I have a rather right-leaning discussion group on Facebook that has been in existence for about 3-years now. At present, it has about 400 members and I have kept the group hidden so some of the members could express their views freely among like-minded people. However, of late, even my small and hidden group has run up against Facebook’s ridiculous censoring robots.
In response to this I decided to migrate the group to the friendlier land of MeWe.
Despite hearing many requests to do this the new MeWe group has, of this writing, only 31 members with most still posting only in the Facebook version.
Facebook, and other social media companies like Twitter, are getting away with what they are doing for one reason and one reason alone: Most consumers continue to patronize them loyally and are fearful to make a switch. Facebook and Twitter have become the new houses of worship, the new churches, where many members go out of a sense of traditional obligation rather than a true belief.
How many continue to go to a business that has treated them badly because that is the business they have always used? Many consumers of Facebook have continued to patronize a business that has banned the President of the United States while allowing terrorists and drug cartels to have free reign. A company whose oversight board said that “it was not permissible for Facebook to impose an indeterminate, standard less penalty of indefinite suspension on Trump” and then upheld the suspension.
Given the size and power of Facebook this was a momentous decision. I heard one analogy comparing this to a home-plate umpire calling balls and strikes without an agreed upon strake zone. Facebook has now put itself in the position where it decides which ideas and discussions are worthy and truthful, and which are not.
Facebook is a private corporation and it has a right to do this. But WE, as consumers, also have a right….not to patronize it any longer. But, as long as we do patronize it we are telling Facebook to keep doing what they are doing. What is acceptable today may not be acceptable tomorrow for no clear reason at all except the desire for power and caprice.
Let’s get something straight: without us social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have nothing to sell. These services don’t let us have use of their platforms out of the goodness of their hearts. We, the people, ARE the product they are selling…and selling for a great deal of money making people like Mark Zuckerberg very wealthy.
If they no longer have as much product to sell it will hit them hard in the wallet. When that happens, maybe they will reconsider their so-called “community standards.” In the meantime, I will continue to migrate over to the, at least at present, non-censoring MeWe and Parler.