Empathy isn’t a corporate slogan | Om Malik

Empathy isn’t a corporate slogan | Om Malik:

This will be the last of my posts on Facebook’s Year in Review feature.

Om Malik offers some more dissection of the problem with these insights:

The company’s culture is driven by pushing people to spend more and more of their time inside Facebook. It is a data informed culture, where everything is optimized for bringing you back, again and again. Sure, you can label global warming as “climate change,” but the consequences to our planet remain the same. Similarly, you can re-label users as “people,” but the end results aren’t going to change because the company wants people to behave like addicts — give me more likes, lols and photos without meaning.

And another:

Facebook’s “Year in Review” feature for instance seems like such a clever and obvious idea that everyone should want to create their own “greatest hits.” (The sheer number of times it has shown up in my timeline is a testimonial of its success.) Except life isn’t perfect. There is death, disease and tragedy and they are all painful memories. And perhaps, smarter, empathetic software, like a reasonable person’s response, would avoid bringing up particularly painful memories.

In what is an open display of ‘Schadenfreude’ on my part I can’t wait to see what other stupid tricks Facebook pulls (and to read the ensuing backlash) in the future.


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