Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Provocation Sells

Interesting aside from Mark Zuckerberg as he rambled about possible changes in how Facebook polices its content:
He called this “borderline content”––content that doesn’t break Facebook’s rules, but that walks right up to the line without crossing it. “No matter where we draw the lines for what is allowed,” he wrote, “as a piece of content gets close to that line, people will engage with it more on average––even when they tell us afterwards they don’t like the content.”

Borderline content getting more engagement “applies not only to news but to almost every category of content,” he added. “For example, photos close to the line of nudity, as with revealing clothing or sexually suggestive positions, got more engagement on average before we changed the distribution curve to discourage this. The same goes for posts that don’t come within our definition of hate speech but are still offensive.”
People may be offended, but they still look.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

So he's basically admitting that his company behaves like a problem child who craves attention, any attention, even negative attention, so long as eyes are on them.

"Engagement" is not automatically good, healthy, or sustainable. If your company gets millions of letters / emails / complaints from angry customers monthly, that's a whole lot of engagement, but it's also very, very bad.

That's the sort of engagement you really want to avoid. But it feels like modern companies have decided there's no such thing as negative engagement any more, and no such thing as bad press, even as they struggle to stay afloat vying with competitors.