This is a “Suggested Post” for me by Facebook. It’s not really a surprise that Facebook would determine, based on my left leaning tendencies, that an article about putting an end to gun violence would appeal to me. They have done the analysis on me, they have done the analysis on anyone with a Facebook account on what we like, dislike, buy, want to buy, hell they even know if you are a cat or dog person. They have thousands of employees whose job it is to know everything they CAN about their users. It’s what they sell, it’s what they promise to advertisers. It is the most targeted marketing that exist today taking-in roughly $36 billion a year.
Despite all this money from advertising, Facebook does not consider itself a media company. Oh no. That “label” would subject Facebook to all kinds of regulatory issues. They are, simply still, “a social networking site that makes it easy for you to connect and share with your family and friends online” and in my very humble opinion it is high time we all called bullshit on them.
You see that “Suggested Post” above wasn’t done out of the goodness of Facebook’s heart. They don’t care about me, or care about what I think, it’s an advertisement, and they will get paid by someone or some entity if I click on the article. Pennies yes. But pennies turn into nickles, and nickles turn into quarters, and quarters turn into dollars and dollars turn into $36 billion.
So think about a guy like my 71-year-old uncle. A man who loves all things Trump, Fox News and Sean Hannity. He HATES Hillary and Obama and thinks AARP is a communist organization. What kind of “Suggested Post” do you think Facebook sticks on his Home page? I can promise you, not the one pictured above.
Over the coming days and weeks you are going to hear the name Cambridge Analytica. CA worked on Facebook ads for Trump during the 2016 election and was initially funded by conservative billionaire Robert Mercer and led by former Trump advisor Steve Bannon. Want to learn how some normally mild-mannered people turned into stark raving mad Trump supporters armed with some of the craziest bullshit information known to man? Look no further than Cambridge Analytica.
Very simply, Facebook is out of control and the Trump campaign used it against the American public perfectly. They stoked the conservative flames and the hate of my 71-year-old uncle without him even knowing it. Sure, the seed needed to be there already but once he “discovered” that there were more people like him out there or at least he thought were out there thanks to Facebook, it gave him the courage to turn from a closet racist and hater to a freaking in your face racist and hater.
This is a big deal. Get the facts, read the stories and if you agree with me and my concerns write your representatives. It is time to reel Facebook in.