Facebook is displaying a link to Wikipedia’s smear-job description of Breitbart News next to all Breitbart articles shared on the site. The linked Wikipedia article describes Breitbart as a “far-right site” that publishes “falsehoods, conspiracy theories, and intentionally misleading stories.”
Facebook is telling its millions of conservative users — “We don’t like your sources of news”.
Exactly what does Facebook expect this to accomplish? It will alienate millions of Facebook users and — hopefully — cause a migration of conservatives to a different social media platform. The market will have to provide it, just as the market eventually provided Fox News as an alternative to CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN back in the 1990s. If the analogy holds, a majority of people will soon be on a different social media platform thanks to Facebook’s decision to openly politicize its company.
Facebook’s move serves as virtue-signaling to millions of its leftist users, people who never would have read Breitbart or any conservative news/opinion in the first place. But virtue-signaling does not make you more money. It just leads to feeling superior and self-congratulatory — something most of the leftists I know already act like anyway. How can Facebook survive as a mass-market, billion dollar company by openly alienating about half of its user-customers?
Zuckerberg and company rationalize they’re trying to protect people from “fake news”. But they define fake news as anything that’s pro-Trump or pro-Republican. They don’t define misleading news case-by-case, objectively and article-by-article. They define it ideologically and politically. Openly politicizing their company will push away millions of current Facebook users and leave others in place.
So what exactly does this do for Facebook, or for anyone?
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