It’s unbelievable how many people have read and responded to the article I wrote about Julia Sieben’s experience with Facebook a few days ago. I knew they were harassing thousands of individuals by banning them and putting them into “facebook jail” for petty infractions of nonexistent rules, but today I found that they seem to be harassing page owners with enormous followings. I couldn’t believe it when someone told me that one page with over 500,000 followers and more than 1,500,000 reaches has problems with facebook. How can a page that big be harassed? Wouldn’t it be obvious to everyone that something was wrong? The answers I got disappointed me. It disappointed to think that facebook could get so large they would not care about the people they are hurting. I was disappointed that this war of ideas, opinions, and realities has become so blatant and resistance to the truth so intense that they don’t care that they are losing credibility and possibly members if they continue on this destructive path.
How can facebook harass a page with so many followers and so much public interaction? It’s not that difficult in our social media world of likes, posts, shares, pages, groups, friending and unfriending, and lots of other strange new words. They can simply fail to provide a share button on some posts, or they can “break” the share button on others. One page that has 20,000 followers gets as the owner says, “a few suspensions” because he puts up articles and photographs which “offend” the liberals on facebook’s delicate senses.
My friend, Dean Garrison, who owns the blog D.C. Clothesline and the corresponding facebook page told me that he had his page suspended for a day once because he blocked someone who posted porn on his page. He said they didn’t suspend him for blocking the individual; they suspended him for posting the person’s name, which according to facebook violated their terms. So once again we find that using a person’s name can get you into trouble with facebook.
This afternoon I talked to Joni, a Manager for the facebook page, Breitbart – One Voice Silenced, Millions Awakened. We had a long conversation about what they are experiencing on their page. She graciously agreed to an interview, and told me she feels that it is necessary for everyone to understand what people are experiencing on facebook. As of this writing Breitbart – One Voice Silenced, Millions Awakened has 96,519 followers and 174,580 “talking about them” on facebook. These are the numbers on the facebook page that the typical follower can see. Anyone who owns a page on facebook sees numbers that their “followers” do not. Each week they get an emailed report that breaks these numbers down. Some of the numbers Joni gave me were surprising. You don’t even have to be a math whiz to see the manipulation going on behind the scenes. She sent me the numbers to give me an idea what was happening on her page. In the 31 days between May 6, 2013 to June 8, 2013 the “LIKES”, “REACH”, and “DAILY REACH” ratio had changed considerably.
|6-12-13||15% increase||47% decrease||65.5% decrease|
As you can clearly see between May 6th and June 8th the “likes” increased by 15% while the “Reach” decreased by 47% and the “Daily Reach” decreased by 65.5%. That’s very telling. In fact, that’s just wrong. How is it possible to increase your “likes” by 15% and have such significant decreases in you “Reach” and you Daily Reach”? I asked Joni about it in our interview, and she had a lot to say.
Dr. Schuetz: Joni, before we get into what you want to say, could you tell us a little about the facebook page, Breitbart – One Voice Silenced, A Millions Awakened? What is this page about?
Joni: It’s a tribute to Andrew Breitbart. We want to complete the work that Andrew started, and expose the truth, where ever it may be. Our goal is to organize and fight for our country and the freedoms that are protected by the Constitution. We want to honor the memory of Andrew Breitbart by continuing the fight in his name.
Dr. Schuetz: And you’re not affiliated with breitbart.com?
Joni:No, we are not affiliated with breatbart.com
Dr. Schuetz: Tell us, in general, what has happened with FACEBOOK and the BB page over the past couple of months?
Joni: Facebook has effectively stifled our voice, with what we think is an attempt to actually silence our voice. They have chopped our reach (how far our message spreads) in half. As you can see our numbers are on a steady decline since FACEBOOK began targeting us.
Dr. Schuetz: I can see that. These numbers don’t make sense when you look at them. You had a 15% increase of “likes” or followers and your overall reach decreased by 47% and your daily reach decreased by 65.5 %. It seems like it would be the other way around. When did you notice the change?
Joni: When we added some “high-value target” writers on our page.
Dr. Schuetz: What is a high-valued target writer?
Joni: It’s a person who is well known in his own field or he has become popular because he stepped out and took a position on a particular social issue.
Dr. Schuetz: You were telling me that someone added a site manager to your site without your knowledge or permission. Tell us about it.
Joni: A woman named “Joyce Tang” was added to our page as a “manager”. A manager is the highest ranking among page contributors. Managers are the only ones who can add a writer, or make someone a manager. Joyce Tang was not added by any of our page managers. No one knows who she is, where she came from, or how she got there. I saved a screenshot to prove it. I could not click on her name and go straight to her page as I can on any other admins on our page. Before deleting her, I moved her from a manager to a content manager because I was concerned that simply deleting her could adversely affect my page. I didn’t think about getting screenshot of the admin panel before I lowered her, but I did get one of her as a content manager before I deleted her. We made every effort to find her page, to no avail.
There are tons of Joyce Tangs on the FACEBOOK search, and we question how many Asians would name their daughters “Joyce” so we have our suspicions about whom Joyce really is or was.
Dr. Schuetz: Other than someone adding a fake page manager, what changes have you experienced in the past couple of months?
Joni: Quite a few of our posts have no “share” buttons at all, and on facebook sharing is vital. Sometimes when we try to post on our wall we get messages saying, “This message could not be posted on the wall”, or “. We had trouble posting this photo, and please try again in a few minutes.
Dr. Schuetz: Have your readers experienced problems with content from your page?
Joni: A lot of times our post don’t show up on our reader’s walls. They often have trouble posting comments, or their comments are deleted after they have been posted.
Dr. Schuetz: Are the posts from you and your writers being affected?
Joni: We have received numerous complaints from our readers having these troubles. They experience this from every medium: mobile, iPads, laptops, desktops, every one says the same things. No share button, posts not showing up in the News Feed, page is blank, Cannot “like”. Cannot comment. Cannot “share”. This is ongoing and is still to this day. It’s not quite as bad as it was at the end of May and the first week of June.
Dr. Schuetz: Have any of your individual readers had problems themselves, on their personal Walls, with being hassled by FACEBOOK?
Joni: Our readers are always telling us of their hassles with FACEBOOK and with conservative pages of any kind.
Dr. Schuetz: What did you do, as an admin of a major FACEBOOK page to try and resolve or rectify the problems?
Joni: I communicated with “Katie Harbath” who constantly told me that she couldn’t do anything about our “issues” unless we sent a live screen shot so that her techs could “replicate the problem” they saw. We sent her many screen shots of our own, as well as screen shots from our readers. No communication has ever been received that any problem has been solved, although, over the weekend of June 9th, the problem has eased from its worst week, which was the week preceding June 9th.
Dr. Schuetz: Did anything you did help? What responses did you get? How quickly did FACEBOOK respond to your queries and concerns?
Joni: We got very few responses, other than to ask for more screen shots, or to say that FACEBOOK couldn’t “replicate” our issues; therefore, they couldn’t give us an answer. We asked some of our readers with good screenshots to send to them to Katie, and many did. That’s when Katie told me not to give out her email address.
Dr. Schuetz: Did any of them get an answer?
Joni: Pretty much the same as I got. Not much.
Dr. Schuetz: Have you heard from other page administrators of any similar problems?
Joni: Yes. I have contact with the man who runs Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children and he has more than a half million “likes” and his reach was cut by more than half. I have watched the page “100% fed up” drop in a huge way, and they have a quarter million “likes”.
Dr. Schuetz: Any thoughts on what you will do in the future if they don’t resolve problems to your satisfaction?
Joni: We need to create a new website of our own in case we have to leave Facebook at some point. We would do this as a backup plan so our readers could continue to get what they’ve come to expect from us. We feel quite insecure in our place there, and it has taken many thousands of hours of work to get this many readers to our page, currently it stands at 96,300.
Dr. Schuetz: Do you think this has anything to do with PRISM and the other encroachments on freedom of speech by this regime?
Joni: It all makes sense now, except with Facebook. I think they did more than look; they are denying us our free speech rights. They do this by hiding us from newsfeeds, removing the “share” buttons, deleting our reader comments, and making it difficult for people to view our page. They do this to us while, at the same time, they leave non-conservative sites alone. One example of this is a “pedophile rights” FACEBOOK page. Our readers requested that FACEBOOK remove it because it is illegal and offensive. Last I knew, the page was still there.
I (as an individual) was put in FACEBOOK Jail in the midst of all this mess, because of a meme that featured Muslims that they considered “abusive speech”. It was not abusive at all! The meme featured a crazed Muslim “protesting” the English after the beheading over in Great Britain and the meme said “These wicked, murderous people have guns, and Obama would like them to have more. America! Don’t give up your guns!” I see nothing abusive about that language, and if calling a crazed Muslim advocating for a beheading on the streets of London wicked and murderous is abusive, then truly we live in an Orwellian Society.
Dr. Schuetz: Do you have any other thoughts on this situation?
Joni: They have eased off since Friday, June 7th. We are seeing some life like we had in our heyday back in May. But we are still not totally there; we are still getting many reader complaints. Every. Single. Day.
Dr. Schuetz: Joni, thank you for sharing your heart with us today. It’s been a pleasure.
Joni: You too, Sharon.
It is remarkable that pages with these kinds of numbers have such a struggle. Is facebook guilty of sabotaging the larger conservative pages? Are they actually doing something so sinister as removing comments, preventing posting, stopping their posts from going out on their reader’s newsfeeds, and even adding Page Manager’s without the page owner’s permission? I don’t know, but I do know they lean to the extreme left, and they’re highly selective about who they provoke. They allow a pedophile pagewho’s tag line is “LOVE IS LOVE! Not all sex is unwanted. Anyone can consent. If you disagree, then you are a bigot!” to flaunt their repulsive criminal behavior. Thousands of pages are so vulgar any place else would have banned them long ago.
It’s us pesky conservatives who have the audacity to believe in traditional family and marriage, smaller government, the Constitution, and lower taxes who stay in trouble with facebook. Whether facebook is harassing as a policy, whether they have some rouge employees, or they just can’t handle the pressure of millions of people on a social site, it’s time for a change. As long as facebook can arbitrarily punish us because they don’t agree with our politics they have us where they want us. We can’t allow ourselves to be at anyone’s mercy.
Someone wrote a comment the other day that made a lot of sense. He said, “As long as your information is on a website that doesn’t belong to you, that information doesn’t belong to you.” He was right. Facebook controls the data of millions of Americans. If we lost the internet and had to rely on snail mail and a land line, or no phone at all, most of us wouldn’t have any addresses and phone numbers to call or write. We have become so dependent on social media and cell phones to keep us “plugged in” to friends and family that if we suddenly lost them, we would be lost. We need to make hard copies of the important things. It’s time to take our lives back. Breitbart – One Voice Silenced, Millions Awakened is taking theirs. What about you?
Dr. Sharon Schuetz is Co-Editor of Lady Patriots and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clotheslines. This piece is a follow up to Dr. Schuetz’ viral post: Facebook Purging Conservatives: Are You Next?