I’ve written about the shenanigans Facebook users get up to far too often. Back in 2012, I wrote about this frankly disturbing trend where people used images of sick, deformed and/or badly hurt individuals to get more likes on their fan pages while feigning sympathy (twice). Then, three years later, I wrote about people on Facebook who manipulate the emotion opposite of sadness via so-called “humor” pages that share a bunch of regurgitated memes or unsourced screenshots of whiny ‘teen posts’ that you’ve seen already – and are usually completely irrelevant to the page name.
And no, it doesn’t count when a cesspool of cringe like “Minion Quotes” takes a random string of words, whether they’re intended to be funny or touching (none of which they are), and just slaps an unrelated picture of a Minion next to it. It’s not a Minion quote. It’s the same kind of fatuous bullshit that everyone else already posts and you’re just using the popularity of these unfunny pill creatures to make users across the globe even more enticed by your posts so that you can make even more easy dollars (yes, nowadays you can get attention and money by doing this). At least write “blah blah blah banana” or something! People will still think it’s the epitome of comedy.
And the reason I’m bringing it up again is, now that Facebook has indeed introduced a proper monetization system, it’s only gotten worse.
One of the biggest names on the Internet right now is SoFlo Antonio, and his Facebook page is of the comedic variety. Does that mean his stuff is 100% all-original SoFlo all day every day? Hah, of course not! This is a guy whose entire career is based around taking other people’s viral videos, making a comment at the beginning, and then playing the video that someone else made unaltered, unless he somehow believes that putting plain text that reads “OMG so funny” followed by a random emoji at the top of the frame constitutes as an alteration. This is why it’s so hard for video-makers who actually employ the Fair Use doctrine to get people to take Fair Use seriously, guys.
As most of you have no doubt deduced, Facebook videos are the worst offenders here, because every time a video auto-plays in your Facebook feed, it gets counted as a “view” on that vid, despite you pausing it straight away and sincerely not giving a shit. And views are worth money. And getting views on Facebook is easier than on YouTube thanks to the aforementioned joke of a system. Long story short: SoFlo’s got this one in the bag, even though nobody on the planet deserves it less.
The most rancid part of all this is that SoFlo’s fame inspires an onslaught of imitators. Whenever I see a page share a video/photo and there’s something written on the top of the frame, usually followed by emojis or a watermark, I know that it’s most likely been taken from someone else and is now lazily retouched so as to seem “transformative”. If they actually go that far and don’t just post the video/photo without source and call it a day. They usually get away with it regardless so who cares, right?
Also, this isn’t to say that it’s all based in comedy, memes, and *ahem* funny viral videos. Here’s something I saw on Facebook the other day and tell me if it looks familiar in the fucking slightest:
This video seems at first glance like the sort of basic, innocent thing a middle-aged Christian lady would upload in order to (somehow) fix her son’s cancer, but it gets fishy when you take a look at who exactly posted it.
I was close to commenting on this video. I wanted to ask Kortney what his relation was to the sick kid outside of posting videos of him on his (probably monetized) comedy page, why kids with cancer belong on a page dedicated to humor, and whether it would be fine by him if I don’t “pray” and simply donate money. Then I realized that 1 million people had commented on this crap and that my inquiry likely wouldn’t be seen. I more or less gave up.
So that’s it. We’re back to where we were 4 years ago, where the best clicks are generated by exploiting other people’s pain to make more Facebookers like your page, and not necessarily through unfunny memes that are for some reason considered extra hilarious when they’re posted by Lebanese radio station pages, displayed next to Minions, or stolen by a random Internet personality who constantly looks worried about something.
And as you’ve probably gathered, all of this shit I’ve mentioned still gets hits like crazy, which means you guys are part of the problem! Yes, that includes those of you reading this who’ve never even used Facebook. I’m blaming everyone. Myself too. Fuck it.
But oh well, at least nobody’s doing the same played-out bullshit for the sake of views on social networking websites like Twi–
That’s all for today. Always know where your towel is.