ATTN: This post has inspired a new Tumblr blog for continual updates. Enjoy!
My local Fox affiliate, WTXF FOX29 in Philadelphia, has the worst social media team ever. The other day, they posted this:
“We know it’s a Doggy Dog World…” Yes. They literally said that. But whatever. Stupid mistake, right?
But then this morning, my trusty TimeHop App reminded me of last summer, when the things that came out of FOX29’s Facebook Page drove a graphic designer like me up a friggin wall on almost a daily basis. And after talking with a co-worker, I decided I must put this all down in one place. Please indulge me by witnessing what happened throughout the summer.
Please note: This is a cellphone photo of a computer screen, WITH POINTER CURSOR STILL VISIBLE. The bottom caption asks us to “Click LIKE if you love Buddy [from Cake Boss]”. The top caption, below the fucked up pixelated border, says “Meet the Cake Boss on Sunday! Click the link above to see time & place”. The background of this caption box is filled with some strange, translucent white texture. It’s either an MS Paint spray paint effect or they are cloning a white area over and over again to fill the box. They use this technique a lot and I don’t know what it is or how it’s possible to be that awful.
Then there was the abduction story:
Worst use of Adobe Photoshop or best use of Microsoft Potato? I can’t decide. Click on it. Take a closer look. I dare you.
Here they want to know if we judge people with tattoos negatively. I’ll tell you what, if they had a tattoo that looked like this, I would. Who actually thought this could pass for a realistic-looking tattoo?! Who is doing all this? A summer intern is the most logical answer, I know, but have they no supervision? This is supposed to be a reputable news organization we’re talking about, here. Which reminds me…
I don’t know what’s worse; the poor Photoshopping job, the outright religious overtones, or the shameful use of a tragedy to increase your engagement rate. It’s too much. I can’t…
You see, fair laymen, engagement rate is a metric which Facebook marketers track. The number of times each post was clicked, liked, shared, or commented on counts towards a particular goal they’re hoping to reach. In fact, it’s “reach” that is the most important thing. Each one of those interactions increases the reach of that post. Meh. It’s a marketing thing. But that’s just it. It’s a MARKETING thing. This is a news organization. And yeah, you could argue that they have a product to sell. They want your eyes on their broadcast so they can sell advertising. And while that’s all true, this kind of activity does nothing but reduce your credibility as a news organization down to zilch. I cannot properly articulate why this is wrong to a degree that I would not lose any arguments in favor of this behavior, but dammit it’s wrong and I hope someone out there can help me properly convey why.
In the meantime, last summer, all they wanted was high engagement metrics, apparently…
If only hugging my mom was this easy.
Seriously, what they fuck are they using to fill in the white backgrounds for these caption boxes?
Feel free to peruse their posts from last summer. You will find more. To be fair, there hasn’t been much use of these MS Paint creations on their page for quite some time, now. So… that’s a good thing, I guess.
Thanks for indulging with me. Be sure to comment or share if you liked this blog post!