This morning, I had the pleasure of waking up to a ‘warning message’ from the Gods of Facebook about publishing fake news.
When you get up bright and early at 5am, it usually takes two or three coffees to get your head straight – however seeing this lovely little message from Zuckerberg’s minions was just the kick of caffeine that I needed to go wide-eyed and all ‘WTAF!’
Oh dear. Sounds ominous. I had better pop onto that link and find out what is going on.
Just in case you can’t read that properly:
Creators and publishers posting content flagged as misinformation and false news may be ineligible or may lose their eligibility to monetize. You can read more about this here. Creators and publishers sharing clickbait or sensationalism may be ineligible or lose their eligibility to monetize. You can read more about this here.
Just to explain the whole ‘Instant Articles’ thing, it is a way for publishers like myself who knock out content on a phone while sitting on the bog to ‘compete’ in terms of server capacity with actual publishers like The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The S*n and so on.
For mobile users on Facebook (so about 85% of all SNN traffic), pages load instantly and my incredibly sophisticated Go Daddy hosting package doesn’t lose the plot.
Facebook then pumps Instant Articles full of their own Facebook Audience Network adverts, so they take a nice chunk of advertising revenue. Everyone wins, so to speak.
That’s why little messages like this, and indeed Zuck’s sabre rattling about making Facebook less about publishers and more about ‘personal posts’ (yay, full English photos and JuicePlus hunny huns) are frankly ridiculous.
Naturally their current net wealth has now overtaken the Catholic Church, and so they can afford to ‘screw around’ with the whole thing at the expense of actual normal people.
Did the Daily Mail’s social media guys see the same thing when they signed in to Facebook this morning? ‘Misinformation and false news’ is their forté after all, or ‘strength’ for those at DM towers who refuse to recognise EU-based influences in their own language.
It is already clear that Facebook is giving fake news and satirical publishers a pounding not seen since the likes of Mia Khalifa’s last video, and their algorithms are getting sneaky.
In the last month, SNN’s two biggest articles for traffic have been me talking about Milo Yiannopoulos falling for one of our stories in a live video (not a fake news article, technically) and me mouthing off to a radical feminist about blocking me on Twitter (not a fake news article, technically).
Is that what SNN needs to do now – write factual content about fake news stories that we have already published? I admit that my ego has grown to the size of Canvey Island since SNN got a bit more popular, but that would still be a bit of a stretch!
I just sit and hope that Facebook understands that the reason that Southend News Network publishes ‘false news and misinformation’ is because it is now an established outlet for ‘false news and misinformation’ in the form of satire. Often crap, unfunny satire, but satire nonetheless.
If anyone else has been confronted with this latest chunk of Facebook ‘mind how you go,’ please drop me a line email@example.com. Ta muchly.