TechCrunch put an article out on August 23, 2013 reporting that Facebook will soon begin to punish “LOLCats-style memes” in the Facebook newsfeed. Facebook believes memes are low quality content, but did not explain why, and I disagree both with their contempt for memes and their decision not to explain their distaste for meme content.
This action is a huge shift in Facebook’s modus operandi. It’s new for them to make a judgment, a judgment based on standards having nothing to do with what people interact with, on the quality of any type of content. (I’m not talking about things that are illegal or indecent—we have clear cultural standards for age, alcohol, medications, sexual content and the like, and I support those guidelines.)
The newsfeed algorithm’s job is to identify what people interact with, thus improving the quality of their feed. Now, Facebook is saying you’re wrong. “You are too stupid to recognize quality posts. Even though you interact with these memes, we’ll help you be more sophisticated by not showing them to you.” Instead of relying on their democratically-driven newsfeed algorithm, Facebook will apply its own aesthetic, with no explanation of that aesthetic.