Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Good News in Social, Until it's Bad

A mixed bag today.  On the one hand, the New York Times comments on a study showing that "good news" spreads faster on Facebook and other social media than on traditional.  There is a underlying snarkiness to the story that somehow, because we like to take pride in achievement and think that is news.

Personally, I find that refreshing and affirming.  People do want to be positive with friends, and they have a high level of trust among friends in sharing those kinds of bits of news.

Until it turns dark.  I've spent time before reminding you to Snopes and Google first, forward and comment second when you see these almost too good to be true (or bad) things that meme around on Facebook.

Here, I'll side with the Old Gray Lady.  Without the newsroom vetting that, no the CEO of Starbucks really didn't say that, you get a lot of things spread virally that are infectious, nasty false truths.

Arizona State is living a little of that balancing act this week, rolling out a new mascot costume that they say they had done lots of checking with focus groups and others only to run head long into a tsunami of negativity driven by social.  The Sun Devils say it's a vocal minority.  Maybe.  Perhaps the thing to remember is it is very easy to hit a like button, takes a whole lot more effort to actually donate time or money to a cause.

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