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Some time ago, I “liked” the ABC 7 Chicago page on Facebook. For much of the duration, the page was great for providing Chicago area news, weather and any other tidbits of interest — exactly why I “liked” it to begin with.

Of late, I’ve become increasingly annoyed with a newer trend on Facebook where a branded page encourages their followers to “like” or “share a given status. I understand the strategy behind it. The more one’s content is shared, the more number of eyeballs see it. The marketer in me gets it. The off-work me using Facebook for fun happens to find it annoying.

An example I came across tonight I thought crossed the line. The ABC 7 Facebook page posted a story regarding the Arizona wildfire and 19 firefighters who were tragically killed. Included in the message was for followers to like the post as a show of support for the family of the 19 deceased.

While I understand that marketing often exploits tragedy, this blatant use of abstract social media likes as a means for showing support for the families is just plain sleazy. This level of tactic would cross the line regardless of the brand type, but the fact that it came from a highly reputable television news outlet such as ABC 7 makes it even worse.

For the time being, I have decided to “unlike” ABC 7 Chicago on Facebook.

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