Monday, October 08, 2018

Facebook page boosts appear to require business accounts, from what I can determine so far

I’ve looked further into the issue of how to get my Facebook post regarding my Medium essay on the power grid “boosted” (Sept. 22).
I tried to contact FB through the help pages and got caught in an endless loop of automated replies.  In general, it seems as though the identity verification step is failing because of what Facebook means by “identity” – that is, commercial “identity” or continuous source of funding.  Blunty, even if "you" are in the U.S. as a citizen or otherwise legally, they need to make sure you don't have enemy foreign funding. 
The upshot seems to be that I would need to establish a Facebook business account and then reclassify my account page (not the friending account) as business.  That would allow other persons to act as page admins or as account advertisers.  Conversely, that would allow me to act in such a role on other people’s pages.
I’ve already provided some details on a Wordpress blog; look at the comment made Oct. 5 to this posting. 
The business account should apparently be active in real commerce, use its own email account (as from a hosting provider on its own server, and not gmail or AOL) and be able to process real transactions (like credit or debit cards under PGP or through PayPal).  It could be a non-profit that asks for donations or it could ask for crowd-funding, or it could get income from ads in a conventional way.
But it appears from what I see that Facebook will not boost a “journalistic” post unless from a company or group that actually sells (not gives away) news to the public in customary ways.  But this might, for example, include sufficiently credible commercial YouTube channels.
But a Facebook user could consider asking other companies to be authorized on his page once he/she has a Business account, or could reciprocate and ask other companies to boost a post on their pages.

The idea is that page boosting is primarily for commerce. There is an element of Taleb's "skin in the game" and promotion of risk symmetry in this idea.   For example, a company selling Faraday bags could logically want  boost my post (although I didn’t find any such pages yesterday when I looked quickly).  Even though this is not “journalism”, there is nothing wrong with a for-profit company selling a service or product from writing a detailed article on a scientific or political topic and take on a tone of some objectivity and present and respond to other viewpoints.
The FB rules for boosts do not affect non-boosted posts on either pages or regular accounts. But the motivation behind them is troubling. It seems to reinforce a belief that self-published issue-oriented or "political" content (provocateurship) needs to be regulated by showing the ability to attract diverse support and not just one's own accumulated savings (and ironically that's because self-publishing doesn't cost much.) 
 This FB practice would seem to comport with a theory, explored Sunday Oct. 7 on the "Issues" blog, that a "political" or issues oriented" page is really a kind of non-connected PAC.
I will not have a setup to sell items in large quantities myself from a website until the novel ("Angel's Brother") is ready for publication some time in mid 2019.  

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