An Inspector General’s report blasts the State Department for wasting $630,000 on trying to get ‘likes’ on Facebook. The Bureau of International Information Programs spent the money to increase its “likes” count between 2011 and March 2013.
Who needs popular policies when you can just buy fans on social media?
State Department officials spent $630,000 to get more Facebook “likes,” prompting employees to complain to a government watchdog that the bureau was “buying fans” in social media, the agency’s inspector general says…
The spending increased the bureau’s English-language Facebook page likes from 100,000 to more than 2 million and to 450,000 on Facebook’s foreign-language pages.
Approve of illegal drone strikes? Like us on Facebook!
The Inspector General also noted that raw numbers are less important when trying to achieve public diplomacy goals. As everyone knows quality is more important than quantity, especially on social media.
Despite the surge in likes, the IG said the effort failed to reach the bureau’s target audience, which is largely older and more influential than the people liking its pages. Only about 2 percent of fans actually engage with the pages by liking, sharing or commenting.
And then in September 2012 Facebook changed the news feed making the program even more of a waste of money and requiring more funding to stay relevant. In other words, more money for the same trivial fans.
Then again, can anyone blame the State Department for being so desperate for fans they have to buy them? Our Nobel Peace Prize-winning president has gone on a killing spree that would make Al Capone jealous. Furthermore, our exposed global spying program makes us look like the worst kind of hypocrites on privacy and cyber-security. Maybe Facebook is all they have left.