This will not end well, as we’re already seeing. Elon Musk recently pardoned a whole army of right-wing scumbags, allowing them to tweet freely, and then got reminded why they were banned in the first place. Nick Fuentes, the Nazi-loving anti-semite, took advantage of his new bullhorn to declare,
We love Hitler…bitch!, and got banned again within 24 hours. You know, this was entirely predictable. That’s what Fuentes always does, ramping up the hatred to get his followers excited. He can do nothing else — if he toned down the rhetoric, his rabid base would evaporate.
Now Facebook/Meta/whatever mask Zuckerberg is wearing now, announced that they’re unbanning Donald Trump. They didn’t offer a good reason.
In an interview with Axios, which first reported the news, Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, said the company had decided to allow Trump to regain access to his account shortly ahead of the 2024 election cycle.
Clegg added that he hoped Trump wouldn’t want to “delegitimize” the 2024 election as he did the 2020 election, should he decide to return to the platform.
“We just do not want — if he is to return to our services — for him to do what he did on January 6, which is to use our services to delegitimize the 2024 election, much as he sought to discredit the 2020 election,” Clegg said. “We’ve always believed that Americans should be able to hear from the people who want to lead the country.”
Oh. They let him back because they “hope” he won’t continue to do what he’s been constantly doing for the last several years. That’s not very rational. These bozos really need to read the fable of the scorpion and the frog.
I think Amanda Marcotte has figured out the real reason they want him back online. Meta has been an embarrassing debacle and is bleeding money. Trump is a trick to provoke more traffic.
This isn’t about fairness, free speech, or democracy — all values Trump has spent the past 8 years trying to destroy. It’s likely not even that much about Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s well-documented willingness to be bullied by right-wingers. This is almost certainly about one thing and one thing only: money.
It’s not just the money that Trump’s campaign will spend on Meta. Trump himself, by being the most famous and repugnant troll in the world, is just big business for social media. His fascism, his bigotry, his cruelty and even his poor spelling and grammar all draw attention from fans and haters alike, creating a whirlwind of clicks and engagement that more responsible content simply can’t match. As tech journalist Kara Swisher notes, “Enragement equals engagement.” Trump makes liberals angry, makes his fans angry at liberals, causes fights and incentivizes dunks. Every post generates huge numbers of reposts both praising and condemning him. Democracy can’t stand a chance against the sheer profitability engine that is his unique combination of stupidity, ego, and hatefulness. He’s the worst person imaginable, but that is all the more reason we can’t look away.
Exactly. The social media companies have figured out that troll farms are the cheap way to harvest clicks. They will then go to the capitalist companies and trade their bounty of clicks for real money, and the companies have not yet figured out how to tell cheap rage clicks from valuable quality clicks, so they pay up. The social media giants have been working very hard to devalue their product, and I hope someday everyone catches on.
Marcotte accurately describes what Facebook is currently selling.
At this point, Facebook has little choice but to lean into the userbase it still has: aging Boomers who believed they were joining to share pictures of grandkids but end up spending hours of the day on the site further alienating themselves from their kids through their addiction to COVID-19 denialism memes and conspiracy theories about “antifa.” Not injecting Trump into that situation is, from a profitability standpoint, like marketing a cruise line to retirees that doesn’t feature an all-you-can-eat buffet. In this case, all they’re eating is fascist propaganda.
Even more than Fox News, Facebook is why your grandpa thinks the city you live in is a burned-out husk where BLM protesters and “antifa” won’t let you out of your house unless you change your gender. From a purely business standpoint, leaving Trump out of that is like not stocking Coca-Cola in a grocery’s soda aisle.
Tossing Donald Trump into that barrel of garbage isn’t going to put Facebook on the comeback trail, for sure.
Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says
Did the reporter use my parents Facebook pages for this? It’s pretty close.
Brony, Social Justice Cenobite says
Amanda Marcotte. It’s too early.
Nick Clegg. How that husk of a human looks at himself in the mirror every morning is beyond me. Having enabled the Tory takeover with Cameron, which led to Brexit and so many other ills, he jumped ship to the States and joined up with, the gods help us, Mark Zuckerberg. He is the Quisling of his generation. But, then, he’s a LibDem, so it’s hardly unexpected. Sadly, the only choice I have to vote for in my constituency is a LibDem; Oxford West and Abingdon will never vote Labour. On the plus side, our current LibDem MP is a pretty reasonable person.
I hope not; but what you said earlier,
I fear is the better predictor. I don’t see companies developing any intelligence any time soon.
There is that at least.
Facebook needs to die for the good of the world and our society.
It was a good idea done badly.
Everybody gets their own website to post pictures of their cats, children, garden, whatever.
Instead they got a predatory company that made its users and their users’ information into their product.
Facebook makes their money by packaging up their users and selling them to whoever has the money.
A good side effect is that the orange buffoon will steal oxygen from the DeSantis campaign as he re-enters twitter.
And as DeSantis eventually must step down as governor he will be forgotten before the 2028 presidential election. The coming election is his only chance, and Trump will ruin it for him.
As for orange Florida Man, he has poor chances, even against old man Biden. Let him remind the voters how awful he is, before facebook and twitter go belly-up.
As I recall, the original idea was a platform where college bros could rate the do-ability of women on campus.
Who would have thought that an endeavor with such a noble aspiration would descend into a pit of shit-eating trolls?
“the companies have not yet figured out how to tell cheap rage clicks from valuable quality clicks, so they pay up.”
That’s easy: the ones actually clicking clearly aren’t using adblockers, so they’re the trollfarm rageclickers. The actual customers do use adblockers, so they’re not even seeing any of the ads.
But then, the digital marketing departments know that… and don’t actually care, since they don’t have to generate revenue, just ‘clicks’, and they can just show those ‘engagement stats’ to their c-level masters.
There are signs that companies with advertising budgets are wising up to how poorly clicks correlate with marketing benefits. Which is part of why Facebook is currently in a trouble. Same for Twitter, which was already on fire before Musk took over and hosed it down with ethanol. The online advertising game has been almost as big a racket as cryptocurrencies. (Online ads at least have the virtue of actually being ads.)
The people in charge of the social media companies are making the same strategic error as Kodak refusing to develop digital film because it would cut into their traditional market dominance, although worse because the Kodak collapse only lost a lot of money, it didn’t actively undermine democracy and transparency in mass communication.
These CEOs are too busy trying to squeeze every last drop out of their dying business model to see that the only way forward is to acknowledge they’re overvalued, take a hit on the stock price, and recalibrate as a professional advertising medium with professional relationships with advertisers in a professional marketplace environment — not clickbait headlines generating eyeballs for cruddy dollarshop products. The current online advertising model is only good for shonks and political agitators. It’s one step up from spamming in that the advertisers have some data to help focus on target users’ interests. It’s roughly on par with the old classifieds at the rear end of pulp magazines. Good for selling dubious health products, sea monkeys, xray glasses to budding sex pests, and that’s about it. To be fiar today’s online media can claim to have created something new: a entirely unprecedented genre of advertising that sells freedom from advertising. I guess they also worked out how to monetise fascist ranting. That’s innovation right there. Disruption, even.
And why do the CEOs keep this obvious death spiral going? Because their dubiously engineered remunerations rely on stupid metrics designed to stroke egos and promote ever-escalating executive bonuses instead of sustainable or ethical business practices.
As an aside since I brought up sea monkeys, there’s this interesting story from the SPLC. Shonky marketing and fascism have been bedfellows long before social media existed. I don’t think it’s coincidence that white supremacy groups found antivax nonsense and COVID denialism a useful recruiting tool.
The frog added that he hoped the scorpion would not sting him as they crossed the river.
Leo Buzalsky says
How true is that, though? Some of those clicks are going to be from people who are easily duped into investing in gold (though maybe that’s actually a good investment this year???) or buying health supplements that don’t work? If a lot of the people clicking are easily duped Boomers with money to burn vs Millennials or Gen Z who need to be pinching pennies, maybe those clicks do have value to them?
This is not to suggest that they aren’t over paying for those clicks! That may very well be true…which goes to why I asked how true it is. (I’m not expecting a binary “Yes” or “No” answer.)
I’m playing the ever-popular sport of complaining about how a message board “used to be good” as I watch Quora dig itself into the same trap that catches every online forum.
Forums live on eyeballs (even if they have outside sources of funding) and trolls collect eyeballs. No matter where you start, it regresses to the mean where most of the posts are long-running arguments and people responding to trolls.
A variant of “The Scorpion and the Frog”, called “The Snake”, is actually a favorite of Trump’s, which he recites at his rallies. Example:
God knows what point he thinks he’s making with it.
@ ^ Nemo : As much as I gather from Trump’s awful bigoted brain I thinjk he’s trying to use it for whipping up xenopbia against migrants.
As for facebook, I will say it has its positive uses and can be used for good too, for instance, there are leftwing people (raises hand) who use it for progressive causes like helping refugees and arguing the progressive side on there & sharing science articles as well as sharing pet photos and art / science and life stuff generally with some other great human individual who do become friends etc.. but yeah. Like all social media sites (some to varying degrees worse and better than others) fb certainly has its issues and I see the bad side of it here as well. I spedn a lot of time on it and enjiy fb and use it a lot but Zuckerberg is an absolute douchebag and inthe case of this specific decision as as one meme I saw on facebook put it :
Source forgotten now sorry.
I do personally spend a lot of time on and enjoy fb but Zuckerberg is an absolute douchebag and in the case of this specific decision as as one meme I saw on facebook put it :
“Allowing Trump back on
Twitterfacebook (ed) is like surgically re-implanting a haemorrhoid.”
Raging Bee says
Or a malignant tumor.
One example on the positive side of facebook and social media when used for good here :
^ D’oh. Blockquote fail, sorry. This bit :
Problem is the trolls and corporate malignancy and algorithimns that push disinfo and lies and propaganda but if used well – facebook can do good too. Which goes for social media in general I’d say.