Monday, September 03, 2018

Many small businesses lose revenue from Facebook's algorithm changes early this year, in response to foreign meddling problems

The NBC Today show early Monday morning (Labor Day) reported that many small businesses have been hurt by Facebook’s recent changes reducing not only news feeds but also product advertising or literature from outside the circle of friends.  Some small businesses report enormous drops in revenue as a result.  The NBC News story is here

Examples include “Quirky Momma” and “Little Things”.  But I was able to find accounts for both of these this morning with material.

The rules changes discourage small businesses from sharing products or affiliate links from other publishers.  Sites like “Mommy blogs” are expected to share mostly content they create themselves.

This has not affected me, but I don’t depend on my sites for income.  But that raises other ethical questions (maybe community security issues) that I have covered here before.

At first, after Facebook’s announcement in February, I didn’t notice that much of a change. But since around the first of June I’ve seen much less content fed to me from news outlets.  They are still there if I look for them.  But, for example, if I want to look at Vox, CNN, Fox, NBC, etc, I just go to those sites myself, and don’t use Facebook.  I personally look at a lot of sites on my own all the time.  Yes, sometimes I look at Breitbart and at “Dangerous” (Milo).  Lately I’ve started looking at Timcast videos.  It keeps changing.  I also buy print media (including some newspapers, especially in small towns when traveling, to see what is happening).  I don't get fooled by a social media feed. 
One site that I used to get feeds from all the time that stopped is The Survival Mom.  She’s still out there.
I do get posts from organizations (DC Center, GoGayDC, Asylumist).

Tonight, NBC reported from NBC's "war room" to remove foreign fake accounts in advance of the midterm exam elections. Here's a link (May 2018) on becoming a Facebook content monitor, but this is something to look at more closely. 

 Facebook is making it clear that it is no longer "comfortable" being viewed by many account holders as a news dissemination service with no intention to socialize. Look at how it encourages pimping of charities. 

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