so the ‘Super Wall’ was born: somewhere for videos and pictures to be posted, so equally to be avoided by anyone not part of the shock-value-and-the-likewise-minded crew.
Essentially then, the song remains the same
Facebook is still making changes to feeds as people still don’t like what they see.
It really shouldn’t be a big deal; any company worth its salt (whatever that means) engages customer feedback as an ongoing process.
In reality, though, something significant has happened.
Ten years ago it was just a couple of blogs and Yahoo questions; today it’s an article on the BBC; something that really shouldn’t make sense if engaging with customers is a naturally ongoing process of salt worthy companies.
In response to the news about Pages in that article, the BBC even did this:
There’s plenty going on in the real world the BBC could be reporting on, but it doesn’t get the required reaction on social media.
To counter this it pushes things like ‘Opinion Pieces’, so allowing any currently igniting topic to be recycled with the added bonus of a one-view-firelighter too.
When it comes to the power of asking a question in a headline or post, it’s fallen head-over-heels in love.
Personally, if still living in the UK and paying the licence fee I might have some questions for Aunty (the BBC) if thinking for a single second they were paying people to sit there reading through all the comments like they really care.
Tbf, I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with the Corporation:
When in the UK, I deeply resented having to pay for the licence while equally loving numerous aspects of what it does (exactly what I imagine parenthood to be like minus the love part).
How calculating the BBC is being by doing this is debatable; is it simply some interns who know how to manipulate social media pissing off as many people as they can just for kicks; or is there a deeper agenda at work – one being passed off as needing to interact with people the way people like to be interacted with?
After all, these days there’s a whole section on its website called ‘Trending’ and there’s nothing more hashtag pengest hipster to Millennials than that!
One wonders why the BBC feels the need to be on Facebook in the first place; it certainly doesn’t do itself any favours being there.
Even when the BBC had the monopoly on broadcasting directly into people’s homes, magnitudes of nonsense still quite happily did the rounds in pubs and/or got traded over garden walls (there’s nothing like currency you can just make up, after all).
It’s acting like it fears Fake News taking over the world, so consequently chases a horse already well and truly bolted at the expense of retaining some dignity instead.
One thing clear, there’s no escaping the fact that whether by hook or crook (or even a bit of both) what the BBC is doing to maintain and gain social media popularity is axiom time immemorial divide et impera.
Divide and Conquer
Something that its charter really should be clear on it not being allowed to do, it if isn’t already.
Take the behaviour surrounding the recent and totally unreasonable announcement Doctor Who will be played by a woman.
Coming vs. Social Media Part V how the BBC might have abused announcing the fact on Facebook for its own social media gain.