Monthly Archives: March, 2017

‘Like’, ‘Dislike’, and ‘Likeable’

Rumors on Facebook updates are not new, but the one that never ceases to die is the ‘arrival’ of the ‘Dislike’ button. But here is a good news for Facebook aficionados out there – The largest social media platform has finally come up with the much awaited ‘Dislike’ button. But it’s not where everyone expected it would be. While Facebook confirmed regarding the testing of thumbs-down buttons, it doesn’t mean we would soon get the oft-requested ‘Dislike’ button on our News Feeds. The ‘Dislike’ button is currently available only on Messenger Apps, and not on News Feeds. It’s a thumbs-down emoji, the equivalent of a ‘Dislike’ button.

The elusive new feature has been rolled out to a small number of users who can use the emoji to respond to individual messages. For fear of being misused, the social media giant had constantly ignored the call for ‘Dislike’ buttons. The much-popular ‘Like’ button was launched in 2009, and since then users across the world have been requesting for its counterpart: the ‘Dislike’ button. It’s true that some posts, images, and statuses warrant ‘Dislikes’ replies. But dislike is never a positive, and might even get misused to clog a person’s or brands page with an avalanche of dislikes, turning them into cesspools. The ‘Like’ button doesn’t really mean we like a post of a status. It’s a kind of acknowledgement. But when it comes to sad and disgusting posts, confusion mounts up. Those are the times we wish for a ‘Dislike’ button to express our displeasure and disagreement, or to downvote them. But looks like Facebook team won’t easily give into our demands.

The presence of thumbs down button will foster immense amount of negativity. It will be misinterpreted as an indictment of the brand or user who posts a message or shares an article. It can even down several paid ads. Negativities will drive users and brands away. Simply put, it can turn Facebook will turn into a platform where people and brands fear to step into.

That said, what Facebook needs immediately is not a ‘Dislike’ option or a slew of reaction buttons. It needs a team of expert moderators with expertise in high-end technologies that help remove posts, images, comments, and so on that are brimming with unreasonable hatred, pedophilia, pornography, racism, and violence. Facebook or Twitter, content moderation is far from perfect now. Problems of hate speeches, trolling, vitriolic posts, bullying, threats, and other harassments are perennial. With growing number of users and staggering number of content (both text and images), the entire moderation efforts of humans or usage of conventional technology tools are not even equivalent to a drop in the ocean. The need of the hour is cutting-edge and scalable software tools with high-end technologies like artificial intelligence that identify and quarantine obscene and sensitive content as quickly as possible.

P.S. – Not a week has gone past since the private pictures of some well-known celebrities were leaked online. Not a month has gone by since a woman posted a malicious comment about a terminally ill five-year-old. When will social media platforms take effective steps to flush out offensive content and clean up their pages? ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’ buttons are not as indispensable as clean and kid-friendly content.

Speak like a leader

Warren Buffett is one among the the most successful and widely respected investors of all time. His business acumen is well-known and is highly inspiring. Mr Buffett is also famous for sharing humorous insights and wise advices without complex jargons. The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is a master at using folksy tales and memorable quotes about investing and entrepreneurship are both interesting and refreshing. But a recent comment has got him into some hot water.

In interview on CNBC, Warren Mr Buffett made a strange analogy on Kraft Heinz’ takeover bid for Unilever. He used a weird metaphor to explain the failed deal and how things unfolded. Unilever formally rejected Kraft Heinz’s $143 billion takeover bid earlier this month. If inked, it would have been one of the largest deals in the corporate world. Kraft Heinz didn’t return with a high offer, but decided to withdraw the proposal.

According to the transcript from CNBC, here is what the Oracle of Omaha said:

“Well, if a diplomat says yes, he means maybe. If he says maybe, he means no. And if he says no, he’s no diplomat. And if a lady says no, she means maybe. And if she says maybe, she means yes. And if she says yes, she’s no lady. So he probably got a maybe and didn’t know whether it was coming from a diplomat or a lady, essentially. I mean, that’s what frequently people get.”

warren-buffett-1

The bon-mot is clearly chauvinistic and inappropriate. The objectionable statement and comparison has sparked outrage across the world. “Warren Buffett’s analogy for Kraft’s failed Unilever takeover is cringe-worthy”, tweeted Fortune.com.

warren-buffett

As per a recent article on www.independent.co.uk, Warren Buffett has made many wildly sexual troupes in the past as well. In a 2007 letter to investors he compared unsuccessful business deals to women’s physical appearance – “A line from Bobby Bare’s country song explains what too often happens with acquisitions: ‘I’ve never gone to bed with an ugly woman, but I’ve sure woke up with a few.’”

The likeness that Mr Buffett used in a 2002 letter is no different. Here is how the “Wizard of Omaha” explained a “director’s responsibility to oust likable but under-performing managers” – “Directors must react as did the chorus-girl bride of an 85-year-old multimillionaire when he asked whether she would love him if he lost his money. “Of course,” the young beauty replied, “I would miss you, but I would still love you.”

What he wrote on a “CEOs who manipulate earnings by taking restructuring charges” too had a crude, crasser comment – “Their behavior brings to mind Voltaire’s comment on sexual experimentation: “Once a philosopher, twice a pervert.

Looks like he has a long history of using sexual metaphors to explain business concepts and investments strategies. But the objectionable statement comes at a time when the number sexual harassment cases are on the rise.

Revered people of his stature should watch their words while making public statements. The should avoid actions and utterances that are demeaning, disturbing, and controversial. But regrettably, many people in top leadership positions are yet to take ‘control’ of their tongues. Such wordplays and double-entendres are definitely annoying and derogatory. Some slips happen unknowingly, and can be forgotten and forgiven after a genuine apology. But repetitive usage of sexual innuendos is not mere faux pas.

Investment advices from the Berkshire Hathaway CEO are timeless. What’s wrong is the way he sprinkles some X-rated humor into them. It’s no secret that many get attracted to sordid metaphors that persuade them to listen even to the driest topics. But off-color humor on women cannot be taken lightheartedly. Well-regarded leaders like Mr Buffett should stop using such coarse witticisms that degrade women.

It’s always fascinating to listen to extraordinarily successful business leaders. to. But they should not cross the razor-thin line between humor and vulgarity and talk about women in deplorable manner in the guise of light banters or jokes. It’s unacceptable.

Obsession with perfection

It’s alleged that she lately did a lip enhancement job. No matter what the reason is, the actress looks almost unrecognizable now, and got viscously trolled for her swollen lips and froze face. She was gorgeous before, and had a delightful face. But her new frozen look is absolutely jarring. It also indicates the quick pace with which cosmetic surgery is getting normalized in our society.

The hunger for cosmetic procedures continues to grow at an alarming rate. A reality TV star recently underwent 10 cosmetic surgeries in just one day! Swayed by unrealistic beauty standards many are spending extortionate amount of money on lip and nose surgeries, boob jobs, and bum implants. But surgeries or stabbing oneself with several Botox filled needles is neither practical nor healthy. “Perfection is defeat … Perfection belongs to the gods; completeness or wholeness is the most a human being can hope for …”

Compulsion for cosmetic surgery is medically termed as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). It’s a kind of obsession with unrealistic beauty standards, and the “systematic desire to improve one’s appearance”. In other words, it’s an unhealthy fixation and a dangerous addiction. The word addiction is often attributed to drugs and alcohol. But cosmetic surgery is a mental addiction, and often go unnoticed. Despite knowing all the negative consequences, people get addicted to plastic surgeries to alter their faces and bodies.

An eerily huge number of men and women are undergoing countless plastic surgeries these days. The statics from American Society of Plastic Surgeons is shocking. Underlying desires to look a certain way, or insecurities about their appearances, are the main reason why many people compulsively choose cosmetic procedures. Some are unable to deal with ageing and some believe in the illusion of remaining eternally youthful.

plastic surgery statistics

Source – The Guardian

Given that most of them are naturally beautiful, we cannot help but get baffled why they mess things up by going under knife. While some come back with stunning looks, for some others, things go seriously awry. It’s the after effect of a skewed sense of beauty and the uncontrollable urge to get desirable body features. Blind celebrity worship is another critical reason. Some crazy fans spent lakhs on cosmetic surgeries to look like their idols.

There is no such thing like perfect looks and body. Still many people go to extreme lengths to get ‘perfect’. It’s acceptable to dislike a natural abnormality like cleft lip, and wishing to correct it surgically. It transforms into a mental disorder when one finds flaws continuously and gets desperate to fix them through surgeries. These days, cosmetic surgery is not about attaining normal looks. Its copying or faking, and its spreading like an epidemic these days.

In their desperate attempt to become more beautiful, many have fallen victims of plastic surgeries that went horribly wrong. An extreme level of image consciousness is the reason that forces them to adopt such nips and tucks. While some confess about it, some others remain tight-lipped. Currently we don’t have any laws that prevent people from receiving consecutive plastic surgeries. If a patient has money and time, most doctors are willing to perform cosmetic procedures.

Would you ever go under the knife to look flawlessly perfect or look like your favorite celebrity? Becoming a doppelganger is the newest cosmetic surgery trend. Here is an example – Pixee Fox and Justin Jedlica were not happy with their God-given looks. Pixee has had almost more than 100 surgeries by far, and Justin has undergone more than 360 procedures. Their goal – To become real-life Barbie and Ken! But not even the best plastic surgeon in the world can ever create the perfect doppelgangers of Ken and Barbie.