When I first read the PR Daily Article “Why Facebook Should Stop Judging Content Quality” I was a little upset by Facebook’s decision to devalue memes. The article got the response it was looking for in me when it said, “You are too stupid to recognize quality posts (Carter, paragraph 3).”
But then I stopped and really thought about it. Personally, I don’t like memes. I ignore them when they are on my newsfeed, and I would be happy to see even less of them.
This weekend, I had the great opportunity to talk to someone who works at Facebook, and I mentioned this topic. Although he did not personally work on the code that assigns value to posts, he said there may have been several reasons for this. He said that it was true, Facebook did think memes were of lower content, for reasons that make sense. Memes are not completely original works, which may cause some problems with copyright law. And in a sense, they are actually quite similar to posts that beg for “likes.” They do not stir up much original conversation or earn many “shares,” instead they just gather “likes.” Therefore, they are of “lower quality.”
My initial feelings did not last long. While I do not personally appreciate memes because they seem a bit like spam to me, I still do believe that we should have some say as to what appears on our newsfeed. In my settings, I should be able to say whether or not I would like memes to appear, even possibly going as far as to select which brand or company’s memes I would like to see. This would be the best of both worlds. People like me who like memes, but do not necessary appreciate businesses trying to use them, could decide for themselves just how important memes are.
Above all, I believe that Facebook is trying to make improvements, and do what they think is both best and what their users want. Just because memes have been devalued now does not mean that they will be forever.