Facebook itself was a great idea, to connect people using the internet by allowing people to share images, videos, articles, and instant message each other using a single platform. So whats the problem?
Perhaps you should log into your Facebook account right now and see for yourself. How many of these posts do you actually care about? How many people in your "friends list" do you actually know? How many memes do you see on your feed? How many advertisements can you spot on the main feed? How many "VIRAL" posts do you see? How many "tag @a friend if blah blah blah" posts do you see? How many articles do you see that lead you to a slideshow filled with advertisements?
You see, so how much time would you have to waste to filter through all that shit to find something actually worth noting? Is there a way to stop this? Yes, go clean your 'follows' list and your 'friends' list, at the risk of missing out on certain important posts by them.
There are primarily 3 reasons why Facebook has become this spammy zone filled with trashy content.
- "Media Companies" like BuzzFeed, Likes.com, 9GAG, etc
You probably know BuzzFeed, or at least have seen or heard that name before. BuzzFeed is really the key player here because they are the pioneers of creating "viral content" for the sake of making money on the internet. I won't go into the details, but I'll give you a summary.
According to an article about BuzzFeed's origins by Inc.com, it all started when a guy named Jonah Peretti is inspired by how an email conversation with a nike employee was sent to 12 friends, and eventually became viral. This, along with a couple other experiments with virality, leads him to join up with another guy named John Johnson to start what we now know as BuzzFeed.
And yeah, they've been spamming everyone ever since.
Since their primary source of income is advertisements and clicks on their content, its no surprise that they are abusing every aspect of Facebook to try to get their content onto your feed. This includes a plethora of tactics, such as posting extremely one-sided content in order to get people to argue in the comments, therefore making the post "popular" in terms of numbers. Other tactics include uploading extremely stupid videos that people would react to, and as a result, would show up on their friends' feeds, and let the cycle repeat itself. Fun fact: BuzzFeed has actually made over 250 different Facebook pages to try to spam you from all directions. I have actually compiled a list of known spammy Facebook pages on this spreadsheet.
Nonetheless, BuzzFeed's tactics to creating viral content for money turned out to be fairly successful, and what you have next is another wave of other individuals, organizations, startups, etc joining the spam market, taking the spam to a whole new level. Likes.com and 9GAG fit into this category. I'll give 9GAG some credit though, 9GAG is fine as a standalone website, unlike BuzzFeed and Clicks.com or Likes.com whatever, 9GAG doesn't overload their users with advertisements (but with memes, maybe). The way their posts continuously appear where they shouldn't on Facebook is the problem.
- The users themselves
This one heavily relates to the previous point. When a user likes a post on Facebook, their friends will be able to see the post too (usually). Content is bound to spread indefinitely as long as there is a minimum 5% chance that somebody will like a post, and that person has more than 20 Facebook friends.
This is why stupid spammy content can spread so quickly. The majority of the users don't really care how their actions can alter the feeds of other people. Sure, you may be subscribed to one of those pages, or your friend is, but please, you can laugh at it but don't force us to see it.
- The Facebook Team
The third part of the problem can be traced to the folks behind Facebook. They have created an unique social media platform, but they have failed to maintain it.
So what do I mean when I say that they have failed to maintain it? Obviously, Facebook has been around since 2004, and they have maintained their servers and databases for a long time. What I mean here is that they have failed to maintain the community and user experience.
It is after all, Facebook's job to make sure that their users are "connected with their friends and the world around them on Facebook", and it seems pretty clear that they're only getting half the job done.
On the bright side, it does seem like Facebook has realized this and is making efforts to try to solve the issue with spammy sites, as seen on a recent article. However, I doubt it will lead to much improvement within the next 2 years.
This is just my take on Facebook.
I am a high school student and a lot of my friends are indeed subscribed to a bunch of meme related pages.
I however, only use Facebook to stay up to date with school events as well as class meetings.
What do you think? Do you have a similar experience using Facebook?
-- This article was taken from my blog --