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Wednesday’s National ‘Facebook Logout’ Aims To Hit Where It Hurts: In the Revenue

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A racial and economic justice group is calling on people nationwide to hit Facebook where it hurts: right in the revenue. The “Facebook Logout” campaign urges people to log off Facebook and Instagram Wednesday to disrupt the social media giant machine that profits off ad revenue targeted at its users.

According to Kairos, the group organizing the campaign, 98 percent of Facebook’s revenue comes from microtargeted advertisements. Reuters reported in July that the company’s revenue rose 56 percent in the second quarter, from $18.69 billion to $29.08 billion in a year’s time.

And what happened in that year? As Facebook was cashing checks off user clicks, the platform was directly contributing to toxic division that led to Jan. 6 and deadly misinformation throughout the pandemic. The Facebook whistleblower just publicly confirmed what many people already innately knew: that the company is not actually looking the other way when it comes to the spread of lies and radicalization on its platforms — it encourages fear and fury with algorithms that spoonfeed confirmation bias to vulnerable and susceptible users.    

A study conducted by Cybersecurity for Democracy found that Facebook engagement increases with political extremes, and more so with far-right misinformation content. The group found that “frequent purveyors of far-right misinformation had on average 65 percent more engagement per follower than other far-right pages.” 

The more engagement, the more ad clicks. Facebook is literally profiting off lies and fury, and the nation is paying dearly.

Some admins in charge of large Facebook groups are taking this call to boycott seriously. A collective called the History Alliance will be observing the walkout and pausing 30 groups, comprised of 1.1 million followers in support. Made up of FB groups dedicated to, among other things, the histories of various Bay Area cities like San Francisco, San Jose, and California in general, they are hoping their participation will have an impact – especially considering they are in Facebook’s backyard. When asked, Nick Wright, one of the people behind the History Alliance said they were participating because Facebook:

“No longer let us run our history groups autonomously and [they] micromanage them now. They delete people’s comments, delete posts and have deleted our groups without notice or explanation. There is no support and no escalation path. They also penalize our moderators and our groups for community standards we have no control over and freeze our groups so no one can find them or comment on them. Not a level playing field.”

Kairos is hoping that the Facebook Logout will force Mark Zuckerberg to pay attention — and pay for — the dire consequences of his business model. In a press release, Kairos Executive Director Mariana Ruiz Firmat said:

“The harms caused by Facebook and Zuckerberg extend well beyond users’ experiences online — meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg acts as if he is not culpable and should not be held to account for the real world dangers his company poses in our communities. Instead, Facebook consistently responds by releasing statements intended to nullify factual criticism and urgent warnings while doing nothing to charge his company’s policies. But what Facebook fails to realize is that users know the power we have over the platform, and we’re tired of hollow apologies.”   

People can take a pledge to log off Wednesday by visiting thefacebooklogout.com

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.

1 Comment

  1. Cadence
    November 12, 2021 at 10:37 am

    Have you thought about removing fb links from your site and email?