Facebook: Rethink your role in our lives


Dear Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook,

You made changes this week to the main hub of your company that pushed society’s more trusted content creators out of it.

You said the move was “to reduce passive content such as videos and articles that ask little more of the viewer than to sit back and watch or read. You wanted user time on the site to be well spent.”

Mark, in moving us, your direct quote was: “We want to make sure that our products are not just fun, but are good for people.”

Here are posts from my improved news feed Saturday morning. When I wasn’t looking at videos of cats, teens eating soap pods and stupid feats that courted death, I was able to read:

• • •

I wake up with a heavy heart today! How will my fellow educators who support the president look into the eye of those who are from “S*hole” countries! There is no side stepping today!! This will not be about President Obama or Hillary Clinton!!

So if Trump would have called those “s*holes” by the code word for s*holes, which is “Third world countries,” would that make Liberals feel better about themselves?

• • •

“Donald Trump has no right to speak the name of Martin Luther King, Jr.!”

Does anyone remember Martin L. King III “marching” to New York and going up in Trump Towers on the occasion of discussing the legacy of his father in 2017?

Yeah, I do too!!

• • •

I get it. I GET IT! There’s a lot of snow outside. Do I really need to see what feels like 40 minutes of weather graphics & repeat information about the situation during a 30-minute newscast? I’ve got a window, for gosh sakes! What I really want to know is what business is currently delivering pizza during this mess. Now, THAT is helpful.

• • •

What person from Norway would want to immigrate to a nation on the decline ... a soon-to-be s*hole country. Thank you, Mr. Trump

• • •

Awkward turtles make weird babies

• • •

VIDEO: Nephew challenges uncle to bust a beer bottle on his head for 20 dollars.. MUST WATCH!!!!!! ROTF. (17,962,985 views)

• • •

Trashing an ex-lover on Facebook only validates why the other person left you. Get smart and grow up. The End!

• • •

I can already see the changes in the Facebook news feed. I really, really, really do not want to see every page, ad, company et al that my friends have “liked.” Nor do I want to see their “most commented on” posts repeatedly.

• • •

Still trying to figure out how a country $19 trillion in debt can give billions to other countries.

• • •

I think it sucks when your “fam” “friends” say they’ll be there for you and all they do is leave ya hangin after you give of yourself when they needed it. Don’t think I’ll be stretching my neck out anymore.

• • •

There were other posts in my news feed. But the above posts – testy, salty or stupid – weren’t the few, either. They were about half of my reads Saturday morning.

This is the “time well spent” content you want people to see more of, based on your announcements this week that trusted storytellers are being pushed to a secondary platform.

It’s not the worst thing in the world to allow this. I mean, I’m a free-speecher. The varied opinions are healthy to see. They are easier to digest in this space than getting poked in the chest with them. And even the content that’s the worst, I guess, has a place. Our supermarkets aren’t ridiculed for selling Snickers, Doritos and such.

But those supermarkets don’t make it impossible to find milk, meat, fruit, vegetables and other necessities.

Your Facebook move this week with trusted storytellers is the equivalent of a supermarket sending shoppers seeking healthy items out the back door, over the creek, along an unshoveled path to an unheated outhouse.

Facebook, you have become the world’s supermarket for content. And it’s clear the role is befuddling to you.

We’re pros at content, and we struggle with it daily. A reader yelled at me Friday, and I’m still torn by our decision that angered her.

I think I can say the struggle is the same, too, for my friends at WFMJ, WKBN, WYTV, the Warren Tribune Chronicle and other storytellers that are older than the internet.

You’ve not accepted your role yet as a content provider, Facebook. Your peers at YouTube struggle, too, with this responsibility, as evidenced by their handling of content star Logan Paul.

Remember Netscape – the Mayflower of the internet?

It is now gone.

You need a gut check, or face becoming them.

Todd Franko is editor of The Vindicator. He likes emails about stories and our newspaper. Email him at tfranko@vindy.com. He blogs, too, on vindy.com. Tweet him, too, at @tfranko.

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