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Zuckerberg Says Facebook Will Review its Policies Around State Use of Force and Voter Supression

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Despite rising criticism over Facebook’s inaction over recent comments from US President Donald Trump, despite Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently stating that he believes the company’s policy direction is well thought out and on the right track. In light of the ongoing #BlackLivesMatter protests, and internal unrest over its approach, Zuckerberg has today announced that Facebook will review its policies as part of a broader effort to improve, and address concerns around racial inequality.

In a long post on his Facebook profile, Zuckerberg shared a memo, which he’d initially posted to Facebook employees, which outlines his thoughts on the evolving situation, and the criticism of Facebook specifically:

And while Zuckerberg does concede that Facebook needs to address concerns, he remains steadfast in his belief that its policies are largely correct:

I believe our platforms can play a positive role in helping to heal the divisions in our society, and I’m committed to making sure our work pulls in this direction. […] And while we will continue to stand for giving everyone a voice and erring on the side of free expression in these difficult decisions — even when it’s speech we strongly and viscerally disagree with — I’m committed to making sure we also fight for voter engagement and racial justice too.”

The main concerns relate to these two posts from President Trump, which he also posted to his Twitter profile:

Facebook posts from Trump

Twitter has taken action on both, which prompted Trump to call for an investigation into the laws which allow social platforms to interfere with his messaging. Facebook, thus far, has not taken action on either.

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But Zuckerberg says that it may change its approach in future:

Based on feedback from employees, civil rights experts and subject matter experts internally, we’re exploring the [three areas] – ideas related to specific policies, ideas related to decision-making, and proactive initiatives to advance racial justice and voter engagement.”

On the offending posts specifically, Zuckerberg says that Facebook will:

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  • Review its policies around discussion and threats of state use of force. Zuckerberg says that there are two specific situations under this policy which will be reviewed – instances of excessive use of police or state force, and how the rules are applied when a country has ongoing civil unrest or violent conflicts. “We already have precedents for imposing greater restrictions during emergencies and when countries are in ongoing states of conflict, so there may be additional policies or integrity measures to consider around discussion or threats of state use of force when a country is in this state”.
  • Review its policies around voter suppression to ensure that it’s taking into account “the realities of voting in the midst of a pandemic”. Zuckerberg notes that there’s likely to be increased fear and confusion around going to the polls this November due to COVID-19, and some will likely try to capitalize on this. “For example, as politicians debate what the vote-by-mail policies should be in different states, what should be the line between a legitimate debate about the voting policies and attempts to confuse or suppress individuals about how, when or where to vote?”
  • Review potential options for handling violating and/or partially-violating content, “aside from the binary leave-it-up or take-it-down decisions”. This could, eventually, see Facebook take a similar approach to Twitter, in adding warnings to such posts, while still leaving them active – though Zuckerberg does warn that there are flaws with this approach, as he recently noted in relation to Twitter. “Our current policy is that if content is actually inciting violence, then the right mitigation is to take that content down – not let people continue seeing it behind a flag. There is no exception to this policy for politicians or newsworthiness. I think this policy is principled and reasonable, but I also respect a lot of the people who think there may be better alternatives, so I want to make sure we hear all those ideas.” 
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​Zuckerberg doesn’t commit to making any specific changes, and he does additionally note that:

“In general, I worry that this approach has a risk of leading us to editorialize on content we don’t like even if it doesn’t violate our policies, so I think we need to proceed very carefully.”

In essence, Zuckerberg hasn’t changed his personal view or approach on such, but the rising tide of opposition has prompted him to allow for more discussion. Instagram chief Adam Mosseri also noted that they will be reviewing these policies in his latest Q and A session on his Instagram Story.  

In addition to these considerations, Zuckerberg also notes that Facebook is:

Overall, Zuckerberg is saying the right things, but given the company’s unchanged position on political commentary thus far – despite rising opposition and criticism over the last six months in particular – we’ll have to wait and see whether Facebook actually implements any updates in its approach as a result.

It’s also worth noting that Media Matters for America is reportedly considering a new campaign to advise advertisers against spending on Facebook ads in light of the company’s inaction. That’s not to say that this is a motivator behind Zuckerberg’s announcement, but it may add more context as to what’s influencing Facebook’s thinking, with the backlash still ongoing, and still, potentially, set to cause more consequential impacts.

And above all this, there is, of course, also a valid query as to whether Facebook should make any change either way. Whether you agree with the company’s approach or not, Facebook has raised valid considerations, it has thought through its policies and decided on the line that it’s chosen to take. Maybe, Facebook will simply provide more transparency into its thinking – which would be a positive outcome in itself, as it may help people better contextualize why Zuck and Co. have opted to take action or not.

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This is a complex, but critical area, and given the recent White House Executive Order for an investigation into the laws that protect social platforms from liability, you can expect the debate to continue for some months yet. 

Socialmediatoday.com

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LinkedIn Shares New Insights into Maximize Response to Your InMail Messages

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LinkedIn Shares New Insights into Maximize Response to Your InMail Messages

LinkedIn has published a new analysis of the best approaches to InMail, and maximizing DM opens in the app, based on ‘tens of millions of InMails’ sent between May 2021 and April 2022 in the app.

Which is primarily focused on recruiters – though really, a broad range of people use InMail to get in touch with people on LinkedIn, for different purpose, and many of the findings will apply in a more general sense.

But LinkedIn does make note of the option as a key recruitment tool.

As per LinkedIn:

More responses mean recruiters get more bang for their buck from their InMail allotment. That’s because recruiters earn an InMail credit back if their message receives a response within 90 days (even if it’s a negative one). So, response rates not only reflect candidate engagement but also recruiter efficiency. But what kind of InMails actually drive higher response rates and how can recruiters improve their own InMail response rate?”

It’s worth checking out the full report if you’re looking to use LinkedIn mail within your digital marketing approach, but in summary, LinkedIn’s key findings are:

  • Shorter InMails perform significantly better than longer ones
  • Avoid sending InMails on Saturday (and probably Friday too)
  • Personalized InMails perform about 15% better than ones sent in bulk
  • Candidates who are “Recommended Matches” or “Open to Work” are about 35% more likely to respond than others

Which is much the same as what LinkedIn recommended in response to the same report last year, which underlines the value of these notes as guide points for your InMail approach.

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Here’s a more in-depth overview of LinkedIn’s findings:

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First off, on message length – LinkedIn says that InMails under 400 characters perform best.

As you can see here, there’s essentially a sliding scale of engagement with InMails, based on length.

“The response rate for the shortest InMails is 22% higher than the average response rate for all InMails. By the same measure, the response rate for the longest InMails is 11% below the average rate.” 

Of course, this entirely depends on your message, and getting people to engage with what you’re trying to communicate. As such, there are no definitive rules, but the findings do provide some guidance as to how you can look to boost response to your in-app messages.

LinkedIn also provides an example of a great InMail under 400 characters.

LinkedIn InMail example

Though LinkedIn also notes that its data may also be slightly skewed due to the scarcity of shorter InMails in its dataset.

LinkedIn InMail study

As you can see here, only 10% of the messages sent on LinkedIn are under 400 characters, so while they do perform better, that may also be because they stand out more, due to most messages asking for more user attention.

Which would still suggest that it’s an effective approach, but it could be another element to consider.

LinkedIn also notes that sending InMails on a Friday or Saturday generally results in poorer response.

LinkedIn InMail study

Every other day is pretty even on response rate, though LinkedIn says that Mondays are the best days to send your messages.

That said, plenty of InMails are being sent on Fridays.

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LinkedIn InMail study

As LinkedIn notes:

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“If you’re about to send that InMail on a Friday afternoon, consider scheduling it for Monday morning instead.”

LinkedIn also provides some more specific stats on InMail performance, noting that messages that are sent individually see response rates roughly 15% higher than InMails sent in bulk.

LinkedIn InMail study

Which makes sense – no one wants to get a generic ‘Hi ***, I noticed that you’re interested in ***’ template email, as they mostly feel untargeted and spammy. Even the slightest personal touch can add a lot to email engagement, and entice more interest.

LinkedIn also notes that the InMail response rate for candidates who indicate that they’re “Open to Work” is 37% higher than the rate for others, while candidates found in Recommended Matches are up to 35% more likely to accept InMails than candidates found in Recruiter search alone.

LinkedIn InMail study

Which are obviously, again, more recruiter-specific data points, but it’s worth noting in the sense that you can glean from a user profile whether they’re looking to be contacted or not. That could also relate to freelance services listings, their career summary, their profile headline, etc.

Again, there’s a lot of good data here, and while it is based on analysis of recruiter InMails, it is worth noting the various trends for consideration in your LinkedIn messaging approaches.

You can read LinkedIn’s full InMail response report here.

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