Facebook Protest

OK, I’m a crank. I like Facebook. I really do. But one of the things I hate about it is how all up-in-arms people get about nothing.

Today, I got Yet Another “invitation” to join a group to protest Facebook’s plans to start charging for using the service — the variant I got was “NO! I WILL NOT PAY $3.99/MONTH TO USE FACEBOOK STARTING JULY 9, 2010! JOIN.”

Again.

This is True on FacebookIt doesn’t matter that Facebook says they’re not going to charge (since it would be idiotic for them to do so!), and it doesn’t matter how many times it’s been shown to be an urban legend, people have to get all excited about it and “protest.”

Among the other stupid/great causes (depending on your point of view) there include:

  • “1,000,000 Strong for Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)”, which has not a million, but — as of this writing — 17,643 “fans” or people who agree.
  • “We can find 1,000,000 people who DO believe in Evolution before June” with 374,609, which is handily beating out “we can find 1,000,000 people who don’t believe in Evolution befor June” (sic) with 163,916.
  • “I Bet I Can Find 1,000,000 People Who Believe In Gay Rights” with 34,339.
  • “I bet The United States can get 10 million fans before any other country!!!”, which so far has only found 155,309 people not rolling their eyes to join.
  • And multiple “I BET [some sports team or school] CAN FIND 100,000 FANS BEFORE [some other sports team or school] CAN!” — not one of which that I saw had anywhere near that many fans.

Valueless

There are pages that are for and against Obama, Republicans, health care reform, Tiger Woods, and any other cause you may wish to froth at the mouth over, pro or con.

And what does it all do? Why, nothing, of course!

Thus, I came up with my own Facebook protest group: It Doesn’t Matter How Many Fans You Get, It Won’t Matter At All. Note I wasn’t so foolish as to specify how many fans I “bet” I could get. After all, whether I get 10 or 10 million, It Won’t Matter At All!

But at least it makes a statement to the various fomenters: We just don’t care about your protest, even if we agree with it, because that’s not the way things get done!

But pretty much, I’m doing mine to get a laugh. If you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join. I’m not planning any rallies, marches, protests, petitions, grievances, signature drives, political action, or even any terribly meaningful postings to the group. But hey: I’m having fun with it!

Whatever your cause, as I say in the group’s logo: “Good Luck With That”.

And hey, don’t get me wrong: I’m not against “fan pages” on Facebook. They’re a lovely way to communicate with a group of people, and I have couple. But joining a page as a “protest” just “won’t matter” if you don’t do anything about what you’re protesting. Putting up a page isn’t doing something — nor is Liking a do-nothing page.

My “real” Facebook pages:

– – –

Once I made my point — and gathered many hundreds of “Likes” — I shut the page down, so of course there’s no longer a link. The point was made. -rc

11 Comments on “Facebook Protest

  1. But the Betty White to host SNL fanpage worked!

    Are you sure? The Facebook effort worked, or was Betty just invited anyway? After all, she is one cool old lady and deserved to be there! -rc

  2. Well… as much as I do agree with what you’re trying to say, there is plenty of proof out there that Facebook petitions have made a difference – gotten companies to change their policies, retract or continued products etc. So FB-groups CAN make a change, just by being there and getting lots of attention – although for most of them, there is no point.

  3. I WOULD pay $3.99 a month to NOT get all those stupid pleas.

    Heh! Good point, but even if they did charge $3.99/month, I sincerely doubt they’d also change other major portions of their business model, which is to encourage people to live on Facebook pretty much all day. -rc

  4. Like the futility of those email “petitions” that people keep forwarding? I have a number of different email addresses, since my ISP allows me several, my domain allows me even more, and then there are the free email services. So what’s to prevent millions of people from stacking the “ballots” to appear as tens of millions?

    Not a thing, which is why such petitions are worthless, and also why they don’t get as many responses as they hoped for, since most others realize how worthless they are.

  5. I agree that most of these groups achieve nothing, but it’s down to the group’s creator to make best use of it. I’ve seen groups where people are encouraged to sign an official petition, for example, or where the creator sends out updates on the situation and advises people on how to express their protest, like writing to their MP/congressman.

    Of course, that doesn’t apply to aimless groups like “support (X)”. Those just provide people with a sense that they supported a cause, without really taking any action to advance it. Those are a waste of effort.

    And then there’s funny ones – for instance I like “I bet this stupid insect can get more fans than Nick Griffin” (a racist politician). Does nothing for the world, but it’s good for a laugh.

  6. Exactly, these Facebook cause groups are all a bit silly. There’s even an amusingly-named parody, An Arbitrary Number of People Demanding That Some Sort Of Action Be Taken – sample comment: “Now that I’ve joined this cause, I don’t have to actually DO ANYTHING about the matter I feel so strongly about!”

    My point exactly. -rc

  7. I am on Facebook, but it’s not something I spend much time on, I’ve got lots of other things that I want/need to do. That said, it has been kind of fun connecting up with people I’d not heard from for almost 30 years.

    Last night I went through and deleted all those “invitations”. No thanks, I don’t want to be your neighbor on your farm, no I don’t want to be in your horse group, no I don’t want to help you card your dryer lint into yarn, etc. And you’re right about those fan pages, what a waste! Just like all those “petitions” that circulate on the web. If you really are interested in getting something done, changing the world, etc, doing it that way is pretty much like sitting on your thumbs, other than ticking off your friends because you’ve sent them so much junk mail. If you really want to do something, be productive – write your congressperson, volunteer, go sit in on a town council meeting, start a petition the correct way and collect actual signatures from registered voters, go to a retirement home and talk to some of the lonely people there to learn their stories, just quit pestering me with worthless “petitions”

    The people who sign on to all those “1,000,000 fans” groups — what a bunch of sheep! Being a scientist and a fairly common sense person, I like thinking for myself, not just following the herd. These people need to get a life instead of seeing how many groups they can be on and how many emails they can get from said groups.

    That said, I think I’ll join your “It Doesn’t Matter How Many Fans You Get, It Won’t Matter At All” group, and it’ll be the only one I’ll be on.
    Thanks for letting me rant, I needed it.

    Pretty much, that’s what this page is all about! 🙂 -rc

  8. On Facebook, there is a way to *not* see most of the junk: block the “Causes” application. It is the app that many people use to invite their friends to “support this cause”.

    This application can be blocked by going to the account drop-down menu, and hitting the application settings button. A list of apps you use will come up. Find “Causes” and press the small x on the right and confirm to permanently block. This will work on any app you don’t want.

    I don’t see that on mine at all, but perhaps that will help others. -rc

  9. Lauren is wrong when you want to block an application. There are two ways: one is to do a search of the application you want to block; open it up to the app wall and there is a link under where the app’s profile pic that says ‘block this application’. For the other one, when you receive a request from a friend through an application under the big accept & ignore buttons there is an option to block the application.

    Unfortunately you can’t block pages or groups, only applications and people.

  10. No wonder everyone should be more active – everyone spends all of their time on Facebook joining these pointless groups!

    I agree with you, Randy!!

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