Be Careful What You "Like" On Facebook

dislikeUsers click “Like” literally billions of times per day, but most don’t understand how that can trigger stories to show up in their friends’ newsfeeds. You may be a Like-spammer and not even know it!

How Are Your Likes Used?

Here are some of the ways that clicking “Like” can be used in ways you don’t realize:

  1. If you “Like” a product on Amazon or other site connected to Facebook, or even if you just Like a post made by a product you are a fan of, you may actually show up in an ad for that company! Facebook may show an ad to your friends, telling them that you liked a product. See this story on the New York Times: On Facebook, Likes Become Ads. Read this story!
  2. If you “Like” a Sponsored story from Target or any other Page you like (sponsored stories are Facebook’s new con to earn revenue), that story may appear in your friends’ news feeds, even if they don’t like the Page! You are effectively passing on their ad to your friends.
  3. If you “Like” something posted by a friend, and that post’s privacy is set to “Public” or “Friend of Friends”, your friends who don’t even know this other friend may see the story in their feed that you liked their post.
  4. If you “Like” something posted by a friend, and you both have a mutual friend, that mutual friend may see a story in their news feed that you liked their post.

For these reasons, I have personally decided to limit my activity with Facebook. I rarely “Like” or comment on posts anymore, because there is simply no way to interact with Facebook without potentially spamming your every move to your friends’ news feeds, or appearing in ads.

For all of Facebook’s attempts at privacy, they have failed on one of the biggest privacy concerns – I don’t want my every click on Facebook to be broadcast to my friends! This new kind of Social Voyeurism is not welcome by me, or many others.

Facebook, if you want people to interact more with the site, you need to give us greater control over how “spammy” we are to our friends, and let us Like and Comment without fearing that our every word or click will be broadcast for all to see.

Of course, please click “Like” on this post. It may show up in your friends’ news feeds, but that would be a good thing. Maybe they will read it Smile

Matt Kruse, author of Social Fixer.