Monsanto and Facebook, is there a Secret Connection?
Facebook has been accused many times being a front for free speech as it has censored, what it considers, controversial subject matter. I, myself, have been on that end, with my account suspended for sharing a picture Facebook said was inappropriate.
However this year they came under heavy criticism for pulling photos from a March against Monsanto rally. These photos were nothing more than children holding signs in the march, but somehow Facebook has said that these photos were “abusive”. What’s that? Children holding signs that said “Organic Food It’s My Medicine – Label GMOs – Say NO to GMO.”
This is abuse? If so, why didn’t Facebook report this mother to the police? This is insane.
What is the connection?
Facebook Deletes Health, Wellness, Organic and Natural Living Accounts in the Name of Fake News
FB announced they were deleting "fake accounts" this week. Zuckerberg himself has announced that he will hire an additional 3,000 employees to shut down 'fake news' pages of this platform. Their definition of 'fake news' includes groups with labels of organic, natural, traditional, wellness, health and love, brighten my soul. Certainly looks like they've targeting deleted anything that threatens the Pharma money flow.
Revealed: How dangerous fake health news conquered Facebook
Exclusive: Misinformation published by conspiracy sites about serious health conditions is often shared more widely than evidence-based reports from reputable news organisations
The widespread circulation of fake health news on social networks is misleading and potentially dangerous, health officials have warned.
Misinformation published by conspiracy sites about serious health conditions is often shared more widely than evidence-based reports from reputable news organisations, according to analysis by The Independent. Of the 20 most-shared articles on Facebook in 2016 with the word “cancer” in the headline, more than half report claims discredited by doctors and health authorities or – in the case of the year’s top story – directly by the source cited in the article.
Banned by Facebook, Cannabis Companies Turn to Pot-Friendly Social Media
Industry representatives say Facebook and Instagram have been particularly aggressive in suspending the social media accounts of cannabis-related companies, and Apple has suspended certain cannabis-related apps from its App Store as well. The uneven and seemingly random account suspensions have created an uneven playing field within the industry and stripped legitimate cannabis-related businesses—and some that don’t actually sell cannabis products at all—of an important advertising and marketing tools, business owners and industry advocates argue.
It’s also spawning a new and growing strain of social networks tailored specifically to cannabis culture—a culture that is expected to generate $6.7 billion in legal U.S. sales this year alone and could potentially grow into a $21.8 billion industry by 2020.
Cryptocurrency Ad Ban: Big Tech’s All or Nothing War with Crypto
In recent weeks, some of tech’s largest companies have been leading a crusade against cryptocurrency-related advertising on their platforms. Facebook, Google, and Twitter are all reportedly stanching the flow of cryptocurrency, ICO, and other related ads on their websites and, for Google, across any of its ad services. The cryptocurrency ad ban comes at a time when cryptocurrencies are starting to come under the purview of the international political arena. Though interest in the digital trend reached a fever pitch at the end of 2017, crypto has been the subject of more formal legislative discussions in the past two months than it has since Bitcoin’s creation in 2009.
Politics of Crypto
At this week’s G20 summit in Argentina, politicians from some of the most powerful nations in the world came to the conclusion that, while not acting as official currencies, cryptocurrencies represent a legitimate asset class, and the governing forum has made calls for a clear direction on unified, global regulations by July of this year. Meanwhile in the United States, the US House of Representatives held a subcommittee hearing on ICOs, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology on March 14th. Coming out of the meeting, Congress released a joint report with Minority News on the benefits and potential of blockchain/distributed ledger technology.
In a War of Words, Industry Giants Play Follow the Leader
The holistic ban, the post indicates, is in the best interest of the community until Facebook can formulate a strategy for targeting fraudulent ads directly. Until then, any crypto-related ads won’t see the light of day on the social media network and its subsidiaries, Instagram and Audience Network:
“This policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices, and enforcement will begin to ramp up across our platforms including Facebook, Audience Network and Instagram. We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve.”
Instead of cherry picking which ads to trash and which to keep, Google and Facebook have opted to put the whole issue to rest with a blanket ban. The reasoning here is simple enough: why filter through for legitimate projects when the market itself is still largely unregulated and the investing practices are still likewise largely stigmatized?
And this approach is wholly unwarranted. In a realm where pump and dumps reign and fake news accumulates faster than a Donald Trump tweet storm, investors are often at the behest of their own knowledge and agency. There are few, if any, buffers in place to protect consumers from scams, especially in the realm of ICOs.
Conspirators would argue that the cryptocurrency ad ban is big tech’s attempt to quash the cryptocurrency craze, an oppressive response to a new technology that threatens the industry’s titans. A report by Bloomberg suggests that Google is actually looking to adopt some blockchain-related, distributed ledger technology for its cloud business, showing that they’re not above embracing the technology.
Still, a blanket ban on anything crypto-related doesn’t do justice to the legitimate projects in the space. Google and Facebook serve up ad content to the majority of the United State’s internet populace, so its only natural that they’d want to avoid serving up rotten apples to their users. But the power of choice to ban should not preclude discretion, as there are plenty of startups and projects that are responsibly leveraging the same blockchain technology that Google itself is researching.
Facebook has shown that it may make a commitment to choice with discretion when they’ve examined the problem further. In a quote to Mashable, a Facebook spokesperson stated that the site’s new “policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices.” Hopefully, the team will learn to separate factfrom fiction so that true projects can receive fair exposure, and if they do, perhaps it’ll lead Google to do the same–as they’ve done before.