Don’t be so negative

A Facebook engineer on why Facebook doesn’t have a dislike button:

Actions on Facebook tend to focus on positive social interactions. Like is the lightest-weight way to express positive sentiment. I don’t think adding a light-weight way to express negative sentiment would be that valuable. I know there are times when it’d make sense, like when a friend is having a rough day, or got into a car accident like my sister yesterday (she’s okay!). For these times, a nice comment from a friend goes a long way.

Skeleton Profile

In Rebecca Cusey’s Facebook Has Become My Manipulative Boyfriend:

It was hard, but I shut it down. First I downloaded all the photos and updates I’d made in more innocent, trusting days when Facebook was bright and new. Then I deleted my account. Since I have to manage social media for work, I must have a skeleton account. I made a profile, locked the privacy options down, and entered only professional data. I made my wall public, but I only post my articles there. I accept any friends, but I mute their feeds so that I don’t have a constant stream of chatter coming at me. I’d rather be off Facebook altogether, but this is a compromise that works for me. I have similar rules of engagement for Twitter and Instagram as well.

Facebook used to offer account-types solely for managing pages. I don’t think they’ve offered that as of a few years ago. It’s what I started looking for when I wanted to nuke my profile. I tried everything: looking for pages-only options, tried signing up under my work email, tried inviting my work email as a Facebook page admin. Even if it was possible at some point FB transitioned to only letting you use your real identity, which could explain why I’ve noticed more people using fake names.

I’m not sure that matters. If everyone knows Mr. Pink is really Richard Franklin (pretend this is a real person for a second) then what difference does it make? Facebook doesn’t need to know your real name to target you if you provide it your location and interests, not to mention all the data it’s pulling from your browsing history.

What’s the difference between this and a profile you just don’t post to anymore? I guess if you start from scratch you don’t have any history.

And if Facebook is so poor at respecting our trust and helping us manage our relationships between our friends, what does that say about how it manages our relationships to organizations we want to be associated with? If that is also poor (the algorithm changes this year suggest it’s even worse), then why even have a Facebook page for your company or organization?

And if it doesn’t make sense for you to have a profile to stay in touch with friends or to have a page to promote your organization – THEN WHY ARE WE STILL ALL ON FACEBOOK?

I can only think of two reasons.

  1. We are all on Facebook because it’s better than nothing.
  2. We are all on Facebook because we are all on Facebook.

Corrupt Personalization

What is a “like” these days? This and more about the commercialization of private content on Facebook.

With algorithmic culture, computers and algorithms are allowing a new level of real-time personalization and content selection on an individual basis that just wasn’t possible before. But rather than use these tools to serve our authentic interests, we have built a system that often serves a commercial interest that is often at odds with our interests – that’s corrupt personalization.

Between stuff like this and the latest thing about the Facebook psychology experiment I read more and more about people1 considering closing their Facebook accounts.

But never do.


  1. Ok – nerdy people who care about this stuff. If you look through your News Feed right now you probably won’t see any mention of either of these articles. 

Identity Through Links

The Shallow Selfishness of Social Media Sharing:

Maybe you and everyone in your social network or Twitter feed are engaged in a deep and enriching exchange of ideas. But collectively the dissemination of information through social media fuels what is really only an illusion of that process — a solipsistic and ultimately unedifying one.

That’s because at bottom, social sharing of information is often not actually about sharing information. It’s about the sharer letting everyone know that they are knowledgeable or right-thinking or caring.

I feel guilty of this all the time. What do I get out of posting things on social networks other than trying to show people how smart I am?

This is an area where I think friendships vs interests come into play. I may not be friends with people who (still) read this site, but we share the same interests – otherwise they wouldn’t keep reading. But if I post things on Facebook I accomplish almost nothing – in fact people get annoyed when others post too much in “their” news feed.

I’ve also felt this way, often unfollowing friends who post nothing other than political garbage or links to things I may find low-value or distasteful. And forget about offering an opposing view on the links they share. You’re asking for an argument. Whoever posted it will feel like it’s an attack on their world views and it will strain the friendship, if it can even be considered a friendship.

I LOVE getting into arguments with friends. It’s sometimes the most lively and enlightening thing that can happen, but for that to happen you need friends to see it as a debate of ideas, not of us vs them.

“Facebook Might Be Making Women Feel Bad About Their Bodies”

After gazing at one tight, toned body after another, the researchers say, a woman using Facebook might be apt to develop a “poor body image.”

Who are these women with tight, toned bodies – and will they accept my friend request?

It would be a stretch to say Facebook causes eating disorders.

Here it comes.

But the researchers say that negative feelings generated from looking at other people’s photos could form the “first steps” toward disordered eating, or risky behaviors that sometimes can compound into a clinical eating disorder.

I am on another round of anti-Facebook sentiment and I think I feel better without the apps on my devices. There’s a little less anxiety.

The Real Beauty of Twitter’s New Profile Page

SplatF makes me see it as more than ripping off Facebook:

Twitter’s new profile page — more photos, featuring your best tweets, etc. — isn’t really about copying Facebook or making a simple service more cumbersome. Rather, it seems to be about establishing your Twitter page as your main profile page on the entire Internet. And that I’m excited about.

Facebook vs. Page Owners

Facebook Hashes It Out With a Brand in Public

There’s a misunderstanding of what the problem is for page owners. Facebook is double-dipping. Page owners had to earn their likes, sometimes using ad campaigns and other Facebook sponsored methods to do so. They put like buttons everywhere on their site, on their emails, on their blogs. They spread the Facebook brand far and wide so they could have a regular-people way to reach those who cared about their brands.

And now Facebook wants to charge again to reach those fans that page owners have already earned.

You would be upset too.

“Why I Hate Read Receipts”

It’s the first thing I turn off on a new iOS thingy.

Read receipts are transitioning from a quirky, semi-invasive e-mail option to an always-on feature in messaging services like Facebook, but they aren’t always welcome. In many instances, they create a mild, uncomfortable social pressure—just enough to keep you talking a little longer than you might want.

I’ve stated how much I’ve liked FB Messenger before, but by making read receipts mandatory it’s kind of a deal-breaker. Now I hardly ever initiate conversations from it.