Is Facebook becoming too powerful and is it shaping the way people think?
You may have seen recently in the news that Facebook has chosen to combat “fake news” posts, but what does this mean? We all know that Facebook has ultimate control over what we see on there but does this control also mean they have too much influence on public opinion and the distribution of news?
Edward Snowden was recently quoted at Fusion’s Real Future Fair (by video) as saying:
“To have one company that has enough power to reshape the way we think - I don’t think I need to describe how dangerous that is”
So what does this mean? Is Facebook becoming “too big” or “too powerful”? Facebook’s internal workings are essentially a mystery to most people, so to the untrained eye, it may seem like they really do have more power and influence than one company should have.
Facebook is a social media platform first and foremost. Despite the ever growing options for business owners and companies to advertise and promote on there, it is still, at its core, about the user experience. Facebook is entirely geared towards creating an environment that is as customised and tailored to the user as it can be.
Mark Zuckerberg's response to recent implications that Facebook skewed the results of the US elections was that it was “a pretty crazy idea,” and that “voters make decisions based on their lived experience.” Snowden also backed this up by saying he doubted that fake news on Facebook had the power to skew the results in Trump’s favour.
The reality is that rational people make decisions based on more than what they see on Facebook or the television. Whether or not Facebook has too much control over what we see is not really an issue for the average Australian because they too have a level of control over what do and don’t want to see. However it is a concern for small business owners who are in a constant struggle to get in front of their ideal target market.
Understanding the often mysterious Facebook algorithm can cause many people to simply throw up their hands and give up on Facebook as a tool for their business. Posting something that only reaches 100-200 people when your page has over 10,000 likes can seem disheartening and like it's not worth the time or effort.
One thing to keep in mind is that, as Facebook is a social media platform, it requires a level of social interaction from business owners too. This could mean joining Facebook groups and sharing your content with members or even actively asking for people to like and share your page and posts. This is something that outsourcing can’t really solve for you because at this level, it needs to be done by a user.
So if you’re using Facebook for your business and getting frustrated with your results, here are a few tips:
If you have any questions about your Facebook Business Page, or if you just want to talk about how to make Facebook a part of your long term business plan, contact Ant Ulijn on 1300 535 022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.