Saturday, December 8, 2018

What's it like to be the product, not the customer?

We are the social media platforms' product, not their customers. When these platforms think we're alienating customers (the people that click on stuff and the people that buy ads) it has policies that silence the production of disturbing content.

This is something I've been aware of for a long time. I've seen transgender friends encounter problems with the "Real Name" policy and I've seen friends lose access to the communities they painstakingly built over time because the topics they're dealing with are too hot (or science-y or kinky or political) to touch.

I try to have more than one form of contact for my friends and family, I try to keep backups of the information I find valuable, especially resources I have created myself, like this post. The seed of this post was originally created over on FB, where I found myself locked suddenly locked out.

Why did this happen? Well, in case you only check my updates occasionally, among other things I think the man who lives in the White House is a traitor to the American people. I have no problem telling everyone that I think that AND why I think that (I don't pile links on top of my comments though - google was invented for a reason, I encourage people to check my facts). I've been blocked because of it, I've had people stop talking to me, I kept on doing it.

Today I was once again sharing a few of the many of the reasons why the godless cretin pushed forward by foreign criminals should be held to the same standards we hold all of our elected officials, and I suddenly lost access to my account. Yes, that's right. Somebody's feelings were so hurt that I have an opinion that they managed to get me kicked off a social media platform.

No surprise there. A social media platform can do that. It is a private platform, and I was disturbing its customers. It happens all the time. A lot of the time it happens and users lose their online voice entirely.

Isn't it lucky that I've been down this road before and was able to bounce right back on?

Sadly, not everyone does. Here are some of the things I do, although most of my content is more of the vaccinating-kids soccer mom with no guns in the house variety.

Mostly it comes down to this: Distribute information and access
- Let people know how to find you online and off.
- Let people know where to find your content online and off.
- Share access/permissions. Have more than one owner for groups and pages and sites. Try to have have a trusted silent partner in the group, someone that is less likely to be targeted and shut out but can update if you lose access.

Good luck out there.

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