by Elizabeth Vos, Disobedient Media:
Nothing could have exemplified the establishment’s use of Orwellian Newspeak than Facebook’s latest move to censor independent thought under the pretense of caring about the emotional wellbeing of the masses. The media giant has been documented live-streaming murders, suicides, rapes, and abuse. Despite this, The New York Postreported that Facebook officially stated they were ‘unable to stop live-streaming suicides.’ But, trust them, they care about your mental health, and that’s why they don’t want you to read certain news stories.
A recent press report on the matter stated: “Facebook said it’s changing the formula that determines users’ news feeds by decreasing business and media posts and focusing more on personal connections.” However, in reality, the changes seem to have been used to specifically target anti-establishment news sources.
Though Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg enthused regarding the changes, the company’s shareholders appeared less impressed. According to CNBC, Facebook shares fell by 4% the morning after Zuckerberg’s announcement of the new policy. During the first day following the announcement, stocks fell by 6.1% which was reported to have amounted to a $3.3 billion loss.
Despite this, Zuckerberg appeared totally unfazed by the price drop, openly admitting that the changes would lead to an overall decline in user engagement.
The Guardian’s coverage of the news not only chided Zuckerberg for not having made the move earlier, but also directly identified the core of the real impetus behind the changes (which had nothing to do with bringing you closer to your family). The Guardian’s writing on the issue reveals that the real reason for the change is active censorship of what the legacy press outlet deems to be “fake news” that “interfered” in the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election.
Such ‘misinformation,’ The Guardian may as well have admonished, is dangerous and liable to transform users into drooling zombies with no control over their actions whatsoever. The Guardian’s coverage of the matter encouraged censorship of independent media under the banner of “fake news,” or in other words, anything other than government-approved-propaganda. It also appeared to be a beautiful teaching moment on the value of projection.
As reported by legacy media, Facebook has come under fire in recent months for allegedly allowing Russians to attempt to influence the 2016 Presidential election through Facebook ads. Disobedient Media has previously addressed the multiple reasons that this line of argument is patently ridiculous, and provides yet another pretext to clamp down on non-corporate media sources.
Although this author and many other independent journalists have been subjected to various methods and degrees of censorship over the last year, Zuckerberg’s Facebook overhaul has gone far beyond what many in the anti-establishment press could have anticipated.
In addition to the issues regarding the coverage of the changes as it stands, a number of non-corporate media outlets, including Disobedient Media, have experienced drastic changes in reach on Facebook’s platform, with Caitlin Johnstone addressing the matter recently on Twitter.
FB has cranked up the censorship. Posts on my FB page are getting far less visibility than they were a few days ago as well. https://t.co/ETCEeVUwOe
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) January 25, 2018
Johnstone also spoke with Disobedient Media, relating to us that: “Medium has a statistics feature which lets you see where your views are coming from. Around a week or so ago the Facebook numbers suddenly plummeted from thousands per article, often tens of thousands, to a few hundred per article. Facebook also has a feature which lets you see the “reach” for your FB page, and those numbers were slashed to somewhere between a third and a quarter of where they used to sit. Just looking at the numbers it appears that both my page and individual independent shares of my articles are getting less visibility all of a sudden.”
MintPressNews also wrote regarding Facebook’s crackdown, specifically in relation to Latin American news outlet teleSUR English. They wrote: “Facebook periodically “tweaks” its algorithm in ways that severely reduce the prominence of alternative media content on newsfeeds, forcing admins to pay for “sponsored posts” in order to reach audiences.”
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