If you want to understand the sudden attack on, and panic over, Facebook and its effects on teen girls, look at the basics. In other words, follow the money. Traditional media is losing the advertising battle to Facebook.
The mainstream media, especially the large corporate entities, are losing billions (yes, billions) of advertising revenue to Facebook. And they don’t like it.
It’s the traditional media that is on the attack with a supposed whistleblower (who has the earmarks of an intelligence asset), though she is a supposed former "product manager." This whistleblower copied a slew of internal documents (who does this?) that showed Facebook choosing its own interests and the interests of its shareholders over some vague “public interest.” This is a joke, right?
I say that because the fundamental purpose of Facebook is in the public interest as a whole. The product is designed to help families stay connected, keep friends in touch, and strengthen communities.
It’s not designed as a counseling service for people with low-self-esteem or for awkward teenage girls worried about their looks. This seems to be the focus of the recent government hearings. At the hearings Senators got to grandstand about the emergence of secret research done by Facebook that explored ways to keep clients on the service as long as possible. Heaven forbid!
I have worked for more than a few media giants who refused to let me link to an outside source. Even Facebook does not get that sleazy.
No matter how you look at it, this is all about money. Facebook has created one of the most powerful and unique advertising platforms and it’s eating the mainstream media’s lunch.
Thus the mainstream media is the source of the complaints, to the point where the lackeys in Congress have to respond as if the sky is falling.
Facebook executives should have a dedicated plane waiting in San Francisco for direct flights to D.C. for the monthly grilling. It’s getting old.
And let us not forget that the politicians in power – the Democrats – still kind of blame Facebook for allowing Trump to get elected and denying fav Hillary Clinton the presidency. And, of course, looking back on 2016, it was a supposed meager $100,000 in cheap meme-type ads that closed the deal for Trump. Yeah, right.
Since then, Facebook has been taken to task over and over for even allowing mention of Trump, let alone have him on the platform.
The company has knuckled under about a lot of the complaints. But the real crux is still it’s power as a selling tool beyond the scope of the newspapers and TV networks.
This won’t change anytime soon. And Facebook is not going anywhere unless a real alternative appears, but in today’s lax economic system, Facebook would buy them out.
In other words, nothing is changing anytime soon. —jcd
First published 10-22-21
NOTES: This coming Sunday marks the 14th Anniversary of the No Agenda podcast. Tune in or download when you can.