Google and Facebook have admitted to changing their internal algorithms in a manner that favors some sites over others and Twitter has been accused of “shadowbanning” conservatives. The move has channeled traffic away from right-leaning sites and personalities while leaving left-wing entities virtually unharmed or even fairing better. Those changes have caused a massive drop in revenue for many outlets and before long could cause them to disappear. It’s time for conservatives to get news a different way – or risk losing our voice online.
Facebook and Twitter aren’t necessarily evil. They’re just not a honest purveyors of news. The cute puppy videos, cat pictures, makeup tips, and knowing who your high school boyfriend married are what Facebook is good at. But unfiltered news and thoughtful commentary? Nope. Slowly but surely, Facebook stops showing posts from certain pages in people’s newsfeeds even if they’ve liked/followed that page. That’s “the algorithm” or what I call “the filter.” Of course, sometimes Facebook takes more drastic steps when it decides conservative content is “unsafe.”
FACEBOOK penalizes pro-Trump Diamond & Silk: 'Unsafe to community'… https://t.co/fmdtzS4DB3
— NEWS MAKER (@NEWS_MAKER) April 8, 2018
When Orwell wrote 1984, he envisioned the government invading our privacy and controlling what we see and hear. Instead, it’s gigantic technology companies and we’ve actually helped them make it happen.
We used to find news sources on our own. Conservatives used RSS feed readers, a list of bookmarked websites, news forums, political discussion sites and more to discover information that mattered to them. What happened? We let Facebook and Google tell us what is news and what isn’t – similar to what mainstream media has been trying to do for decades.
“It was all an insane accident. Facebook never wanted to be editor-in-chief of the universe, and the relatively vibrant free press that toppled the likes of McCarthy and Nixon never imagined it could be swallowed by a pet-meme distributor.”
It’s time to re-think, re-do or perhaps even undo before conservative thought goes right down the Orwellian “memory hole” in the Ministry of Truth.
Twitter's @jack applauded an article claiming America is in a second Civil War that must end with a destroyed GOP.
If he truly agrees, how can he not feel compelled to use Twitter as a vehicle to accomplish this goal?
— Joe Gabriel Simonson (@SaysSimonson) April 7, 2018
Conservatives found ways to get their message out despite the left-leaning editorial bias of major TV networks and paper publications. We turned to social media and used it to our advantage. Now, the extreme left is fighting back and they’ve taken over that venue as well.
By centralizing our distribution through Facebook and similar platforms, it was easier for conservative content makers to gain audience and get heard. But as we’ve seen recently, it is also easier to get filtered out.
Some on the right have said that we need a new platform, or perhaps turn to one like Gab.ai that promises it will never filter content. But that’s just remaking the same mistake with a new player. No, we need to decentralize the way we share and get our news.
So how do we avoid the Silicone Valley filters? By getting our information directly from sources we trust. I use an RSS feed reader and bookmarks to stay on top of news sites, commentary and other content from source across the political spectrum.
So bookmark the websites that frequently produce content you appreciate. Visit them regularly to see everything they’ve published, not just what Facebook, Twitter or Google allow you to see. Or gather their feeds in an app like The Old Reader that I use and join their email lists. That’s how many of us keep up with what outlets from both the left and right are doing and saying – unfiltered.
Does that mean that everyone should ditch Facebook, Twitter and Google? No. I use Twitter regularly, but I don’t rely on it to show me the information I need to stay current on politics and events in the U.S. and the world.
Social media has its place, but we shouldn’t get our information solely through any filter and certainly not one owned by Mark Zuckerberg and his progressive, left coast, ideologue friends.
— Rich Mitchell (@CDNnow) April 8, 2018