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The Power of Presence

A common joke in the US Army is that no one is truly worthless, human organs go for a fortune on the black market. Crass? Yes True? Also, unfortunately, yes. But I want to talk about another angle that's not too dissimilar from the above joke, it's the power of your eyeballs, that is, your very presence. Yes, YOU are a valuable commodity to companies like Facebook, Twitter, and everyone else who relies on advertising dollars to operate their business. Every impression is monetized, and every time you see a video of two guys in Indonesia digging a pool or scroll past a "sponsored link," these companies make money.

YOU are valuable, your presence is valuable, and where you go and what you watch are important to a great many people.

Yet I can hear someone saying, "so what?"

Well, that so what answer is a part of the fight currently ongoing between conservative content creators and Facebook and Twitter. It's also the engine pushing the exodus from Facebook and Twitter to other non-censored options like MeWe and Parler. Facebook and Twitter have over monetized their platforms, and at the same, have silenced conservative content creators. So it ends up being, "we want the eyeballs that you generate with your content, but we don't want them to actually see what YOU are creating."

So you end up with angry people. Content creators are upset because their content is being censored and conservative viewers are upset because they are not seeing the content to which they are subscribing, on a supposedly open platform, it's more that just a little bit of bait and switch.

Take for example on of my favorites, Joe Pags, I remember when he first went on Facebook. He used his radio talk show to advertise it and got a lot of people who were naturally leery about Facebook to join to get his updates. A bunch of people called in to say that they got a Facebook account so they could get all of the fun interactive stuff he was doing on there for his show.

Then, about six months later, Facebook starts making him pay to "boost" his posts to reach that same audience that he brought to them, and then Facebook started limiting his content as they'd labeled it as "political." It's HIS audience, they're listening to HIS syndicated radio show, and Facebook is saying that they have a right to limit THIER conversation on the platform. How does that make any sense whatsoever?! Does Facebook really believe that they're going to limit what these people hear from a nationally syndicated radio show host to whom MILLIONS of people listen each day?

No, instead, they just upset both content creator and audience, and so, Pags went to Parler, and his audience followed. I'm one of them. I get every single thing he posts. I see it all. I've not missed even one single thing. No algorithms, no "popular" feeds, no manipulation. I said I wanted to see his content by "following" him, and Parler delivers the content that I said I wanted to see. Exactly as it should be.

And therein is the reason for the mass exodus. The "fact checking," the blocking of posts based on content (Hunter Biden story), the blocking of articles that use "graphic" pictures (such as articles dealing with abortion), and others that are designed to silence conservative arguments, are the reason why conservatives are leaving the platform. It's not that they don't want to argue with liberals in comments or hear another point of view, it's that they are tired of fighting the platform itself which is slanted against them. It's like playing football uphill when the field never flips.

So no, the exodus is not likely to stop, and yes, you are going to see many of your conservative friends leave the platform. You can name call, and cat call, and howl at the moon for all they care, they aren't tired of "fighting" with you, they're tired of fighting with Facebook and Twitter, and now that they have an alternative to them, they're going to go to where they can get what they want, access to the content created by those to whom they already listen. How naïve must these platforms be to believe that if they ban it, it's banned. As if other things like Radio, Television, RSS News feeds, and Websites don't exist. Will it hamper them? Yes, but not enough to stop the message from spreading, and it was due to bring competition to the market. It shouldn't surprise you at all.

Once again, liberals have to learn that they cannot simply silence or erase the people who disagree with them or the views of those people. Ignoring them, trying to make them disappear, or worse yet, vilifying them, will only lead to a disengagement. No one wants to spend their lives fighting if they can help it, so off they go.

Which brings us to the "so what?" You're about to see changes at Facebook and Twitter. I'm already seeing it. The campaign is... "over..." and now people are again seeing and engaging with my posts (it's been three long and silent months). The recent stock price drops, and projected future losses for these platforms, are forcing them to reconcile what they've done with the cost of it, and yet what they don't realize is that they're trying to hold on to water running through a sieve. The damage is already done, they've pushed it too far, and now they'll pay the price.

Some bells you can't un-ring. So it doesn't matter if Facebook and Twitter now let conservatives speak, we won't forget what they did to help Joe Biden get elected. That memory, along with the memory of Obama's Presidency, will fuel this exodus for the long term.

This isn't just a hiccup, it's a changing of the guard. It is, without a doubt, a digital revolution.

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