If you’re on Facebook (and who isn’t) you’ve probably noticed the “Suggestions” section on the right side of your feed. Basically, the wizards behind the curtain have developed a way to recommend fan pages based on similar characteristics.
A few examples will make how it works pretty obvious:
Looks pretty good, eh? Well, here’s a headscratcher:
Which dots are being connected to suggest someone that’s a fan of Chase Community Giving might possibly have an interest in Mafia Wars? Is JP Morgan Chase a backer of Zynga or just connected to the mob?
Seriously though, I’ve opted out of nearly every Mafia Wars ad and provided negative feedback to Facebook countless times. Now I’m getting this?
But this one’s even worse:
Okay, where’s the Michael Jackson / Barack Obama connection? The only obvious connection is the color of their skin—which sounds a bit like racial profiling to me. I mean, really, does Facebook recommend Elvis to George H.W. Bush fans because they’re white?
While Facebook’s suggestions function makes sense when it’s done right, done wrong it can be downright offensive.
That’s my take. What’s yours?