Are We Post-Platform? [Content Made Simple]
Issue #270: Facebook admits mistakes, Influencers 2.0, and more.
TOP OF THE WEEK:
Platforms have boxed our social lives and creative endeavors into slick, hyper-designed perimeters, guiding users through algorithmically perfect scrolls. Encouraging self-gratification, they even reward us for using their templates, filters, hashtags, and stickers. As design theorist Yin Aiwen puts it, “joining a platform today is much like going to a new town; not only do you need to familiarize yourself with the interfacial environment, you also must adapt to a particular culture to communicate, exchange, and so on.”
This is such a great read. One of the best social internet culture pieces I’ve read in a while.
HITTING THE LINKS
Good analysis of the latest Facebook quarterly community standards enforcement report. You know, assuming you didn’t read it. :-)
As the content moderation scholar Evelyn Douek has written: “Content moderation will always involve error, and so the pertinent questions are what error rates are reasonable and which kinds of errors should be preferred.”
Facebook’s report today highlights two major kinds of errors: ones made by human beings, and ones made by artificial intelligence systems.
Start with the humans. For reasons that the report does not disclose, between the last quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of this one, its human moderators suffered “a temporary decrease in the accuracy of enforcement” on posts related to drugs. As a result, the number of people requesting appeals rose from 80,000 to 104,000, and Facebook ultimately restored 149,000 posts that had been wrongfully removed.
Super interesting read.
Brands win because they get actual customers to post content—the quality and authenticity of user-generated content is likely higher than more polished, sponsor-y content from professional influencers. Sure, some of it might be garbage, but some of it might be gold. And brands are paying on a CPM basis—in other words, they only pay for content that performs well.
Most importantly, brands can buy usage rights to that content, and then run their own ads with that content. On TikTok, these are called spark ads—a native ad format that lets a brand put dollars behind a creator’s organic content. In this way, Bounty can become the dashboard through which brands manage and control user-generated content.
This is wild. Glad there was actually some accountability here as an effort to hold the most egregious social media privacy violator accountable.
The benefits of internet privacy laws can sometimes be hard to grasp: With the right regulations, users can sometimes have a vague reassurance that advertisers or the government can’t snoop as easily on their personal information.
But this week, residents of Illinois have been getting a more tangible benefit: $397.
The money has been arriving by check and direct deposit from a settlement fund set up last year after Facebook agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging that the social media company had violated the rights of Illinois residents by collecting and storing digital scans of their faces without permission.
THE FUNNY PART
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