Why are my likes disappearing off Facebook posts?
June 25, 2022 8:57 PM   Subscribe

While scrolling through Facebook on the phone app, I’ll like various posts from my friends. Many times when I come back later, I’ll scroll down, come upon the same post and see that my like is no longer there. It’s like I’m seeing the post for the first time. This is mostly meaningless but it’s bugging me. What’s up?
posted by PussKillian to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can’t answer this but I’m noticing strange activity on my Instagram and Facebook commenting as well. When I participate in a comment and come back later I have noticed other comments from friends that were not visible to me when I commented but are time stamped before my comment, and never being notified of commenting activity in certain, but not all, posts on Instagram.
posted by catspajammies at 9:57 PM on June 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: In big distributed systems like this, there is a concept of eventual consistency, where different nodes of a database are in different states (who likes what) but eventually (seconds, minutes, hours, sometimes days) the different nodes will catch up with each other. Before that though, you may see different views of the same thing, as may other people.
posted by rockindata at 7:01 AM on June 26, 2022 [9 favorites]

Interesting! I am afraid I have no wisdom but I am also having this problem, and have also noticed that sometimes comments--my own and other people's--disappear from posts only to reappear later.

I'm grateful for rockindata's answer above and will be checking to see if it all sorts out in the end.
posted by rpfields at 9:11 AM on June 26, 2022

Seconding MollyRealized — I have seen this happen (mainly on Instagram) when I temporarily have no internet connection on my phone. I click “like” on a post and the UI updates to show my like, but because I’m not connected to the internet, my like is never sent back to the server to be permanently saved. Maybe this is what’s happening in your case.

In theory, a well-designed app should save those updates locally and send them as soon as the internet connection is working again, but quality of error handling in low-connectivity situations varies widely and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Facebook app has done a poor job of it.
posted by mekily at 9:41 AM on June 26, 2022

Response by poster: That makes sense, rockindata. Most of the time I’m using home or work Wi-Fi so constantly low connectivity seems like it shouldn’t be so common.
posted by PussKillian at 10:09 AM on June 26, 2022

I use the space bar to scroll down on internet pages, and I've found that if my mouse was still hovering over the "like" button, hitting the space bar will sometimes act as if I've clicked the mouse again and will undo the "like." I've occasionally ended up liking-unliking-liking-unliking posts multiple times this way. I now try to make sure I've clicked somewhere else static on the page after liking something and before scrolling down.
posted by lapis at 11:16 AM on June 26, 2022

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