Sep 21 2012

Why (some) Facebook Pages Suck

Facebook pages are a great way for companies, individuals, and organizations to interact with their fans. They are also a great way for people to express opinions, and receive interaction from people who may share, or disagree with those opinions. Under normal circumstances, people who “like” a given page know what they are going to view in their feed, and hope to enjoy the content posted by the page.

However, since anyone can make a page, there exists a plethora of pages devoted to memes, jokes, anime and video game characters, and anything else a person can imagine, all generally made by fans of such. These pages provide a different kind of interaction that isn’t intended to sell a product, brand, or idea: instead, this interaction is simply for the sake of fun. This wouldn’t be too bad, under normal circumstances, but in some cases, pages can take things a little extreme…

Many pages related in this group are interconnected, if you will, by shared admins and shared content. If you follow multiple pages that are connected to each other, you will often see the same image or post shared several times over, as it spreads around on the network. Obviously, this can get old, especially if it is a image that you aren’t too fond of, or have seen more than enough. In some cases, I have actually seen the same picture 10 or more times in the span of a day, shared between several pages at once. Inherently, there is nothing wrong with these pages sharing the image: they want their followers to see something they would hopefully like, but when you follow all of the pages that share the image, it can get old fast.

Then comes the issue of tastefulness of content. Now, sometimes, offensive content something you have to expect from a page, by virtue of what it represents. However, in some cases, there is simply no reason for the posting of such, other than shock value . Most recently, it seems, a majority of meme based pages that I follow decided that 9/11 would be something to joke about. While I took it in stride, and respected their right to have an opinion I disagree with, I still did not enjoy having to look at such on that day. Of course, I liked the pages originally for their comedic content, and generally enjoy their other posts, so I didn’t unlike the page for one day of images I personally found distasteful.

Often, the goal of such offensive content being posted is purely to offend: this results in arguments that, while admirable for those who defend their viewpoint, are effectively pointless, since the admin who posted the content obviously doesn’t care to begin with. It simply gains them interaction, and a little laugh as people get upset over an image or a comment. It boils down to to the basic internet action of “trolling”, but in a more passive way.

This naturally creates an odd situation for those who like these pages: Oftentimes, the content posted is very comical, and enjoyable. However, sometimes, a post is made that crosses what a person finds acceptable, making a fan consider taking action to unlike, the page, which in the end is actually detrimental to the most common goal of any facebook page: getting as many likes as possible. In my case, I have chosen to continue to follow such pages, but other people might quickly find their facebook experience soured by repetitive, or offensive content.

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