Articles like these usually sit on my website for months before I publish them. I don’t want to publish them, because I wish to spread good news. On the other hand, it’s my responsibility to inform my fellow humans truthfully.
You see – Social Media is good and useful for many things, but there’s also a shadow-side.
1. Hidden Censorship
Over the years I have had many people ask me why they can’t see my posts, even though they follow me. The question comes up so often, it’s tiresome.
This comment was received just today:
Yes…these companies really are that creepy. They really do sit there and edit peoples reach, without disclosing the fact and without sharing reasons.
Open censorship, as in Terms and Conditions, I don’t mind. But secretly hiding pages and accounts, even though they don’t violate their terms? Pretty crazy if you ask me!
Remember telephoning pre-Internet? Now imagine the phone company editing your talk or blocking the line because they don’t like what you said to your friend. Sound weird? It’s what Instagram recently, when they put a warning label on top of them so that they could not be seeing without first clicking and looking at the “fact checkers”. That’s why, a few days ago, I deleted my Instagram account and the 3000 posts on it (in case you were wondering where it disappeared to).
Do companies that engage in hidden censorship have a future? I doubt it. I’ve already quit using these companies privately, because they sell my data. I only use them to spread to share my work, for that they are useful.
2. There is no Organic Reach
Since a whole decade, Facebook, Twitter and similar, show me stats that stay pretty much the same, no matter how many or how few people read an article of mine. On my website I can see the actual statistics of how many read a post. But a strong decrease in numbers (because my website is temporarily down) or a strong increase in numbers, sometimes in the tens of thousands, has no bearing on my social media “stats”.
Sometimes an “influencer” or celebrity mentions one of my books. Those are the times my website is overwhelmed with traffic, often taking it offline for a few hours, as we scramble to get it back up. These surges in traffic cannot be seen on my social media accounts. If some “influencer” with Millions of followers, mentions me, my website might temporarily go up from 8000 to 40 000 visitors in a day. But on places like Twitter it’s still the exactly same amount of views and likes and has been so with very little change for the last 10 years. Just like 10 years ago, I get an average of 4 to 6 likes on articles I post to Twitter. No change whatsoever.
Weird, huh? Talk about content suppression! Contrast the average of 4 to 6 people liking a post of mine on Twitter, to my average Youtube stats:
My video channel receives around 20 000 views a month. My Twitter account receives around 500 views a month. How can that be reconciled? It can’t, unless Twitter is actively manipulating the numbers or suppressing content.
Even though the Youtube numbers are much higher, I don’t trust those numbers either! On my website, it only takes me a couple of days to reach 40 000, on Youtube it supposedly takes me two months. Most of my Videos have an average of 4000 views. But sometimes there is a crack in the Matrix and a radically different number is shown, as on these Videos:
If most of my Videos have an average of “4000 views”, how is it possible that beside those, there are Videos with 81 000 and 60 000 views? If that many people viewed these Videos, at least some would have also viewed others. By logic, the discrepancy of 81 000 or even 60 000 to an average of 3000 to 4000 views, is too high. If 80 000 is the max, then you’d expect 50 000 to be the minimum. And if 4000 is the minimum, you’d expect the maximum to be around 7000. The numbers don’t make sense and point to some type of mistake or manipulation. Did someone forget to throttle the numbers on those Videos, or is it just an innocent technical error? But now those numbers, as high as they are, have been nearly unchanging for several years, which is also improbable.
Fortunately I don’t rely on social media, as 99% of my coaching-students come from word-of-mouth recommendation and do not know me through social media (in fact, many of my regular students didn’t even know I write articles and books when they booked me!)
Why would social media companies go out of their way to throttle or suppress content?
Because allowing ideas to spread organically, like in the early days of Internet, is “dangerous”, apparently. Both Twitter and Facebook gave up “organic reach” years ago.
Information is more controlled than ever. There is a school of thought among Governments, that is worried of giving common people large spheres of influence. As if we aren’t smart and mature enough to have organic reach or to choose what we’d like to see.
Not only that, they actively monitor every little thing posted. Take this recent article on Yahoo News for example:
“The law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service has been quietly running a program that tracks and collects Americans’ social media posts, including those about planned protests, according to a document obtained by Yahoo News. The details of the surveillance effort, known as iCOP, or Internet Covert Operations Program, have not previously been made public”.
But would genuine terrorists really openly post their plans on social media? Or are they just looking for excuses to monitor everyone?
3. Numbers can be manipulated
I’m skeptical of the numbers thrown around. I’ve worked with people who have hundreds of thousands or even millions of “followers” on social media…and yet…in our Coaching session, they admit they are struggling to earn a living. How does that fit together? I once had a student who had 3 Million (!) followers, but struggled to pay my $399 Coaching Fee (back then), asking if he could split the payment in 4 parts. I declined, so he had to save up for a few months. I asked him, but he evaded the question, claiming that his 3 Million followers “don’t necessarily translate into Business”. But I don’t believe that. I think that either he purchased his followers or someone fixed the numbers for him. I told him that.
No matter from which angle you look at it, social media is a bit of a scam. So why don’t I migrate to “alternative” social media? Because I don’t trust those either. I do have active accounts on MeWe and Minds though. If I ever disappear from Facebook and Twitter, you’ll find me on of the many alternatives.
Disclaimer: I don’t need any helpful comments on what I need to “succeed” on social media. I quit seeking that kind of “success” long ago. I am happy with things in my life as they are.