The whole Facebook "Like" button is getting out of control. I
don't really mind sharing the "like" information with websites, but
I do mind websites that try to trick you into liking something.
It's the same lowball approach the sites that have invisible ad
click areas in the whitespace to the left and right of the page.
They aren't accurately capturing intent. You might think it's just
sloppy programming, but having been inside a shop that uses these
techniques, I can tell you that it's usually deliberate but with
plausible deniability (code for: blame the programmers).
I want to take my kids to see a Thomas movie that is playing in
the local theater on Sunday, so I went to see if I could pick up
tickets online. I was presented with this page:
See that "Like" button on the right? What exactly am I Liking?
Am I liking my local movie theater, since this button appears under
that heading? Ok, I might like them as they do a decent job.
Well, only the counts and listed people help give away what
you're really liking, as I know Jason doesn't live anywhere near
me. No, we're not liking the movie theater under which this button
appears, maybe we're liking the Adam Sandler movie on the
Of course, maybe tricking people is the only way they can get
any real number of Likes for an Adam Sandler holiday movie.
The ad even has its own "Like" button which I didn't notice
until I started screen-shotting for this post. So, maybe the Like
is for MovieTickets.com?
Sandwiched between ads, localization, and a bunch of social
media icons, there's another like button at the top, which has a
77k number making me realize the one in right rail is a duplicate
I looked at the page source, the right rail does in fact like
the whole movie site, not the Adam Sandler movie. What it *doesn't*
like is the movie theater under which the like button appears.
The Site Sucks Anyway
I could click them to double-check, but I don't want to Like
anything on this page. In fact, I hate this web page. It's 90% ads
and despite the movie theater linking to this page when I clicked
the Thomas link, the Thomas movie isn't even shown. Here's the
theater's main site movie listing.
Click on the 11am showtime for Thomas, and you get this listing
The only thing that would make it even better is a nice
pop-under ad when I get to that page.
So, I feel like I was tricked into coming to this site, and then
the site tries to trick me into liking my theater, only to actually
like something else. It's this type of web design that drives me
nuts. If it were a brick and mortar store with a tricky sign in the
window, we'd be screaming "bait and switch". On the web, however,
that's often the rule to help drive impressions and ad revenue.