Overhype

by Timothy Geigner


Filed Under:
hacks, likes, mitt romney

Companies:
facebook



No, Mitt Romney Didn't Personally Hack Your Facebook

from the going-mobile dept

And the election season silliness continues. In keeping with the tradition of campaigning against candidates' gaming habits and strange Obama/YouTube conspiracy theories, there's apparently been some hubbub surrounding the mysterious liking of Mitt Romney. Apparently a fair number of liberal-minded folks have noticed that their Facebook profiles have "liked" Mitt Romney on the social media network against the wishes of the profile owner. When questions began to rise as to how this was possible, one popular theory circulating was that Mitt Romney was Zero-Cool-ing people's Facebook profiles to garner more positive attention. Theoretically someone inside his campaign did this for him.

ryan_romney_laugh

"Now we'll have to spell your name all 'puter like, p4uL rY4n!"

Image source: CC BY 2.0

Well, in what I'm sure will shock everyone, no, Mitt Romney and his campaign did not rappel into a server farm Mission Impossible style and hack the internet tubes. Instead, the culprit appears to be Facebook's clumsy mobile application and its accomplice Senor Your-Fat-Fingers.

[Facebook] concluded that users are probably liking the Romney page on a mobile device by either accidentally clicking on a Romney ad or a “sponsored story” from the Romney campaign in their news feed. A Facebook spokesman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the issue is unique to mobile because of the way the app works on small screens, and rejected the idea that the Romney camp was engaging in clickjacking. He added that the company is currently working to clean up its mobile interface.
That, coupled with people who are "liking" Romney's page just so they can see what he's putting out there, even though they may not support him, is admittedly a far less fun explanation than the idea of Romney going all The Net on social media, but I never claimed that the truth was better than fiction. So it's back to your regularly scheduled social media political talk for all of you. Remember: anyone supporting Obama is a Chinese commie spy moron and anyone supporting Romney is almost certainly Hitler.
 


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  1. identicon
    Manfred Manfriend, 12 Oct 2012 @ 7:36am

    Fat-Fingers-Freddy explanation fails to factor...

    I see almost every day a post with a picture of some kind or another with text on it. From both candidates, usually something that will primarily appeal to their core demographics, but also more times than not a generic statement about Mom, Apple Pie, and 'Merica is shown and people are liking the photo or the text of that particular photo, not realizing they are also liking the page when they like the image. It has a lot more to do with the way Facebook is allowing the "like" to be construed than it does blaming the victim for having "fat fingers" does.

    I'm not too sure how much longer I'll have a Facebook account though. Between this type of thing, inability to sort my feed by time posted, and the constant sponsored stories I'm finding the site less and less valuable to actually get the information about people I care about.

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