Dinosaurs in the Making

Facebook has been handing out a recent spate of punishments for those they deem to be over-liking pages or posting “inappropriate” content (which generally turns out not to be even remotely inappropriate). The punishment? A 30-day ban on liking any new pages plus automatically unfollowing any pages you’ve recently liked.

I’ve read in multiple places that this may be linked to liking too many pages in a short amount of time through the Rafflecopter widget. They also seem to be punishing bloggers who are on the receiving end of these likes through participate in large group giveaways. The explanation is that this is seen as like-harvesting activity and is against Facebook’s TOS.

Now, I’ve never been a huge fan of giant conglomerate giveaways, where you’re forced to like 50 or more pages at once in order to enter at all- for a tiny chance at a prize. However, putting arbitrary limits on the amount of pages we may like and the way in which we may like them is a bit ridiculous. Especially considering the websites I’ve seen that allow you to buy thousands of Facebook likes for a few dollars.

I think part of the problem is that these sites get so large that they believe they’re too big to fail. Facebook’s answer to this appears to be  “hey let’s snatch up all the competition!”- such as their recent acquisition of WhatsApp for $16 BILLION. I still feel they’ve forgotten the lessons of the past, such as sites like Myspace and Livejournal, and Second Life which people flocked to in droves before abandoning them into virtual ghost towns seemingly overnight.

It isn’t hard to see that the newest generation of teens are turning away from Facebook. For one, it’s too restrictive in terms of content you can post, erase and control the use of. Also, your PARENTS are probably on there, and in many cases your grandparents, teachers, church leaders. So while teens may have a Facebook profile, it’s a whitewashed version of their true selves, meant to divert adults from looking any deeper. Their real friends and real content are being posted and exchanged in places like Tumblr, Kik, Snapchat and Pheed.

It all reminds me of prehistoric dinosaurs,  roaring mightily across the planet, too large, too ferocious to ever question the continuation of their own existence. Then in one flickering blink, everything had changed.