Facebook totally blew its own 'we banned the bad guys' PR stunt

You’re giving them more of the benefit of the doubt than I think they deserve.
Some of them are that dumb. Others would have peeled off if they had to make an effort to follow these assholes to another platform and weren’t handed the direct link. Maybe not a significant percentage, but some.


Still, though: Who could have denied the beauteously sweet vision of thousands of a-hole followers looking up the latest on Infowars, et al, on FB… then finding nothing.


[Edit: moving to reply to correct initial post]
I think you are close but are maybe making it a little too complicated. I like this take on it:
CGP Grey via TED-ED

1 Like

Yet another golden opportunity to employ “vector”… lost. :wink:

Publishing platforms are one thing, but I do not want my messaging providers to be even reading my messages, much less deciding whether I am chatting about the approved subjects in the approved manner. I suspect you do not want this, either.


Facebook is definitely not incompetent. It just does not give a damn about you. Never has never will. You are the product and that is all you are.

https://www.esquire.com/uk/latest-news/a19490586/mark-zuckerberg-called-people-who-handed-over-their-data-dumb-f/ [esquire.com]

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard

Zuck: Just ask.

Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?

Zuck: People just submitted it.

Zuck: I don’t know why.

Zuck: They “trust me”

Zuck: Dumb fucks.


Ha well put. Pretty ridiculous to call this in any way a fail. A bunch of people who deserved it got banned from the biggest social network in the world, which is great. For the meantime at least, until all the right wing alternatives start getting used heavily enough to be useful, and then we’re all truly effed.

that’s for people who already know about them.

the way that people like alex jones get traction is virality. taking a pool of non-radicalized people, and slowly radicalizing the edges. that works best when you have a big base of non-radicalized people to easily share with.

another factor is sheer noise. when you allow people to post conspiracies and fake news, when they get copied and spread, it’s harder to rely on the truth of an average story. you’re constantly questioning ( or being questioned about ) even the simplest of facts.


Yes and I’m specifically critiquing Xeni’s argument:

That bungled launch window allowed Alex Jones, Milo , and the other banned jerks tell all of their Instagram and Facebook fans where to find them.

The FANS will still find them, regardless of whether or not there was time to post those messages.

Obviously this will be effective in limiting their reach to new audiences, but that’s not what this post was complaining about.


Or look at one of the other alt-right light pages they like that didn’t get the banhammer that’s shouting where to go from the rooftops.

From their TOS, someone cannot:

  • Promote violence on publically viewable Telegram channels, bots, etc.

The main question is, is the channel publically viewable? I’m not sure how channels can be set up on Telegram.

The secondary channel might be, is the channel owner promoting violence? A good case can be made that some of the scumbags FB banned for being dangerous are doing so.


No one ignored it, we read it, flagged it, and it will or will not get moderated.


You make me grin every time with this.


I think your link with measles is probably the closer analogy. These people are symbiotes with the measles virus. The have a simple outlook: you agree with me so you support me, or you disagree so you attack me. This lack of complexity does mean their worldview may not be accurate or nuanced, but it is strategically robust.

A strategy of “Hear something you don’t like? Shout louder!” will not have complex emergent properties. I would love some magic feedback which could get these people to attack each other to the last man. I suspect it doesn’t and perhaps cannot exist, but let’s make really sure before we give up.

1 Like

Very good questions. To the best of my knowledge, Telegram channels are set up to be “invite only” by default, the channel owner can then turn on join by link.

Bots are are tricker issue, but if someone uses a publicly available bot like Event Bot to harass someone else, that bot will still have a log of who did it and that person can be sanctioned.

I suppose the biggest problem with reporting someone on Telegram is how many mods they have who can process complaints. One of the reason why they are so popular is that they are a small company of idealists, so they may be swamped. I honestly don’t know, I am just speculating here.


If we walk away from “dumb” and talk about “internet illiterate” maybe it’s reasonable to guess it’s a noticeable percentage. I can’t be sure about Alex Jones’ demographic, but I have to imagine that at least some of Jones’ viewers are trying to convince their extremely reluctant children or grandchildren to help them find Jones on the internet again at this moment.


It’s my understanding that research by Google, Facebook, et al., shows that convenience (or inconvenience) actually does have a big impact on users’ engagement. You could probably agree that from a certain point of view, that is Facebook’s whole business: finding ways to turn the easy thing (for users) and the profitable thing (for Facebook) into the same thing.

Most Facebook use is a pretty aimless browse for entertaining novelty, not a determined grind to find specific information. Kicking Alex Jones off Facebook won’t make him disappear from the world, but it will make him disappear from everyone’s feed. If that means Facebook isn’t sending out the equivalent of 100 million reminders that Alex Jones is still talking every single day, that’s going to have an impact. (If it wouldn’t have an impact, then why does Alex Jones even bother with Facebook?)

One of the reasons Facebook is so ill-thought-of today is that they monkey with feed algorithms to increase their profitability at the expense of users’ connection with friends, of users’ actual interests and preferences, etc. If the contents of those feeds didn’t matter, it wouldn’t be worth getting upset about. But feeds turn out to matter.


Yeah I have to agree with this. I mean, it’s fun kicking Facebook in the balls constantly. But at least they are finally making SOME effort. I honestly don’t think they could do this and still not have SOME people bitch about it.

I mean I pointed out even if the small delay means they can post something like, “Remember you can find me on XYZ!”, the small percentage of people who are completely lost with out Facebook spoon feeding them content is going to be so small it isn’t even worth talking about.

Come one - it’s good these jackasses aren’t on there any more. Let’s focus on the good instead of every other little thing to nitpick about. I hope they continue to be more selective. I mean, they shut down ALL of the BST gun forums (even some that were not), so don’t tell me they can’t shut down the White Supremacists forums.

1 Like

People grossly underestimate how much convenience has an impact on everything.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.