Don’t Trust Political Facebook “Likes”

Twitter and facebook buoyed the Arab Spring — they can arguably be credited as being the driving force for democracy in that mass movement. We all love our social media, especially in this political season.

But, can you always trust everything you see on your facebook page?

Sadly, the answer is a resounding NO!

Last week I noticed that Rick Pluta, a journalist I respect greatly, was supposedly”liking” some questionable Tea Party groups. I asked him about it, and he replied that facebook always generates these kinds of things, and it creates some confusion among his listeners and readers.

This morning I awoke to an email asking me if I had indeed “liked” a particular item, which I had not. I was sent a screen shot of it:This problem is pervasive and divisive — and of great concern to me, as it should be to you. I’ve noticed that a very liberal friend of mine supposedly “liked” Mitt Romney, and a young apolitical friend (literally, he hates politics) was suddenly liking political candidates.

My stance on the Michigan ballot proposals is No, Yes, Yes, Yes, No, No. I’ve blogged that I don’t particularly like the necessity of tinkering with the state constitution for what should be legislative initiatives, but we simply have no choice given the intransigent nature of the Michigan legislature. Basically, they’ve forced our hand. 

I’m sure that Rick isn’t secretly parading-about in a tricorn hat, although I’m sure he’d look cute in it!

Please comment if you have an insight into this facebook situation.

Amy Kerr Hardin


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4 Responses to Don’t Trust Political Facebook “Likes”

  1. Jon Awbrey says:

    Facebook “likes” mean nothing. I use them to mark pages I want to say something on or get news from, and that includes all sorts of pages with all sorts of POVs. I use them to mark comments as being read and as a way of saying “Thanks for your POV”. Other than that they mean nothing.

  2. Donna says:

    I noticed that a facebook friend “liked” Romney, I know she is Gary Johnson person

  3. Cheryl Gracie says:

    I had a friend liking “Mitt” as well who I knew could not. I then realized after talking to her that she did NOT actually choose to “like” him.

    The question in my mind is whether or not a company, (such as Facebook) becomes liable for such actions. I think that individually, it would be difficult to prove damages when the people are unknown. But, collectively and with deceit adding intent to defraud, there might be a case.

    I come back to an analogy using a high school election. What if one of the candidates could forge endorsements using his classmates names and plaster them all over the high school? Would this interfere with the election and work to swing that election in favor of the kid who forged the endorsements? Doesn’t this sound a bit like the “emperor has no clothes” before the little boy spoke out?

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