We told you on Friday that Mark Zuckerberg is kind of on a warpath right now. He’s made no secret of the fact that pages like ours on Facebook will soon reach only a tiny fraction of our followers, if any at all. This has been a long time coming. Early last year, Facebook’s algorithms began preventing our posts from reaching our followers, and with every new update and algorithm change, we continue to see a decline in the number of people who see our posts in their newsfeeds. Yes, it helps when you set your notifications to “See First” and it definitely helps when you comment and share our posts, but regardless, if the changes Zuckerberg is promising come to fruition, you won’t be seeing our posts TO comment on or share them.
That’s why we are encouraging you to join our new Facebook GROUP. Apparently groups will be less affected by these changes. We plan to cross-post to our regular page and our group page, and hope you’ll be able to see our content from at least one of those sources.
To join our group, simply click here!
These changes don’t just impact us. Many conservative pages are feeling the pain, and just last night, we discovered that one website, Right Wing News, is apparently shutting down as a result. John Hawkins, who has owned and operated RWN since 2001, wrote a piece about the shutdown on Townhall.
RWN’s Facebook page has over 3 million followers, three times the number that COTR does, and yet, his posts simply were squashed by the Facebook algorithm.
It wasn’t always like this, of course. As he points out, “Barack Obama’s Facebook page was 36 times bigger than our page; yet we had 7 times as many people talking about our content.”
And, he says, that’s what actually ended up killing his website, because, “what Facebook giveth, Facebook can take away.”
John saw the writing on the wall during the 2016 election, as we all did. The second the MSM started shrieking about the Russians meddling in the election and about #fakenews, we knew where the spotlight would shine – it would be directly on any popular conservative page with perceived influence. Our success could be our downfall (and was, in RWN’s case.)
And Facebook has been rather brilliant about its strategy. As John wrote about the systematic algorithm updates, “If Facebook killed every conservative page overnight, there would be a huge outcry. On the other hand, if Facebook slowly strangled us to death, we’d fade away and would people even notice?”
And this is why we’ve been so adamant lately about asking you to bookmark or favorite this website and STOP relying on Facebook to get you here. We’d love to believe that if Facebook “slowly strangled us to death,” you’d notice if we started fading away, but we understand the reality here. Every single one of us is bombarded with information in our Facebook timelines, and even though we all have our personal favorite pages, do we really notice when we DON’T see posts from them? Probably not. And that’s Facebook’s gameplan. It’s death by a thousand cuts. They don’t want you to notice that for some reason, you’re not seeing content from us, or from other conservative pages. They don’t want you to really notice that you’re only getting news from Huffington Post and CNN and other pages they deem as “legitimate.”
John explains further:
Yes, non-political pages were affected, too, although conservative pages got it worse and, yes, there is a business incentive to do this. When people click on a news story, they leave Facebook. On the other hand, conservative pages like Right Wing News were able to become so massive because we are putting out content an awful lot of people on Facebook want to read. That’s no longer going to be allowed in part because we’re putting out a message that the liberals who run the company don’t want out there.
RWN was one of the earliest conservative blogs out there. We didn’t arrive on the scene until 2009. But since around 2012, waaaaaay too many people who thought they could do what RWN did, and what we do, decided to jump into the mix. And what happened? A completely oversaturated conservative website environment. Content stealing sites popped up like crazy. Remember the Chuck Woolery drama? (Thankfully, by the way, we apparently taught them how to properly credit the stories they lift, so now instead of stealing content and being completely unoriginal WITHOUT crediting original sources, they’re taking content and being completely unoriginal WITH crediting original sources.)
John talks in his column about the fact that Twitter is being sued by Charles Johnson, a conservative who was banned simply because Twitter didn’t want him around anymore. He got “Milo’d,” if you will. And of course the recent James O’Keefe expose proves that Twitter is just as liberally biased as Facebook. Dennis Prager is suing YouTube for demonentizing his PragerU videos. James Damore, famously fired by Google for writing a memo that talked about bias against conservative thought, is now suing Google for targeting white men and conservatives. Liberals now own universities, entertainment, main stream news, and now social media.
And, John writes, “If you want a more concrete example of that besides its heavily biased search engine which pretty clearly prefers liberal sources over conservative ones, the latest controversy with Google is that if you search for many prominent conservative websites, it has a “fact checking section” next to them while many sketchy liberal websites don’t.”
A lot of people, in response to our original post about this, have said, “Someone needs to start a conservative version of Facebook!” It’s a nice idea, but it’s completely unrealistic, given the billions and billions of dollars FB has at its disposal, and the influence and chokehold it already has on the entire planet. We have heard about gab.ai, we’ve heard about minds.com, we’ve heard about mewe – the list of other possible alternatives is endless. Teapartycommunity.com went absolutely nowhere. I don’t knock these alternatives at all – more power to them – but it’ll take enormous $$ to get them anywhere close to the behemoth that Facebook is. And frankly, I just don’t see it happening.
John’s conclusion sounded truly dire:
We’ve already lost the schools, Hollywood and the mainstream media. What happens when you can’t get out conservative opinion via social media because they block, shadow ban and demonetize everyone who gets any traction? What happens if they put rules in place that essentially make expressing conservative opinions something that gets you kicked off their service? You’re pro-gun? Sorry, not allowed. You don’t like gay marriage? Get out of here. Criticizing Black Lives Matter? Out of bounds! We can hope for the best, but that seems like the future we’re headed toward and it’s one that will leave conservatism weaker than ever.
I can’t stress it hard enough. VISIT OUR website, at least just once a day, so that you never miss a post. Don’t rely on Facebook to get you here, or to get you to your other favorite conservative sites. And if you must rely on it, make sure to join our Group in addition to our regular page, so that you have a better chance of seeing our content in your newsfeed.
We have a great community here, and we believe it’s our regular commenters and our fantastic writers, Hannah and Kimber, that make our site unique and exceptional. But we rely on you, our audience, to keep visiting and keep participating, to avoid the same “death by a thousand cuts” that John and Right Wing News have suffered.
Let’s keep it going. Onward.