Over 2 years ago I wrote a couple of opinion pieces of my views on Facebook’s initial venture into changing the news feed algorithm. I thought they did, so that organic reach would plummet, while telling members that the opposite was true, all in order to bring people that needed their content to be seen to their knees, or to their wallets at the very least, and fork over cash to pay for what had been a normal process in the not so distant past. As I said, they were opinion pieces, and I have no way of knowing if this is true, and I may have been born in the morning, but not this morning.
If you’re thinking that I’m a conspiracy theorist and totally misunderstand the way business works, I’d like to remind you that in 2012 for the week of January 11–18, Facebook data scientists manipulated the News Feeds of 689,003 users to gauge their reactions and emotions to certain types of posts in their news feeds, and all without their permission or knowledge, and probably with not much thought either to what type of psychological damage they might cause.
They’re at it again two and a half years later as far as toying with the news feed algorithm goes with more or less the same story; that it’s being done to benefit you, the people, to make your time spent on Facebook more meaningful, but actually hoping to keep you from straying to other social media sites. If you recall, Facebook has only been in the social media forefront since maybe 2008 or 2009, and it’s not impossible that another, more viable option than what’s now being delivered by their platform could arise and begin to rock what is already an unsteady boat. They will do whatever it takes to keep advertising dollars flowing in their direction. Evidently even conducting surreptitious unsanctioned psychological tests on clueless people who gave no consent to participate.
What they’ve been doing the past few months to their Fan Page owners is a prime example of Newspeak, which in Orwell’s novel “1984” was a controlled language used as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that posed a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, and peace. Now while Facebook promises that these are the very things they are trying to promote, they have begun a massive purge on Fan Pages, unpublishing with no warning, no request to change anything, nothing more than a message stating that the pages have been unpublished for failure to follow the guidelines set forth in Pages Terms and have specifically stated “links” as being the offending reason in quite a few cases. There are no strictures against links whatsoever in the Pages Terms or Guidelines as can be seen in the text of the following:
B. Pages that promote or facilitate online gambling, games of skill or lotteries, including online casino, sports books, bingo, or poker, are only allowed in specific countries with prior authorization from Facebook.
C. Pages must not promote the sale of prescription pharmaceuticals. Pages for online pharmacies may be permitted with prior approval from Facebook.
D. Pages must not contain false, misleading, fraudulent, or deceptive claims or content.
If I’m in error on that point I beg someone to show me where that text is because I’ve been over the Page Terms, and Guidelines, and all of the other rules and regulations myriad times and have never seen that. Perhaps it’s hidden like Facebook’s Principles. Or I should say supposed principles because if there was ever a difference between what one set of rules tries to Newspeak you into believing is actually written down and isn’t, and what is written down but is hidden, or at least not readily accessible from any link I can find other than in a single sentence in Pages Terms which most people obviously haven’t noticed, I’ve never seen one. It’s as if the people who are in charge of the day to day business of the site has never seen them, and if they have, didn’t understand them, and it would appear the founder has forgotten them. They are what Facebook claims their core values to be; what Facebook says their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities is derived from, but it seems that all the players haven’t met and don’t know what team they’re on, or even what game they’re playing.
This Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (“Statement,” “Terms,” or “SRR”) derives from the Facebook Principles, and is our terms of service that governs our relationship with users and others who interact with Facebook, as well as Facebook brands, products and services, which we call the “Facebook Services” or “Services”.
Freedom to Share and Connect
Free Flow of Information
This, all thrown together in the huge melting pot that Facebook is, should show you a thing or two about your favorite place to be. They care about nothing more than making a buck and their principles are worthless. If this wasn’t the case things that have been happening the past month or two wouldn’t have happened.
Go check out the petition asking that page owners have some sort of liaison between themselves and the company so that the people who have, in most cases, spent years of their lives building something, that in turn helped to create this monster Facebook has become, may perhaps have the opportunity to salvage the wreckage of what they built, and as a stopgap for others who intend to build in the future.