October 7, 2021
There’s no question that our society today in America is divided…
Some blame Trump. Some blame Clinton.
But in many respects, today’s divisiveness is the fault of that trillion-dollar social media app that so many folks are addicted to.
There’s just something about Facebook…
Even before the recent whistleblower news, we all knew it already, didn’t we? You can almost feel it whenever you’re on the Facebook platform… the hate, the vitriol, the insanity.
A few years ago, a grade-school music teacher, who had at one time been my mentor, lashed out at me on Facebook because I had expressed support for the Trump tax cuts. Her reaction was out of left field, and super aggressive.
What could possibly cause people to go into a total attack mode on a seemingly harmless social media app?
Well, now we may know why…
We learned this week that Facebook’s algorithms – as whistleblower Frances Haugen explained this week both on 60 Minutes and in her testimony on Capitol Hill – were intentionally designed to inspire raw, often negative, emotion.
Posts were said to have circulated at a greater pace when they got a lot of comments, hearts, dislikes, etc. In other words, an emotional response was rewarded with better circulation, which in turn, promoted even more emotion.
And according to Haugen, Facebook found that “hateful, divisive, and polarizing” content got the most reaction from users… So the company’s algorithms, she explained, promoted that kind of content.
(Facebook disagrees… Its founder has maintained the platform provides people with a connectivity that enhances its users’ lives and creates better interpersonal bonds.)
Because the more emotional connection users had to a platform, the more time they’ll spend on it, and thus the more money Facebook would make.
So Facebook’s own research shows that it amplifies hate, misinformation, and political unrest – but it seems the company has hidden what it knows.
Monopoly on Speech
Granted, as a nation, we’re ultimately responsible because we’ve allowed the company to flourish completely unchecked… Our government failed us on this one.
This is one of the many reasons why Big Tech needs to be broken up. The government should look long and hard at breaking up the platform so as to not allow such hate to flourish unchecked in the future.
Yet it’s even more than that… Outside of the hate spreading, Facebook has become a monopoly that threatens our freedom of speech, while simultaneously hurting our ability to interact and communicate with one another.
There’s no question Facebook has a monopoly on speech…
Facebook is like the delivery truck for a local newspaper. Imagine what would happen if, after reporters and columnists worked hard to convey truth and fact in their stories, the delivery truck for the paper refused to go on any deliveries? They could go to another truck company – but what if there were no other truck companies in the area?
Facebook is the truck company deciding who it wants to publish and when…
If they think Trish Regan is talking about inflation in a way that could harm the reputation of the current administration, then why not prevent Trish Regan from reaching her audience?
Believe me, that sort of thing happens. Earlier this year, I had a firsthand experience… I was shadow banned on Facebook.
After the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, a reporting video I created and posted about the serious threat of an EMP attack on this country was flagged and demonetized… buried in the feeds where hardly anyone could view it.
I had been silenced. Facebook deliberately suppressed news that Americans deserve and need to hear.
At the time, I wrote:
It seems Facebook, a monopolistic enterprise started by a socially awkward computer guy who went to my own high school, is out entirely for itself… not the country, not the world, but apparently whatever is best for shareholders.
And in monopolies, it’s the customer who loses out… typically via price gouging. In this case, I agree with the administration’s Lina Kahn, the new head of the Federal Trade Commission, who’s been vocal that this country needs to rethink monopolies for the modern era.
It’s terrifying to think what the world might look like in the future if Facebook – which is now exploring virtual-reality technology and avatars – is allowed to continue completely unchecked.
After months of extraordinary gains, the U.S. stock market is now looking off. Investors worldwide now ask, “Is this the beginning of the end of the most epic stock rally in history?” All eyes were on September 28 for the answers. Here’s the entire story.
Between Haugen’s damning testimony and Facebook’s massive outage on Monday, it’s been a bad week for this tech-market darling.
Facebook’s stock was down 5% on Monday alone, and shares are off roughly 14% since the start of September.
While the public’s sentiment toward Facebook seems to have shifted in 2021, Wall Street continues to reward it. Why? Because it’s a huge moneymaker. Facebook is an incredibly capital-efficient company… It makes fistfuls of cash with little investment.
According to a CNN Business story this week, “Facebook doubled its profits during the second quarter, netting $10.4 billion. Advertising revenue soared 56% compared to the same period a year earlier.”
Some are suggesting the tech giant’s sell-off right now may be a good time to buy in… Others may feel that despite its strong financials, they don’t want to own Facebook because they don’t agree with what it represents.
I spoke with a friend the other day who told me she sold her Facebook stock a couple months ago because she didn’t like what the company represented anymore. This latest news that it has been alleging promoting viciousness and hate online certainly contributes to that. You need to make that decision for yourself as an investor.
Also, while Wall Street really only cares about the bottom line… if Facebook’s business model falls apart and advertisers lose interest, well that’s where issues could really happen.
The fallout from Facebook’s ecosystem disintegrating would be dramatic… less revenue and diminishing margins.
We should all recognize that in the best, most healthy version of capitalism, the monopoly should be shunned.
Facebook is a monopoly… And its monopolistic power must be both shunned and ended.
It’s time for the government to do its job – and for Facebook to be broken up.
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Publisher, American Consequences
With Editorial Staff
October 7, 2021