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Anorak | The Trayvon Martin verdict: a great chance to pump up your Facebook stats

The Trayvon Martin verdict: a great chance to pump up your Facebook stats

by | 17th, July 2013

trayvon

SOMETHING darkling that’s been simmering on Facebook for a long time now boiled over last weekend, once news broke that George Zimmerman was deemed legally blameless for killing Trayvon Martin. So I’ll say it if nobody else will: these passive-aggressive like-whoring posts (similar to link-whoring, only with thrice the obnoxiousness) need to stop.

You’ve surely seen the kind of posts I’m talking about. “Hitler and the Nazis were evil racist bastards. ‘Like’ this post if you agree!” Or, even worse: “’Share’ if you agree!” The implication, of course, is: “If you don’t like or share my post you clearly oppose its premise, you goose-stepping Nazi scum you.”

Nary a week passes without my being challenged to prove my status as a moral person by clicking next to a stylized blue thumb, which I always refuse to do because no matter what actual words are typed there, my brain interprets them as “Click ‘like’ to prove you’re a sucker for transparent manipulation techniques, in addition to confirming your disapproval of Hitler.”

So what has this to do with Zimmerman and Martin? The verdict was big news in Britain, and huge news in America. (For what it’s worth, I completely support the second amendment and the right to own guns for self-defense; I just don’t think self-defense includes the right to chase a stranger on the street, instigate a fight and then kill him if you start losing. “Like” or “share” if you agree!)

The like-whoring is annoying enough for topics considered non-controversial (yes, Nazis do suck), or controversial stances you happen to agree with (yes, I do support gun rights), but what’s really hyper-annoying are the passive-aggressive posts about “Reasonable people can disagree”-type topics where the assumption is actually “Reasonable people can only agree with me,” or posts where you’re asked to “share” opinions you find downright revolting.

And thus—since my Facebook contacts range from all across the political spectrum—ever since Saturday my feed’s been flooded with posts ranging from “Anybody who owns a gun shares responsibility for Trayvon’s murder! Like if you agree!” to “Zimmerman’s a hero and only freedom-hating gun-grabbers claim otherwise. Like if you agree!”

Even for the statements I do agree with—“Trayvon would still be alive if Captain Hero had left him alone”—well, I was going to click “like” until I read where you wrote “Like if you agree.”

Having said, that, I admit I’m tempted to indulge in a bit of passive-aggressive like-whoring myself: “Anyone who uses news of a tragedy as bait to increase their number of Facebook likes is an ass. Hit ‘like’ if you agree!”



Posted: 17th, July 2013 | In: Reviews Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink