Facebook, in concept, is an amazing thing. One centralized website with the capability of keeping us in-the-lives of everyone that we know and care about. The ability to see your cousins’ new baby from across the country, share humor in memes, or see astounding videos from the world you wouldn’t get to see otherwise, it’s a fantastic CONCEPT. You’d think Facebook would be revered as one of our prouder creations, as a species, but instead it has turned into a platform that peddles incorrect information, suppresses originality, and extorts its content creators.
To the people who use Facebook everyday purely for social media, Facebook can be annoying. You find yourself being “soft-banned” for sharing memes that were already found on your timeline, shared by someone else. You end up in “Facebook Jail” for days to weeks and even months! I had a friend hit a 90 day ban, purely for speaking their mind. This is quite hypocritical considering the big ole’ “What’ On Your Mind” sitting on our status bar. The problem is that Facebook doesn’t want us to tell them what’s on our mind. They want us to tell them what we’re doing. Where we’re going. Who we’re with. What we’re buying. Etc. They want to know what companies they can charge more, for advertising.
Now let’s get to advertising. The majority of the people reading this will never have to deal with Facebook advertising; and you should all consider yourselves lucky. From an artist’s perspective, Facebook does nothing less than extort it’s content creators. Now, I know I’ll get a handful that will say “Well you’re using THEIR platform; that’s capitalism”, and I absolutely agree. But my issue lies in their method of delivery, prices, demographic, etc. Below, I have posted two different ad campaigns through the Facebook ad market. They are set up for the exact same delivery and same budget. Yet my account (with a bigger following, respectively) wouldn’t even reach half of the amount of people as the Troupe Inc. Art page, for the exact same campaign. This is how Facebook extorts it’s artists and content creators. Now the sad thing is, if you pay for an ad campaign, but don’t extend it (or begin a new paid campaign after the current one ends), Facebook will hide your posts and content from the everyday feed, so that you don’t see the same organic results that you had, prior to paying them.
Troupe Inc. Art’s Facebook Ad Potential
*Ad Versions are how many types of ads we have created*
Zig Zag’s Facebook Ad Potential
*Ad Versions are how many types of ads we have created*
While the difference in “minimum reach” reach is only off by 23, the actual results of this ad campaign would be absolutely different.
For example, I have posted the results from 2 separate ad campaigns below. The first picture shows my 5 day ad campaign, in which we paid $.11 per person who saw it, and reached 154 people for $8.85.
Below my picture, is a picture that shows a 5-day ad campaign for Cheeba, in which we paid $.05 per person who saw it, and reached 954 people for $5.
Do you see the problem we have here? My campaign ended up paying $.6 more per person reached, whereas her campaign hit an audience over 7 times mine, for $3.35 less. THIS is how Facebook extorts their artists. Sure, it may not seem like much, but it makes all the difference when you’re waiting for the right set of eyes and ears to come along and see your potential. I’m sure there are other artists reading this right now, in disgust.
There are more problems with Facebook than just their extortion and censorship, it’s also the way they deploy their “algorithms”. These algorithms have been monitoring us, and blocking us for anything perceived as “hate speech” or “violent”. People being banned for quoting music lyrics, one government official being soft-banned for quoting lines of the US Constitution, etc. These algorithms aren’t here to help keep Facebook pleasant and safe, they are here to censor us and push the Facebook agenda. Facebook has become nothing more than a living zoo for the NSA, FBI, and the CIA. They don’t have to sit in vans and tap phone calls anymore, because they can watch it live from their building. Every single thing we do, is data to Facebook and they’ve already been caught selling our information more than once.
Which brings me to my next point, I am currently in a battle of my human rights with Facebook. Some of you are aware that back in January I renounced my birth name and fully embraced myself as Zig Zag. I had stated how I would always keep my legal name out of respect to my father, but that I would no longer answer to it. My family and community has welcomed this with open arms, and I have had no problems transitioning to my new name. That was until about a week ago, when I received this notice from Facebook:
Below was my response:
They replied (clearly ignoring my message)
I refuse to quit:
Now they threaten to block me in 3 days if I don’t have the “necessary documents”:
My final response:
This entire interaction genuinely makes me feel like they’re calling me a liar, to my face. So they can’t trust us to tell them what we’re called in everyday life, but we’re supposed to trust them with our data and our private information. It’s also laughable to me that they feel it’s acceptable to ask me to upload my private Drivers License info to them. After what they did with our info before (Cambridge) I’m supposed scan my ID and send it to them? LOL.
In summation, I think we need to take a long hard look at this platform and truly consider what we allow it to continue getting away with. It’s supposed to a social media platform, not a fucking world superpower. I shouldn’t need a government-issued ID to be able to use it, and I shouldn’t have to be silenced for speaking my mind while using it. And neither should you.
I’m sure the nature of this article will have my account blocked or banned, so hopefully everyone gets to read it before you get a brand new friend request from me on another profile. If anyone else has any Facebook horror stories, send them to me!