Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Facebook Graph Search

Rough Type on Facebook graph search.

Search companies in the past usually tried to choose uncorrupted signals as the criteria for their rankings. They wanted to give good, objective results in order to attract users. The corruption of the signals came later, after it became clear that the search results had commercial value. Facebook is taking a different tack. It's starting with a signal—Likes—that is already corrupted, that in fact has always been corrupted. People routinely Like a thing not because they actually like it, not because they have (to use a favorite Facebook word) any real affiliation with it, but because they've been, in one way or another, bribed to Like it.


If you can't read that, it says: "You must like The New Yorker to read the full text." And some 17,000 Facebookers dutifully clicked the Like button. Jonathan Franzen must have been thrilled to see his essay used as a worm to bait a rusty Facebook hook.

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