Opinion – Mark Sidney – Facebook, IMHO, has become a complete and laughing stock. Their C level executives have lost all credibility with the American people. Day in and day out they p*ss all over conservatives and other users, continuing to tell us it’s just rain. Unfortunately for them, their lies no longer work.
Once a bastion of free speech and free expression, the company has since seemingly sold out to the totalitarians, and come down with the force of a thousand suns on anyone who dares to question the establishment media talking points, nevermind support the President of The United State Of America, Donald J Trump.
Why do I think Facebook has defrauded millions of people out of billions of dollars? I’m about to tell you, and I’ll bet you that you have not heard this story before.
Over the last few years we have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars paying Facebook for “likes.” Everyone knows the premise of social media used to be, entice people to “like” and thus “follow” your Page, and if your ‘followers’ engage with your content ,they will see more of it in their Newsfeeds. While taking this money Facebook told us that FB was a ‘Platform For All Ideas’ and that each user’s Newsfeed was personal and unique and determined by what each individual chose to engage with.
Recently Facebook quietly removed the page called “Newsfeed Values,” despite having linked to it in countless newsroom posts and it being their core principles. It used to be located here: https://newsfeed.fb.com/values/, unfortunately for FB, the wayback machine still has it HERE.
Here are the promises I relied on when I spent the $270k on Page Like Ads, and why the “FB is a private company they can do what they want” argument does not work:
“Our success is built on getting people the stories that matter to them most. If you could look through thousands of stories every day and choose the 10 that were most important to you, which would they be? The answer should be your News Feed. It is subjective, personal, and unique — and defines the spirit of what we hope to achieve.”
“Your feed should inform
People expect the stories in their feed to be meaningful to them — and we have learned over time that people value stories that they consider informative. Something that one person finds informative or interesting may be different from what another person finds informative or interesting — this could be a post about a current event, a story about your favorite celebrity, a piece of local news, or a recipe. We’re always working to better understand what is interesting and informative to you personally, so those stories appear higher up in your feed.”
A Platform For All Ideas
We are not in the business of picking which issues the world should read about. We are in the business of connecting people and ideas — and matching people with the stories they find most meaningful. Our integrity depends on being inclusive of all perspectives and view points, and using ranking to connect people with the stories and sources they find the most meaningful and engaging.”
Read that again, this is the core reason I sunk nearly $300k into this product, and keep in mind these are/were “Facebook’s CORE VALUES.’
We don’t favor specific kinds of sources — or ideas. Our aim is to deliver the types of stories we’ve gotten feedback that an individual person most wants to see. We do this not only because we believe it’s the right thing but also because it’s good for our business. When people see content they are interested in, they are more likely to spend time on News Feed and enjoy their experience.”
“You Control Your Experience
Ultimately, you know what’s most meaningful to you — and that’s why we’ve developed controls so you can customize what you see. Features such as “unfollow,” “hide” and “see first” help you design your own experience — and when you use them, we take your actions as feedback to help us better understand what content is most important to you. For example, if you hide a story from someone, that signals that you’re less interested in hearing from that person in the future. As News Feed evolves, we’ll continue building easy-to-use and powerful tools to give you the most personalized experience.” I encourage you to read this for yourself here.
That was our contract. I gave them $270,000 or so to build up a bunch of Pages to distribute my conservative political opinion publishing business’s content, because I was told (and it worked, up until Trump won the election) that Facebook was going to serve content to each user based on what THAT INDIVIDUAL USER had previously engaged with. Well, once they got my money, it sure feels like they broke these promises.
About 3 years ago Facebook seemingly realized that this promise, which their entire business was based on, was not compatible with the radical authoritarian takeover of our government. When Pages like ours countered the lies of the ‘Operation Mockingbird’ press successfully, and assisted in Donald Trump’s election win Facebook, FB took holy hell from … someone.
Could this have had something to do with it? 9 days after Trump’s election Obama met with Zuckerberg privately in Peru, the headline read:
We all know ‘fake news’ was a pretext FB used to try and counter the reach of anyone who did not parrot the MSM’s talking points. I would love to know what was really said in this meeting, because ever since the two met, FB has been, IMHO, on the warpath against conservatives and the God given right to express oneself freely. Acting with seemingly 0 fear of repercussions for breaking their contracts with their 2.3 billion users. Now, why could that be?
Trump won the election in 2016 and all of a sudden the platfrom changed. No longer were users to determine what they saw, FB said they were going to transition to propping up ‘Trusted Sources’, they even started funding shows for the platform by people like Anderson Cooper. They completely uncloaked as biased and CRUSHED all independent media, depatforming most and shadow banning the rest to the point of bankruptcy.
Unfortunately for FB we had a contract and I am not about to I am not the kind of person to let someone p*ss all over me without recourse.
That’s a 23 percent increase year over year. Of these businesses, 6 million advertise on Facebook.”
6,000,000 customers who run businesses and use FB ads. How many of them do you think have purchased Page Like Ads, ads that we were told would increase our follower count and thus our distribution in Newsfeed? Likely not all of them, but let’s say 1 in 3. That’s 2 million people/businesses.
I am just some guy, I fell into this, I am not rich, I am not a big corporation or a political campaign with millions in my bank account, and I spent nearly $300,000 on these ads. My buddy Dino spent $350,000 and Facebook stole his pages out from under him last year, in what has come to be known as ‘the purge.’ No warning, no refund, nothing, they just took back 15 million fans. My friend Corey spent 1/2 Million on this product. Just my small publisher friends, a handful of them, have spent millions between us.
I know others who have spent 3.2 million another who spent 5 million, we are talking big numbers here. But let’s just assume that the average business only spent $10,000 on Page Like Ads. Multiply that by the 2,000,000 users and that is a whopping $20,000,000,000 ($20 BILLION) in ad spending that Facebook then, in my view, stole back in its entirely via deleted pages, or, those of us who still remain, via 90% of our reach (what we paid the money for) clawed back over time.
That’s just an estimate of $20 BILLION in money they took in (it could be 5 even 10x higher, i do not know,) never mind disgorgement of profits which I believe the law allows in these kind of cases. Facebook may be on the hook for a HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS or MORE, in fairness, or less. We just do not know the total number … yet. I do not have the data yet, but court ordered discovery would provide an opportunity to gather and analyze it.
Keep in mind that I am not a lawyer, and this is all my opinion, and my story of what happened to me, what my perception of my experience is using the Page Like Ad product.
This is a huge story and next to no one but I seem to be talking about it. Jim Hoft at the Gateway Pundit has mentioned it, as I believe he to is also a victim, but other than that nothing, crickets.
What about all the Senators and Congresspeople who likely spent millions on these ads in order to speak to their potential voters and their constituents? This is not just a consumer fraud case in my view, it is an election interference case too, perhaps that side of the coin is even more important.
“Facebook is a private business they can do whatever they want” I hear a lot of people saying. I agree 100%, however, they can not break contracts and they can not remove or limit the distribution of content in a biased manner (based on viewpoint of identity of the speaker) and maintain their CDA immunity, as Senator Cruz has pointed out time and time again.
Bottomline, Facebook told their users to come sign up, we will provide a ‘platform for all ideas’ you can build a distribution network and a business on here (that is an offer to form a contract) all we want in return is for you to populate the platform with content and to allow us to collect data (exchange of valuable consideration.) We lived up to our end of the bargain, FB has not lived up to theirs. Which, in my opinion, is a violation of the contract we all had with them.
I have spent the last 16 months building this case, I have all the evidence, I have the proof, I have the declarations of FB employees confirming, in my view, even bragging about their business model being to push out competitors who they do not like. I have the case ready to file, all I need is a little help from a few honest men and/or women.
Any journalist reading this, if you want to win a Pulitzer Prize, look into the ‘Page Like Ads’ story, learn what FB has done to the people who paid them, what likely amounts to BILLIONS of dollars. I would be happy to tell you all that I know to help you get started and I do not need a single oz of credit. All I want is justice to be done, may the heavens fall. If you want to learn more about this story contact me at [email protected] – Mark Sidney