The gas stations aren't even trying anymore

Seen recently. Feels like it just puts a point on how absurd social media has gotten…


The tide is turning, though. Pocket link to get around WSJ paywall.

Social-Media Algorithms Rule How We See the World. Good Luck Trying to Stop Them.

But this is great! It’s sort of like a second factor so the machine knows it’s really you and it’s okay to return your card… /S

I feel like this is one of those bot-traps. If you immediately like them on Facebook when given the opportunity, you must be a bot, so shouldn’t be given gas.

I will say, though, it beats what the previous owners of the gas station did, which was play some Gas Station TV that was just nothing but video ads loud enough you couldn’t really ignore them.

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The second from the top button on the right is often a hidden mute - worth trying all if your pumps scream at you.

I just normally go to gas stations that don’t have such nonsense and sell real gasoline, not boozoline. :slight_smile:

The regular stations around here don’t sell ethanol free, which is what I run in most of the motors I deal with. Only reason I was there was to fill the Volt and get it run through the carwash.

I really hate when a company or business tells me to ‘like them on facebook’. It makes even less sense when it’s something as mundane as a gas station.

First off, I don’t have a facebook, and I’m not going to make one.
Second, why? Why would I announce, assuming I had a facebook, that I ‘like’ that particular gas station via some algorithm-feeding button? Could I not just /tell/ my friends via chat or forum post that I specifically preferred that gas station? Or mention it to them on the phone? Or I could leave a public review on the Google Maps listing even if I really wanted to say something about that specific gas station.

This is no different that a like button click. Maps reviews are a social network. Just like Yelp. Businesses ask for like and positive reviews because it increases their chance of appearing in a local search result. It’s SEO.

It’s marginally better because G-Maps/Yelp/etc are ecosystems that people go to intentionally to seek/share information.

Ignoring the insidious customer-profiling/ad-targeting part of this, there’s also a rosy-glasses version where these feedback loops reward businesses that have good behavior/business-practices and punish businesses that treat their customers poorly.

Noted in your shadow Facebook profile that you’re the sort of person to “not have a Facebook.”

Because, logically, the more you like, the more likable person you are! Duh!

Indeed! There’s Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, and… what’s a “forum”? Sounds like something that should be replaced with Facebook Groups, though!

I’m not sure how that rosy-glasses version is at all intended to actually work, beyond the usual marketing handwaves that “engagement” solves all known issues…

I’m trying to imagine the situation where I would search for a gas station let alone pay attention to reviews or Facebook.

I still believe the real scam is Facebook pretending all their crap is worth what the advertisers pay.

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There were some businesses that experimented with ad spend during Covid and determined that an awful lot of advertising was useless. The basic problem is that if you’re spending ad money on people who were looking for you anyway, it’s just wasted money. Spending $1 to acquire a click for someone who would have gone to your site anyway (because they searched for you by name) is just wasted money. They found their ad based acquisitions dropped, as expected, and their organic acquisitions (non-ad based signups) rose to pick up the slack.

Searching for “Uber” doesn’t require the to spend ad money for you to find the site.

It’s even worse than that - Uber has to pay MORE THAN LYFT to get the top billing on a search for Uber - otherwise you get the first result being Lyft. It’s scummy and basically a protection racket.

Bob’s Pizza paying to be the first result in a local search for “pizza” makes sense, Bob paying for the first result for “Domino’s” is a bit suspicious, and Bob having to pay to be the first result for Bob is laughable.

Unless the search provider had some incentive to make spending ad money a critical part of appearing in search results…

I think you mean; “Searching for “Uber” doesn’t [shouldn’t] require the [entity] to spend ad money for you to find the site.”

Eh? I just searched for Uber and it was pretty clear that I was getting a range of valid organic results.


Do you have adblocking on (who am I kidding of course you do)?


That tiny “Ad”? Everyone ignores that shit, Uber has to pay to be first for Uber.

Fair enough… I stand corrected!

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I keep forgetting that the internet I see and the internet most people see aren’t the same. I kinda went whole hog with the Pi-hole/Pfblocker network adblock route, and consider the internet unusable without it.