In light of the attack on the Capitol and recent Congressional hearings looking into the tech giant’s role in the attack, I thought it would be helpful — and a little creepy — to look back at how I’ve cartooned Facebook over the past few years. I’m taking a few days off so will leave you with this “classic” Facebook cartoon, which offers a little insight into how we got to the January 6th insurrection. (Stay tuned for the second of two parts!)
Facebook recently announced a major shift in how it is going to treat news on the world’s largest social network. In a series of chipper statements and videos, Mark Zuckerberg and crew announced they were going to de-emphasize posts from news publishers. Instead, Facebook is going to concentrate on “bringing people closer together” (while pushing them farther away from news).
Translated from Utopian-speak, that means they are going to give higher ranking in their almighty algorithm to posts shared by friends and family while knocking news outlets down a few rungs. This comes after putting loads of effort into building up Facebook as the place where people get their news. (45% of adults in the United States say they get news from the social media site, and worldwide there are over two billion users.) It looks like Facebook’s struggle with fake news may have caused the algorithm wranglers to throw up their hands with all news, real or fake.
Facebook wasn’t the only one putting time and money into getting news onto their network, media outlets spent millions chasing after coveted eyeballs by tailoring content and publishing directly to the “news” feed. Now Facebook wants to return to its social media roots and be all about individuals talking with each other. Fortunately, it sounds like individual creators (like certain, ahem, cartoonists) may fare better, algorithmically-speaking, than big publishers.
Enjoy the cartoon, comment about it with your friends and family— and let’s hope Zuck’s algorithm looks kindly upon us. (And you can always cut to the chase and see my cartoons and plenty of other material here on my Patreon site.)