Uh, yes? Maybe not anyone with "XML" in their user name, as that suggests a certain familiarity with technology and its abuses, but probably the vast majority of non-tech folk would assume that "X likes Y" should mean that X looked at Y, thought "I like this!", and clicked a "Like" button. And this doesn't make them stupid - everything about the design of the "Like" button user experience is crafted to instill that belief in users. Otherwise the button text would be "Unconditionally endorse everything associated with this item."
There are whole parts of modern life that exist to teach people to see themselves as Neoliberal agents. One example is Facebook. Everyone gets all excited about social media. It's something new, it's a different way of people expressing themselves. But if you look at the actual structure of Facebook, the structure of Facebook is to teach you how to be a Neoliberal agent.
How does that work? First, you've got to to think about yourself not as somebody who has this inner true nature that you have to come to realise. What happens instead is you find that you can pretend you're various things, and you become a kind of a mix and match persona - you can mess with your photos, you can do all kinds of stuff. What you can learn is to be an entrepreneur of yourself.
And then it teaches you a bunch of other things. It teaches you to respond to the market, in being this entrepreneur of yourself. There are all these rules, like if you don't update the pages you're following often enough, they degrade. So it has this weird feedback that you have to keep constantly building yourself. And then you *believe* these measures, like how many Likes do I have, as though it represents something. When in fact it doesn't represent anything. It doesn't represent *your* place among your friends.
And then people say things like "look at all these rebellions breaking out in the world due to social media". That's a poor analysis of what's going on. What these social media tools do is make people misunderstand what they're unhappy with. That's the effect of the tools, and that's why so many of these rebellions, like Occupy, are ineffective.
What does this “like” statement mean? Welcome to the strange world of “like” recycling. Facebook has defined “like” in ways that depart from English usage. For instance, in the past Facebook has determined that:
Anyone who clicks on a “like” button is considered to have “liked” all future content from that source. So if you clicked a “like” button because someone shared a “Fashion Don’t” from Vice magazine, you may be surprised when your dad logs into Facebook three years later and is shown a current sponsored story from Vice.com like “Happy Masturbation Month!” or “How to Make it in Porn” with the endorsement that you like it. (Vice.com example is from Craig Condon [NSFW].)
Anyone who “likes” a comment on a shared link is considered to “like” wherever that link points to. a.k.a. “‘liking a share.” So if you see a (real) FB status update from a (real) friend and it says: “Yuck! The McLobster is a disgusting product idea!” and your (real) friend include a (real) link like this one – that means if you clicked “like” your friends may see McDonald’s ads in the future that include the phrase “(Your Name) likes McDonalds.” (This example is from ReadWriteWeb.)
« Older SCOTUS just overturned abortion clinic buffer zone... | With the completion of the gro... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt