Facebook has become one of the world’s most powerful social tools, and with that, an immense amount of power has been bestowed upon one man: Mark Zuckerberg.
The Facebook CEO has long maintained his “cool” factor by wearing his signature hooded sweatshirt during sit-downs with some of the most powerful people in the word; government leaders and media personalities alike. Beneath that thin facade, however, lies an intrepid businessman and influencer hellbent on pushing the liberal agenda from his powerful platform.
For years, Facebook has been working to deter conservative news sites from utilizing their network for free speech. Zuckerberg had, at one point, even hired a team to cull any and all right wing news sources from the “trending topics” section of the website, no matter how often the articles were truly shared.
That team has since been replaced by an algorithm designed to effectively censor the First Amendment rights of American conservatives. Now, a new model for Facebook’s censorship has been realized, and testing for a new “pay to play” system has begun.
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“The social network last week officially launched its secondary news feed called Explore. The feed generally features posts from Facebook Pages users don’t follow. News Feed, meanwhile, hosts posts from friends and Pages users do follow.
“But that’s not true for everyone. In six markets, Facebook has removed posts from Pages in the original News Feed and relegated them to another feed, Filip Struhárik, editor and social media manager at , wrote. That means Facebook’s main feed is no longer a free playing field for publishers. Instead, it’s a battlefield of “pay to play,” where publishers have to pony up the dough to get back into the News Feed.
“It’s a stark change from how media outlets have grown with Facebook. Publishers like BuzzFeed’s Tasty and NowThis grew via distributing viral posts and videos on News Feed, as Ziad Ramley, former social lead at Al Jazeera English, wrote. While companies had to employ social media managers, they could generally rely on them sharing content without paying to boost it.
“That game could be over, creating a nightmare situation for publishers while Facebook hopes it leads to more advertising revenue.”
While this move seems like the next logical step in the world of Facebook advertising, it has enormous First Amendment ramifications that cannot be ignored or spirited away with claims of Facebook being a purely “private business”.
Facebook, like Google and others, is growing into the real of information necessity and calls for these sites to regulated for adherence to the Constitution mustn’t be swept under the carpet. The weaponization of Facebook is the death of American freedom in many ways, and we must fight their efforts to demand cash for clout.