Enemy at the gates: content marketing vs natural language (vs litigation)

I couldn’t help it. The English in the post was so bad I had to state the case. Sure, it only had one “like” and probably almost nobody had seen it, but all the same, it cried out “auto-translate”. The sentence structure was not blatantly incorrect, just…off. Sure, there were several actual mistakes, but they were the sort of thing that you would find in a Google search.

But in a different context.

This particular post was promoting a content marketing seminar or something like that. Some self-professed expert selling expertise. It was full of hashtags and the actual words were possibly spurted out by some paid service of other experts. The Facebook page had several thousand “likes” but the actual post just one which is fairly typical of this level of wannabees. But it is indicative of a larger problem.

While we discuss politics and how, when, if and what the platforms should censor or not in public dialogue, this is what is happening in the background. If they make their algorithms so they favor tags, well, tags is what users will give them. Even Apple has started using tags on their YouTube channel. They won’t get high in search ranking without them. Plain and simple.

So the post with terrible English attracted the attention of the owner of the page. He initially said it was correct, then said it might have been a typo. He then set his lawyer on me with threats to delete it. In a way this behaviour is entirely consistent with all the other things he has copied and pasted in order to present himself as an expert. That is how it works. A pecking order of ignorance. In the fast-changing world of social media, you can be an expert as long as you find customers with less knowledge or desire to keep up with the latest trends. Threatening to sue is standard operating procedure and we are all the poorer for it.

For what is the value of social media if I can’t freely post on my wall and discuss with my friends without fear of litigation? Should we all end up using it simply as content marketing, ever promoting something and seeing it simply as yet another channel? Social networks should actively protect our right to write freely and without fear or the content will simply become pointless. Even public figures should have the right to discuss freely on social media with their friends.

As well as all other problems, the actual language will end up being computer code compatible with whatever indexing mechanisms they use. Humans like to communicate. Stop policing it and enjoy.

Oh well, at least he corrected his post the next day. ; )

FOR THE RECORD: Ι flagged the comment where I was threatened with litigation to Linkedin but have not received an answer.

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