Monday, February 27, 2023

Facebook is like a publication that's all letters to the editor from readers who write to have a soapbox while advertising pays the bills to run the soapbox.

Some people feel that Facebook is exploiting us, the content providers. Yes, I would prefer it were run by a non profit, but I think of it as being, sort of, like a newspaper.

Facebook is a newspaper made up entirely from letters to the editor and advertising. The letters (and photos) provide a soapbox for members of the public to express themselves while advertising pays the newspaper's bills.

Newspapers also pay for professional journalists; though these days, newspapers are struggling to do that.

Facebook also has the issue of the algorithms which amplify some forms of content over others. This could be viewed as being like headline writing and article placement in a newspaper. Sensationalism sells newspapers.

To use a newspaper analogy, I sometimes think my content gets shuffled to the inside, back pages of Facebook, but that is mostly driven by evidence of reader response; clicks, likes and comments.

Back in my high school, or maybe college days, before so much information was at our fingertips through the internet; I complained, to my mom, that news from space science seldom got coverage in the newspaper. I said, if they do cover science, it's usually on the back of the sports page.

One morning, when I got up, mom greeted me with a chuckle and said, "there is a story about a new telescope in this morning's paper." "It's on the back of the ports page."

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