Facebook spamming and A/B testing
I know some of the Gogobot fellows, and they are definitely not evil. But I know Facebook spamming, and it is pure evil. And I know Chris Dixon, and if he thinks you’re evil then you’ve got a serious perception problem.
When I saw this tweet, as I automatically came to the defense of Gotobot, this was my train of thought:
- Maybe Gogobot’s investors pushed them to “get more” and try evil stuff.
- Maybe Gogobot’s team, in response, rolled out this evil practice to a tiny subset of the population, in hopes that it will not actually improve the results, so they can show their investors that evil is no good. And the subset needs to be so tiny that it won’t have a real reaction in the world.
- Maybe in a miserable random picking, Chris Dixon was chosen as part of this tiny subset.
Now that’s no excuse, because if you’re considering evil stuff and trying it on a tiny subset, there are risks involved, and when you take risks then such things happen. But this is all in my mind, and maybe the team there did sell their souls to the devil. But I’d rather believe they didn’t.
Because Gobobot, unlike, say… BranchOut, is has some real value involved beyond the spamming (I mention BranchOut as a company I hate, because they are solely based on Facebook spamming). So I still wish the best of luck to Gogobot and advise they don’t send Facebook messages on people’s behalf without being perfectly clear about that before sending.
What’s the lesson here?
- Don’t be evil.
- Specifically don’t abuse people’s trust - when people connect with Facebook, sending messages on their behalf without them being perfectly aware of that, well… That’s something I would expect from Adolf Hitler.
- If you do try something shady just to measure the results of an evil or semi-evil practice, make sure you don’t have popular opinionated entrepreneurs/investors in that list :)