October 30th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Op-ed by Joaquin Flores –
Many of the folks I care to keep up with on Facebook are no longer active on Facebook. Facebook is now on a self destruct course and will be making huge claims to shareholders and advertising clients which are vastly out of line with the real projection of Facebook’s future. The ‘real people’ on Facebook are disappearing in droves, tired of being spied on, losing job opportunities due to some obviously f’d up things in employment culture which Facebook actively participates in, and this is a culture that believes you are always representative of the company and thus are never a free public or private citizen.
Activists and opinion makers I follow and care about have been actively de-linked to organic Facebook for political/censorship reasons, even more so since the Soros-Clinton-Zuckerberg wing of the Democrat Party have decided to put their politics even before Facebook’s profitability, especially in light of Russia and especially in light of the Trump phenomenon. A similar thing has happened with Google’s Adsense program we should also mention, though with Adsense there seems to have been a serious push-back from the ‘fiduciary wing ‘
My Facebook feed seems to be the same 50 people, even though I have 3000+ friends. So what if last week I ‘liked’ some post of theirs? Facebook actively discourages likes because those likes create a walled garden, and a vicious cycle. Like things, and that’s all you’ll see. All you see is all you can like. Thus you interact with the same 20 people, and your interaction with and understanding of the community shrinks in proportion.
All of the ‘like’ pages for personalities, political parties, brands, and social movements that I’m interested in keeping up with have disappeared from organic Facebook , and have been ported over to ‘Explore feed’ – which works more like ‘Facebook Magazine’. At least this feature has been introduced, although the present button and it’s location is not intuitive. It’s more like they need a third button at the top – ”Profile — Home — Magazine ”
The pages I manage have less than 1% interaction with our fans. Facebook openly says that eventually we should expect organic interaction should approach ZERO. They want me to ‘buy’ fans even though everyone knows you can’t buy love. They then want to pay to ‘boost reach’ to those same ‘bought’ fans who are just random profiles in parts of life and the world that have no connection or interest to our socio-political message.
They want me to buy readers who have no interest in our message/product, and then charge me to reach them.
Facebook is stuck between two big questions which each have two contradictory components, this it can’t solve its problem of being simultaneously increasingly profitable and increasingly popular, and performing its duty as an intel collector. This actually exposes the anti-social nature of profit before people. Facebook grows because of people, it shrinks when organic advertising through organic use and normal interactions aren’t enough, and must be ‘shown’ (falsely) to shareholders to have some sort of ‘infinite growth’ mechanism, which nothing in reality, virtual or otherwise, actually has.
1.) a.) It has a fiduciary responsibility to shareholders, whom it is actively lying to, that the continual changes from 2013/14 onward will increase the user experience when these have not. Its actual changes push people away from Facebook. People want to use Facebook for all kinds of reasons – not ‘one size fits all reasons’. There may be average reasons, even median reasons, but these are not the same thing as the reasons of actual human beings as individual consumers. The bell curve of ‘why’ people use Facebook and ‘how’ they want to use it is probably much more flat than is being said to shareholders. This means that the ‘outliers’ on this curve are in total numbers, probably larger than the single median purpose user. For Facebook to be a place that people go, it has to work how people want it to work, not how Facebook tells people to want it to work. There’s a huge difference here between reality and a Potemkin village being sold to shareholders.
b.) This same fiduciary responsibility to shareholders, working on a bogus theory of how social beings interact with communities – “superficial only” – (idiots, we can get superficial/simulacra/virtual interactions anywhere!, even through reality TV! and aspirational programming, idiots!) – is entirely at odds with how people actually want to interact. And these same shareholders are being told that everything can be monetized. So then we see placed and purchased ads from products we have no interest in, and stop seeing pages from things we are interested in. The audience here isn’t captive. The present operating theory of Facebook is that they don’t have to maintain the original Facebook that was attractive people, since now they are already here. New people will come to Facebook since people are on Facebook , and they believe they’ve cracked the code of a perpetual social motion machine. Sorry, no such thing exists. As Facebook stops being the Facebook that made it grow, people will leave Facebook .
2.) a.) As an intelligence project of the NSA/Deepstate/Whatever, it wants to censor and limit visibility of users and pages, and has destroyed organic Facebook to achieve that. They want to win the information war against the global resistance by censoring voices speaking truth to power. But they can’t win this with the power of their message, because on a certain level people intuit right from wrong, it’s not purely a matter of social construction. Humans are moral beings for vastly more complex reasons (evolutionary, spiritually, etc.) than a consciously constructed culture can direct or change.
b.) The other side of that intelligence project for Facebook on the other hand needs to be a place that ‘problem’ political elements can be found and monitored in the sense that it cannot simultaneously act as a policing agent for socio-political movements while at the same time turning these users off from Facebook by censoring them, limiting their ability to reach audiences, through the destruction of organic Facebook . They just stop using Facebook , and then you can’t monitor them or understand their message, for the purposes of redirecting, subverting, or simply combating outright.
Now I fully *get* that many of our readers no longer mess with Facebook – and good on you. Our situation is a bit different, as a mid-sized daily online newspaper which reaches a hundred thousand or so readers a day, access to social media and every conceivable platform, is crucial to our ability to get our message out there.
We’re actively looking at and for different platforms to spread our important message ever further and wider. Certainly Facebook looks like a chapter in the history of social networking that’s coming to a close … in a way reminiscent of Myspace.
Joaquin Flores is Editor-in-Chief of Fort Russ News, as well as the Director of the Belgrade based think-tank, the Center for Syncretic Studies. He was educated at California State University Los Angeles, in the field of International Relations. He previously served as Chief Negotiator and Internal Organizer in several jurisdictions for the SEIU labor union in California. Flores has twenty years experience in community, labor, and anti-war organizing. Flores has appeared innumerable times on Iran’s ‘PressTV’ and Russia’s ‘RT’ news to share his expert opinion and analysis on current geopolitical matters.