Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Social Media Choices: Hilarious Conservative Facebook ads

I have posted before about the implications of the way Facebook’s newsfeed now functions, but the long and short of it is that Facebook now decides what posts are addressing similar topics and groups them together. It isn't entirely clear how you get to the top of these groups, but it probably depends on the strength of the relationship you have with that person or fan page. So in this example I have had many interactions with The Raw Story so their post made it to the top of the list Facebook created for me:

The Wall Street example is why this decision by Facebook’s engineers has some serious political consequences. Regardless of how many of your friends post about Wall Street, you will only ever see this truncated list. I guess Facebook wants to make sure you don’t get distracted from the pictures of what your friends had for breakfast. I exaggerate, but only slightly, because we all know Twitter is where you broadcast what you had for breakfast.

To me this means that Facebook is ceding the territory of being the breaking news source of record to Twitter. I mean, how can you tell if something is breaking news if you are waiting for Facebook to organize all the stories discussing the same topic? As opposed to Twitter that is still a total fire-hose that shows you what is happening in real time.

Facebook ads are another nearly infinite source of bad and sometimes good social media experiments that I can critique or praise. This week it is pretty much all critiques. Take this ad for example:

“How dare this organization use the image of cookie monster to promote their agenda!” was my first reaction. And once I clicked on their ad and checked out their site I only got angrier.

This is clearly a conservative political ploy (a clever campaign, I have to admit) to get people to think in the simplistic terms the modern Republican party relies on. But the irony of using a beloved public television icon like cookie monster to promote radical conservative ideology was not lost on me.

I politely asked them who was funding their organization, but got no engagement from the fan page moderator. Surprise! They didn’t like my solutions either:

This next Facebook ad is just hilarious in its simplicity:

Well yeah, how could I not click?

But some Facebook ads are just in really bad taste. Take this example from a far right anti-government organization that is “is a public awareness campaign dedicated to educating Generation Y about important issues that will impact their future.” 

The people who run this group get paid to think that we should reduce the national debt at any cost, except by raising the marginal tax rate on the rich.

But come on guys, using the dead Steve Jobs to peddle your absurd political position? Last time I checked, Apple was founded and blossomed in one of the most heavily regulated states in the country and has not moved its headquarters to the libertarian paradise of Somalia.

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