Take a look at the short video below that Facebook suddenly sends me today, Saturday June 30, 2018 about my being so important for communities and how great Facebook is at creating a community feeling worldwide.
Many thanks, I guess I am supposed to say. Well, I don’t.
First, I detest these – I assume, artificial intelligence-based – videos where everything is soooo filled with stock photos, stock happy children, all dancing and having a gooood stock time and the stock music is just mechanical sing-along kitsch…OK, just had to let it out!
Second, Facebook has destroyed the worldwide reach TFF and I had until about a year ago – thanks to their “algorithm”, political interference and tracking. We’re basically – that is, 90% or so – reaching only people in Denmark, Sweden and other Nordic countries and the rest outside. All the people I interacted with in, say, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Russia, Burundi and various EU countries? Gone. I don’t get on their feeds anymore.
I should perhaps point out that that change came about 6 months after we had been quite successful in presenting an alternative to the mainstream media narrative about Syria, after I was there in December 2016. Ah well, as Oscar Wilde used to say, I don’t believe in conspiracies except those that are true…
Missing a lot of contacts around the world is also a pity from the point of view of being a professor who has lost contacts he once had with his students. Oh, dear community! Those were the days we all loved Facebook!
Third, “organic” i.e. non-paid reach or distribution on Facebook’s platform has never been smaller. It is now virtually impossible to reach a larger audience unless you pay – boost, promote or buy ads.
TFF is a shoestring research-based outfit with no corporate and no government-money whatsoever (and we’re all volunteers). Facebook – which is already a quite wealthy corporation – favours whoever can pay instead of thinking first of community! And marginalises every kind of idealism and non-commercial activity.
So, the joy we all (community!) felt when reaching many around the world if you were just simply publishing good materials and doing it regularly and frequently – i.e. if you were really active as we always were – is totally gone.
Four, Facebook practices censorship. It has happened to me before and while you do get an opportunity to explain if you think they’ve mad a wrong decision, they don’t reply and never change their decision.
Within the last two weeks, Facebook has censored 2 pictures I wanted to promote with a few dollars on my Instagram account with reference to politics and nudity. Will write about but here they are.
One, my own Warhol pastiche on Donal Trump – unacceptable politically:
Secondly, a photo from Art Basel, an installation by a gallery at the world’s largest and probably most quality-oriented art fair. The people at Facebook people consider it unacceptable because of nudity – i.e. the wax-like sculpture playing the violin. Oh puritanism in the name of community, or what? Fact is they don’t have a clue about the art world – but they can censor as a private company whatever they deem against their – bizarre – rules.
So, dear Facebook – tell us more about your ever more – limited and money-centered – community idea…And when you change it all, I’ll believe you.
Today TFF and I myself use Facebook just as a shop window, as a way to reach whoever they still let us reach. But no joy there, no vision, no … community.
What else to do?
Well, you may put yourself up on the Russia’s VK and Telegram, the Chinese WeChat, build platforms outside the tracking media – like we have done here with The Transnational. Write blogs – and meet people face-to-face, real or on Skype or… We’re searching and experimenting with everything else but Facebook and Google.
And, rest assured, that somewhere on earth there are people right now who are working on new social media because the 1st generation Juggernauts à la Google and Facebook have succeeded themselves almost to their own death and that of Western open society and democracy too.
What opportunities lost at what was originally a brilliant, peace- and humanity-promoting idea!