Facebook is in deep trouble with American conservatives because of its alleged censoring of right-wing leaning stories in its Trending feed, as much as a web site used by 1.6 billion people, most of whom are not Americans, and an owner worth between 3 and 5 Donald Trumps put together can be in deep trouble.
Which is to say, not much. Even though Mark Zuckerberg is going to meet with leading conservatives, purportedly to do a little booty-smooching, what are they going to do to him if they don't get their way? Wear ties with frowny face emojis stamped all over them? Unfriend him? Even if he goes away pouting because conservatives refuse to “Like” him, he can probably get himself back in a cheery mood by buying a couple new islands.
And nobody I know gets their news from Facebook. They get their cat videos and pictures of other people's food from Facebook. The web site is go-to for both of those.
But Zuckerman did not get to be a quadzillionaire by not giving people what they want, and there likely are conservatives on Facebook, who can probably be described as “people who need help from their grandchildren every time they want to use Facebook,” and he knows there's no sense alienating any of his billion and a half plus customers, so there's no doubt Facebook's Trending feed has already been tweaked so that it is a bubbling stream of conservative thought.
So I logged into my Facebook page at this moment (7:51 Pacific time, May 20th, 2016) and right now am going to let both of my readers know whether the Trending news stories are perceptively more conservative.
Right away you can tell they are trying. The first one comes from Washington, DC itself, where a LGBT rights bill was defeated by conservatives, because they think LGBTers aren't “human” and therefore don't deserve “rights.” Liberals, who want to start another giant government bureaucracy to give rights away like they are food stamps or pictures of missing children, are booing the vote and shouting “Shame!”
It's accompanied by a C-Span video of this actually happening, so this is “news,” although not particularly interesting or unpredictable news. It's not the kind of news that conservative really like to watch, which would be footage of Hillary Clinton wearing a hijab and actually leading the attack in Benghazi. So Zuckerman may be trying here, but I think he's missed the mark.
The second item is #NationalSendANude Day, which was yesterday. Many people failed to observe this holiday in the proper spirit, me included, not because I am against putting myself nude on the Internet, or anywhere, but because I lack the Photoshop skills to paste a black rectangle, a la Kardashian, over my genitals in the pic, which I would want to do because I don't want my full Monty to be retweeted to underage people for legal reasons. This principle is part of my lifelong and intermittently successful campaign to avoid jail time.
Certainly conservatives don't want to go to jail, and many of them don't, despite being indicted at far higher rates than the population as a whole.* So I would say Zuckerman hit the mark with putting #NationalSendANude Day in Trending.
The third item Trending is that the web site PornHub.com (I'm not linking to PornHub here, because I'm fairly confident both of my readers already have it bookmarked) is launching a fitness program called BangFit, which claims you can sex your way to physical fitness. I suspect satire here. Most exercise experts say getting in shape requires at least thirty minutes of cardio at least three times a week, and most couples have sex for three minutes at a time three times a month, after which the male goes out and brags to his friends about how good he is at it and the female goes out and complains to her friends at excruciating length about how bad he is at it, especially compared to other men she has had sex with that she has had the good sense not to tell him about. Complaining is not cardio. PornHub is branching out from posting free porn to posting free humor, which means they're competing with me and they have millions more dollars to try and be funnier with. Screw them.
But I digress. Satire is never a conservative thing. Conservatives lack the satirical gene. Conservatives try to joke about Harry Reid and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, without realizing that most of us don't even know who these people are. It's absolutely vital that your audience know who the hell you are making fun of. If a conservative comic gets tired of telling ethnic or gay jokes and tries to slip in a Debbie Wasserman Schultz joke, only the other conservatives in the audience will laugh. Other people will just think “Who is that? I think I've heard of her. Does she breed Shar-peis or something?”
So Zuckerman is pulling a fast one here. Just when he pretends to be kowtowing to the high priests of right-wing thought, he's posting stuff that he thinks they won't understand.
I'm letting him know here, conservatives don't like to be made fun of.
Trust me on that.
*Weren't aware of this "fact?" That's because I just made it up to suit my argument. I learned how from following the current election campaign. Praise the Donald!
There's a button up there for that.
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