My finger is itchily hovering over the button that will sever my connection with Facebook. But before my digit descends I’ll pop out to the Mapleton Village shops and pick up a coffee, and sit in the park, and think about things.
Right. Coffee done. I’m back.
It would be so easy to press the button but the truth is I’m feeling very conflicted. I’d like you to read the following PR notice that FB has trotted out there for years … “Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.”
Maybe, in a time that ended long ago, that statement had a ring of truth to it. But then the founders of FB moved on from being jolly College IT Nerds and discovered the feel of staggeringly huge amounts of money in their mitts, and then re-designed the platform to put even larger amounts of same in that same sweaty place. We, the users, were moved on from feeling part of a community of like-minded souls and friends and became nothing more than sources of usable data. We were turned (on the Platform I’m saying) into exploitable objects.
Yet, many of us, even with that clear knowledge in our minds, stayed with FB and endured that excrutiating period when FB used a creeping method to algorithm us away from clear and concise contacts with our friends, and bastardised our Newsfeeds with so much unwanted crap.
And now … here we are at The Australian Independent Media Network (AIMN) … faced with a direct attack on our abilities at the community level to cross-platform share our joys and fears on issues that are important to us. Did FB even take a nanosecond to think about the fact that AIMN is not a Hard News site? AIMN is a collective of writers and readers (often quite interchangeable between both of those roles) who share opinion pieces on politics or environment etc, and who share their stories and insights with other like-minded souls. We are a community and we have a community presence on FB. I feel quite angry at how FB is treating the founders and owners of AIMN and how, from the FB point of view, not a shit is given to the years of effort that went into the building of this community. I know AIMN will survive, but kicks in the guts are kicks in the guts.
Talking of which .. I am part of a small FB Group called Survivors and Friends .. I’ve only just recently joined but they used FB to archive all their previous articles and Survivor stories .. their archive disappeared this morning. Which makes me doubly angry.
Why is this all happening?
Our gutless Government is owned lock stock and barrel by conservative media. Our monopoly mainstream media is jousting with the monopoly social media platforms to gouge whatever they can out of each others’ revenue streams. Without the backing of monopoly level conservative media our current Government would have been chucked out long ago. So no surprise that the Coalition is sucking up to Murdoch.
Bit trite for our Government to argue on behalf of Murdoch et al about how their revenue streams are being ripped off by the larger social media platforms, when that same Government is flaying the revenue streams of the ABC.
Meanwhile … AIMN, Survivors and Friends, and all of the other community level organisations who utilise FB to share their information were today told in no uncertain terms by FB to go and get stuffed. They were also shown that the only thing that trickles down to them from the 1% looks like, smells like, and is, shit.