Social Media Bias Isn't What You Think [Content Made Simple]

Issue #179: How to improve social media platforms, and why everyone is mad on Twitter on Mondays



There has been so much bickering lately about Twitter being Leftist or Facebook catering to Alt-Right mobs. The situation is actually much more dire than that.



When you see a piece of content that makes you mad, take a minute. Pause. Before you clink out an angry response on your keyboard, remind yourself, “Facebook/Twitter/etc. delivered me this content because it knows I will want to respond to it.”

You are a fish. Content that makes you angry is the bait on the hook.

This has been a brief education on what bait usually looks like.

Now, please stop taking the bait.


I am very passionate about social media users being aware of the mind games social media platforms are designed to play on us in order to make a profit. I understand it’s not realistic for many to delete social media accounts (but it’s probably more realistic for us than we care to admit). So if we aren’t going to delete our accounts, the next best thing we can do is have some awareness about how the platforms are manipulating us. This post is a small attempt from me at just that.


Social Qs #012: How Do You Balance Professionalism and Personality for Brand Social Media?

Jonathan, Elizabeth, and I all oversee social media for brands of some kind. This question was submitted by a listener, and we were happy to speak from our experience about how we handle this. It isn’t as straightforward as some may think. Balancing professionalism and personality can be tricky. If you run social media for a brand/organization/church, this conversation may be helpful for you.


Link #1: What a Better Social Network Would Look Like

This is a fascinating article! A bunch of different ideas about how to improve social media, some realistic and some far-fetched. Really interesting!

The advertiser boycott of Facebook and other social networks, which I examined in last week’s Pattern Matching, continues to grow. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly has no plans to budge on the Stop Hate for Profit campaign’s calls for the company to take a tougher line on hate speech. “My guess is that these advertisers will be back soon enough,” Zuckerberg reassured his employees, according to The Information, even as the platform continues to be dominated by reactionary pages such as Breitbart, Franklin Graham, and Blue Lives Matter. His confidence hints at a recognition that Facebook’s dominance of both user attention and data leaves even its largest customers little alternative or leverage. Stop hate for profit? No thanks, says Facebook: We’ll keep both.

Link #2: The Science Behind Why Everyone Is Angry on Twitter on Mondays

I’ve never seen a study like this done before! Kinda cool!

Our study primarily set out to see whether temperatures and angry tweet counts were related. But we also uncovered other interesting trends.

Average angry tweet counts were highest on a Monday (2,759 per day) and lowest on weekends (Saturdays, 2,373; Sundays, 2,499). This supports research that found an online mood slump on weekdays.

We determined that major news events correlated with the ten days where the angry tweet count was highest. These events included:

  • the federal leadership spill in 2015 when Malcolm Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott as prime minister

  • a severe storm front in NSW in 2015, then a major cold front a few months later

  • two mass shootings in the United States: Orlando in 2016 and Las Vegas in 2017

  • sporting events including the Cricket World Cup in 2015.

Link #3: Content Marketing: A Modern Guide

If you’ve never really read up on content marketing or how to do it, this is a suuuuper helpful starter guide. I’m reading it this week and it is full of good info.

When done well, content creates brand equity, meaning: your brand becomes more and more valuable over time as you continue to create valuable content. And the more you help your audience, the more your brand will gain a reputation as a leader in your field.

This creates a flywheel effect where you start to generate more and more momentum until suddenly you’re dominating your field.


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