So, in the latest attempt by Facebook to annoy the ever-loving hell out of its users, it’s decided to start just randomly posting images and calls to action from political groups you’ve “liked” in other people’s Feeds, months after you Liked it and forgot about it.
If you actively share a link, a post, or a photo, you expect that shared item to go out to your friends immediately. In this case, however, the posts are going out under your name because at some point in the past (in some cases in the distant past) you visited a page and clicked Like.
This applies to all sorts of things you’ve liked, of course, not just political groups. But essentially it allows anything your friends have Liked to spam your feed. Here’s what you’ll see when this happens:
Notice that your friend didn’t share this post in this example. And even better — you have absolutely no control over this! You can’t keep the posts from appearing in your feed without unfriending the person, and you can’t figure out what’s being posted in their feeds under your name without being told by them. This can be a bit of a problem when, say, Drugstore.com is running a two for one special on lube.
If this sounds awful and a terrible idea, it’s not. For Facebook. The entire idea behind this is that Facebook is trying to demonstrate its enormous reach. Sure, political groups get exposure, but Facebook cares more about large corporations with advertising budgets getting more exposure to its users. I’m sure there will be some sort of shocking revelation at some point that this is a service bought and paid for.
So you might want to prune your Likes judiciously. Especially the ironic ones. Otherwise, you might wind up promoting Nickelback at some point.
image courtesy Berger King on Flickr