OPINION| Mark Sidney| Ok, I finally got to watch the Fox News interview of Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, and George W Bush’s former Press Secretary, Dana Perino.
What a great interview! Mark said everything I wanted to hear, everything I would have said, everything that Constitutional advocates would say. There is just one problem … In my experience everything he has said seems to be untrue, at least up until this moment, perhaps this is the turning point and things will change going forward.
Before I lay out why I think what Mark said in false, and why I think I have the data to prove it … in a court of law, let me first say this: I want to believe Mr. Zuckerberg and I honestly love just about everything he said. However, I have to admit that I am skeptical, not as much of the man himself, but the actions of the company he is said to run.
I am a big believer in judging people by their deeds, not their words. This is why I have become of skeptical of politicians, especially those who run and serve as ‘Republicans.’ In my view, it is those who tell us what we want to hear, yet do the opposite, which are the biggest threat to our Constitutional Republic.
As Snopes (Yeah, I know) reported: “Sen. Joseph McCarthy said in a famous U.S. Senate speech on Lincoln Day, 20 February 1950, during which he warned against the perils of Communist infiltration in the United States. Without naming Lincoln, McCarthy declared: “As one of our outstanding historical figures once said, ‘When a great democracy is destroyed, it will not be because of enemies from without, but rather because of enemies from within.’ The truth of this statement is becoming terrifyingly clear as we see this country each day losing on every front …”
This is why, though I loved everything that Mr. Zuckerberg said in this interview, and I think Facebook was one of the best products ever built in the history of mankind, I remain skeptical. Again, actions speak louder than words.
I have been a very vocal critic of Facebook and I have been open about what I believe they have done to me and others like me. I have been upfront that, while I do believe there is a political bias at Facebook, I am of the opinion that their aims are largely anti-competitive first, and the ideologically motivation is secondary.
The fact of the matter is that ever since Trump’s election, the reach of the Pages I paid Facebook about $265,000 to build has declined by about 90%, all while our content has only improved, and improved exponentially. Not only that, our engagement rates have remained the same or increased. As you likely know, when we signed up for Facebook, and spent this money, it was our understanding that the agreement we had was that the engagement of each user was going to be the sole determining factor in what each user saw in their ‘News Feed.’
This no longer seems to be the case.
Enough piling on Facebook. Here is the good news. We know that President Trump has recently met with Mr. Zuckerberg in the Oval Office:
From being in the business of following the President and his methods, it seems to me that Mr. Trump always gives people who have gone sideways a ‘wake up call,’ and a chance to course correct before he drops the hammer on them.
It also seems that Mark Z. is taking heat from the Democrats for not doing enough to stifle the speech of their political rivals. In my estimation the mistake that Facebook likely made, and I do not know this for a fact but I have a lot of anecdotal evidence of my own personal experience, is that they seemingly chose to bow to corporate, and or, political pressure, to shut out certain voices and, conversely to propel other voices. Decisions that I believe were made as part of an anticompetitive strategy to dominate, not only who can earn revenue on Facebook, but who can influence the narrative as well. It is important to remember that this is my opinion from my experience and this is yet to be proven in a court of law.
Now let us talk about the timing. Watching Mark Zuckerberg, I got the impression that he truly believes the things that he said about the importance of free expression and the ability for anyone and everyone to build a business on Facebook. I know many of the people reading this may disagree, and I could well be wrong, but I want to believe Mark. The trouble is that I paid over a quarter of a million dollars to do just that and despite living up to my end of the bargain, I have seemingly been pushed out in favor of the legacy media corporations.
Take a look at these statistics from Newswhip:
So based on this analysis, CNN appears to be THE top publisher on Facebook. That’s interesting. I wonder how could that be if The Daily Caller reported in April of this year that “CNN Ratings Continue To Plummet To All-Year Low.” It seems to me, that the only way that this could happen is if CNN’s distribution is being artificially inflated and developed by Facebook’s algorithm. But, hey, what do I know right, this is just my opinion.
If my hypothesis in correct, that Facebook has been tortiously interfering with the ability of some customers to earn a living on their platform while propping up other publishers, I think they are going to end up in a lot of trouble. However, this does not mean that Mr. Zuckerberg is the one making these decisions or giving these directives.
It is entirely possible that Mark is a victim of the same problems that President Trump has run into during his effort to restore American exceptionalism, and roll out his policies: the people between the CEO and the boots on the ground are sabotaging those plans and effectively doing an end run around their leader.
It is also completely possible that Facebook’s CEO is just telling us what we want to hear and doing something else behind our backs, however, I do not want to believe this to be the case. We should keep in mind that Facebook is one of the largest and most powerful corporations on God’s green Earth. Implementing change in a system like this can not be easy, we need to look to further than President Trump’s experience trying to clean up Washington to know that this is true.
Bottom line, I want to believe Mark Zuckerberg and I will give him time to make these changes, but as of now we are staring bankruptcy in the face, yet we are meticulously following all the rules and seeing record engagement. The bottom line is that something does not add up.
Our Page, the largest Trump Fan Page on Facebook (I believe this to be the case) was unpublished just 2 weeks ago, then pressure was applied by people on high, and by some sort of divine intervention, the Page was restored. If Mark Zuckerberg really believes the things he is saying, he has a lot of work to do to bring Facebook back to what it once was: the most powerful tool for the free flow of information and ideas in the history of mankind. I know that I am a nobody, but if Facebook is genuine in their goal of restoring the platform to what it was before Facebook seemingly moved away from a user engagement determined News Feed, I would jump at the chance to help.
I pray that he is genuine in his interest to do so, and I pray that he has the power to make this happen. For if Facebook and the other social media corporations, which I like to refer to as the “Speech Cartel,” are allowed to determine who gets to speak, and how loudly they get to speak, I fear our children will grow in a nation which we do not recognize.