I’m not sure why Mark Zukerberg decided to use the term “Newsfeed” for the string of posts that my friends put up on their own Facebook pages every day. I honestly wish I could go to one of the Q and A’s that he hosts for Facebook employees every Friday and ask that question.
My husband began using Facebook on a daily basis long before I did. He has 22 Friends. I have 269. (Google tells me the average Facebook user has 338 … so we’re both on the low side as compared to the other 2.7 billion users.) When I would look over at him fiddling around on his computer in the morning, I would ask, “What are you doing.” He’d reply, “Just checking my news feed.”
Silly me. I thought he was looking through the L.A. Times or the Curry Coastal Pilot. Not so.
Should any of us be surprised – not excluding Mark Zukerberg – that so many people use Facebook as a news source … and pretty much believe any site that calls itself “www.newsoutlet.com.”
And then there’s the problem with misleading ads. We know the Russians figured out how easy it is to influence Americans just by claiming that their “product” was “new” and “improved.” It doesn’t really matter what you might think their “product” was … what’s really scary is that they could sell so many Americans on anything!
I got into a Facebook conversation with a Friend (who is also a friend) the other day. She wondered why she had tried to post an ad and it was suggested she ask for a “human review.” She chose that option and is still waiting for her “human review.” It’s been two days. Maybe they’re just saying that that there are humans involved. Maybe there are no humans to approve her ad?
Can’t Facebook deal with their 2 billion plus users faster than that? That’s only 56,397 users for each employee to keep in line. One source says that FB adds 500,000 new users every day. Most of those users post in one of 42 languages other than English. So what’s the problem, Facebook?
The short answer is that Facebook has bigger fish to fry. It’s not that Mark Zukerberg doesn’t care about each of Facebook’s two billion users, it’s just that when a system is in crisis, priorities must change. Mark would really like to have a real human being to check over each ad within 24 hours, and one day soon he might. I’m not sure what happened with everybody’s pictures didn’t show up for a couple of hours … but my limited knowledge of how the FB algorithm works makes it easy for me to speculate about the reasons. What I know for sure is that Priority #1 right now is what to do about the really bad people who have figured out how to use this new technology for evil.
My concern is what’s going to happen if good people refuse to use Facebook … or continue to use it in ways which were never intended?
When are we going to take responsibility for our own Facebook footprint and start checking the bloggers who can so easily set up a site and convince themselves that their opinion is real NEWS because they get so many “Likes”? When are we going go back to getting our NEWS from the credible sources that we’ve always trusted … and think of our “Newsfeeds” as a way to see our Friend’s cute cats and grandchildren?