The other day I browsed through some news sites to get the latest on the Linkedin hacking incident when I was reminded of the following: the sometimes very inappropiate and confusing usage of the Facebook Like button.
Here is an example from a LinkedIn news story:
So apparently 459 individuals like the fact that some 6.5 million LinkedIn Passwords were hacked? I’m pretty sure that many of these users weren’t in favor of the hacking incident but how are we actually supposed to know? It gets worse here. Renowed screenwriter Nora Epron recently passed away. Being the writer behind movie classics such as “When Harry met Sally” and “Heartburn” (not exactly our office favorite cyber crime movies, but good flicks nonetheless) she is going to be sadly missed by peers and fans alike. The sad story of her passing on Slate.com received 746 “Likes”.
Here is another sad story reflecting the food crisis in Africa. This story received 136 “Likes”. Maybe they should rename the button to Facebook Yikes!
But why do these sites choose the “Like” Button? Websites have a number of ways of presenting social sharing features on their pages including the Facebook “Like” or “Recommend” button, as well as a”Share” button which was eventually deprecated. Various 3rd party tools offer Facebook “Share” buttons which you can see below in the post you’re reading.
Technical stuff aside, what are readers actually “liking” when they hit a page’s “Like” button? Are readers approving of the death of a screenwriter or starving children, or perhaps acknowledging the sentimental importance of the story? Lets hear your voice in the comments!
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