In a recent post, I commented that someone suggested that the angry face reaction to one or more of my Facebook posts may have contributed to some of the problems I have been having with them flagging and suspending my posts for no obvious reason.
It turns out that this theory is correct.
The Facebook algorithm assumes that an angry face reaction means that people don’t like the post itself, or object to it somehow. This causes that post to undergo more scrutiny by the algorithm, which seems to result more often than not in the post being deleted by Facebook, and the user having certain types of access or posting permissions suspended for a time. This is what is popularly referred to as ‘being in Facebook jail’.
The problem with that is that people might not intend for that to happen at all when they use the angry face reaction. It may be that they are sharing the anger, frustration or dislike expressed by the author of the post about something entirely different. It’s not the post they object to, it’s whatever the writer is angry about that makes them angry, too. While they are trying to be supportive of the author of the post, that dratted algorithm misinterprets that completely and sets in place consequences that are both unintended by the responder and entirely inappropriate and unfair.
In short. unless someone posts content that is completely objectionable, don’t use the angry face reaction. Much more helpful alternatives would be to:
Use the “wow” or “sad face” reaction
Comment with your thoughts or reactions
Post a gif that expresses how you feel about the content of the post
That way, your friends and their posts will actually receive support rather than suppression.
Save the angry face for those posts that express hatred, vilification, prejudice, discrimination or violence. They’re the ones that should be suppressed.
They say having an email list is crucial for an author. It’s the one sure-fire way to reach your readers.
I am clearly the exception to that rule.
Either I really suck at creating newsletters, or my subscribers signed up for the wrong list. It’s why I am very reluctant to send out newsletters now.
When I send emails with other people’s books in them, my subscribers click through to those books.
Do they click through to mine? Nope.
And sadly, I get as many clicks to unsubscribe as I do on the links in my newsletter.
It really is quite depressing.
Yet I don’t do anything different than any of the dozens of authors whose newsletters I receive. Well, that part isn’t strictly true:
I don’t spam my books repeatedly. I don’t email every week, let alone every day or two, like some do. I don’t use high pressure sales pitches. I don’t beg, and I don’t whine. I don’t even include only my own content. I always share other books and bookish events that readers might be interested in.
I have observed all those things happening in various different authors’ newsletters at different times, and have always tried to avoid doing anything I have found off-putting.
Honestly? I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I appear to be doing it consistently.
I do suspect that maybe newsletter writing is not for me. I’ve given it a fair crack and it hasn’t been at all well received.
Last Friday, I gave my History class an essay question half a week in advance of their assessment task.
They were to prepare a plan and notes to use while writing the essay in class this week. I advised them that they could use their handwritten notes and their textbook while writing, but they were not allowed the use of any devices. All the information about the task was given to them in writing as well as my explaining everything in class.
I expected that today, when the students came to class, they would be ready to start. Happily for me, most were.
And then, because nothing ever goes smoothly, this happened:
Student A: “Can we type this?”
Me: No. No devices.
Student B: “My notes are at home. Can I use my iPad?”
Me: “No. No devices.”
Student C: “Can you write the question on the board please?”
Me: “I gave you the question on Friday.”
Student C: Yeah but I didn’t write it down.
Me: That makes me happy.
Bemused, I wrote the question on the board.
Student B: “What page is it in the textbook?”
Me: “Do you mean the pages you were supposed to read and study last week?”
Student B: “Yeah.”
Me: Speechless, I allow The Eyebrow to speak for me.
All the kids except two commenced writing. Students B and D, though? They’re still reading the textbook.