Commentary

Special People Get Special Treatment On Facebook Live

Facebook Live is doing celebrities and influencers a favor: They’re letting them blacklist certain nasty words and phrases---you know the type--from viewer comments.

The social site must figure that more celebs would use its special ‘Mentions’ platform to promote their movies, music or themselves if they wouldn’t be insulted while doing so.

That seems so perfectly reasonable, though because this type of speech moderation is starting on a new feature like Facebook Live, maybe people miss that it’s a rule that is also exclusionary.

For now at least, if you--as insignificant as you are-- happen to post a Facebook Live video, be assured anyone watching can respond as repulsively as they want. Get special and you’ll get special treatment.

“Live video on Facebook is social and interactive — fans can react to broadcasts, comment, and ask questions,”  explained Facebook’s  Jesse Chen, the engineering manager, and Chris Hatfield, the product manager, in a post.

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“This interactivity is one of the things that makes Facebook Live so engaging, but we know that public figures want more ways to help manage these comments.”

Score one for the publicists!

This means celebrities don’t want to be treated as rudely as you can be. To be fair, celebrities are probably treated even more rudely than the run-of-the-mill human being (that’s you). But doesn’t it seem kind of mean spirited that Facebook isn’t extending this civility tool to more than the A-listers of life? It does to me.

Money, and celebrity status, talk, so much so that rules for the rich and famous are now baked right into quasi-institutions like Facebook. You even can pay somebody $50 to substitute for you in the Santa Claus line, so you and the kid don’t have to stand around.

Ditto, Facebook Mentions.

“The new Team Prompts feature is good news for social media managers across the globe,” writes Engadget.  “Users are able to create drafts of Facebook Live posts, allowing the public figure to then review and publish those descriptions directly via Mentions. Plus, social media mavens are now able to schedule times they want the star to go live or publish specific posts.”

There are other special goodies in the new package. Engadget notes, pointedly, “There's no word on when or if these features will roll out for regular Facebook Live users, but it seems they would be handy for the hoi polloi as well as the stars.”

Of course, stars always got preferential treatment, but possibly the definition of “star” was a little more rigid, and the stars and the people who catered to them usually were on the down-low about the arrangement. Big deals always get a table at the hot restaurant. There usually isn’t a sign at the entrance that says, “Big deals always get a table in this restaurant.” So you could argue the only thing Facebook is doing wrong is too widely providing what is in essence a “How To Feed and  Pamper A Celebrity” help kit for live streaming.

For sure, Facebook wants brand and celebs and movie studios and influencers to hold live events on the social site. It’s a potential goldmine. But except for certain, specific (and rare) events, live seems to be a waste of time, energy and mental bandwidth.

pj@mediapost.com

2 comments about "Special People Get Special Treatment On Facebook Live".
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  1. Jonathan Hutter from Northern Light Health, December 22, 2016 at 2:51 p.m.

    So Facebook filters and allows editing to tailor the experience to fit celebrity communications. But they will let any piece of shit news source, real or fake, publish almost anything, and comment anywhere. 

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, December 22, 2016 at 7:50 p.m.

    Disgust for fbeast grows like a heroine habit.

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