Recently, while taking important time out of my day to check up on Facebook, I have found some awkward recommendations appear on the right hand side of my news feed. As part of the Recommended Pages section, the Facebook team has devised an ingenious method of linking Pages that you have previously liked to other persons, places, or things they figure you may also like. Here’s an easy way to look at it: if you and 100 people say you ‘like’ TV and then 50 of those 100 people say they also ‘like’ Movies, then Facebook believes you may also ‘like’ Movies and thus recommends it to you. However, sometimes these recommendations end up not making a whole lot of sense.
I ‘like’ the Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. Apparently, many people who like Michael Ignatieff also ‘like’ Prime Minister Stephen Harper.It would seem that those who actually like Michael Ignatieff and stand for his policies would probably disagree with the ideals of Stephen Harper. However, due to similar ‘likings’ by my members of both Facebook Pages, political divisions have been transcended. Maybe this is an effective way to improve bipartisan politics? Possibly, or maybe Recommended Pages hasn’t fully captured the reasons behind why one may like two similar pages.
On any given day, you may receive one recommendation that seems to make sense. A person who likes President Barack Obama probably also likes Vice President Joe Biden. Yet, the correlation between a person who likes President Obama and Family Guy seems a little bit lost. Will campaign staff for the Democratic Party be looking to buy some ad space in Family Guy in 2012? Although, it may not be too far off as Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane was an outspoken supporter of Obama!
Dr.House and President Obama? That just seems a little too far off, right? There can’t be any connections between the two, I mean one is a completely fictional character! Although, they do share a calm demeanor in handling seemingly unthinkable situations and actor Kal Penn, who starred in the show, did leave TV for a position in the White House as associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement. Maybe, these recommendations aren’t as far off as we had originally thought!
It seems that with President Obama having over 10 million fans, Recommended Pages is stuck with placing his face as a false endorsement of these other pages. Here are a few more Recommended Pages we just couldn’t find a connection between. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Mafia Wars and Barack Obama
The Twilight Saga and Barack Obama
Vin Diesel and Barack Obama
Tags: Facebook, Michael Ignatieff, President Obama, Recommended Pages, Stephen Harper
Maybe you’re overthinking this a bit?
If Likes were genuine and spontaneous — which, increasingly, they’re not — there’d be rich fodder here for sociology majors. But when so many FB campaigns are structured to maximize the Like count, I’ve got to wonder.
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