Is FACEBOOK trying to gag social media sites by hiding them from readers?

The number of hits on this site dropped by three-quarters yesterday – possibly because of interference by Facebook.

At first I assumed I was just having a slow day. Sometimes it just seems that people decide, en masse, to take a break. And that’s fine, as long as they come back later.

But then I looked at some of the other, more popular sites, and compared their FB shares. All were down.

So, yesterday evening, I asked the question: “Why aren’t you sharing the articles today, folks? Is the button broken, or what?”

It turns out that most respondents hadn’t even seen them; they had not appeared on those readers’ feeds, even though they were following Vox Political on Facebook.

Fortunately, other readers had an answer:

It seems that “Facebook are trying to shut down [alternative] media by reducing auto sharing to followers”.

In other words, bizarre as it seems, if you follow a favourite FB page, you become less likely to see items posted on it! How mad is that?

Apparently, “You have to go onto the main page, click on ‘following’, then opt for ‘see first'” rather than ‘default’. Otherwise you won’t see links to This Site’s articles, and I understand the same applies to other social media sites like Another Angry Voice, Skwawkbox, The Canary and so on.

Another commenter suggested: “New FB algorithms might be to blame. Do your posts ask for shares/likes? If so then they are likely being prevented from appearing on folks’ feeds.”

How bizarre – it seems Facebook is actually trying to reduce its own popularity.

Think about it. Social media sites like VP are legion on Facebook. We all know that the best way for a decent article to be seen is for people who like it to put it in front of their friends, and Facebook is the default system for enabling that to happen.

Measures like those mentioned above would reduce people’s use of Facebook, making it less popular. It doesn’t make commercial sense.

It is possible to speculate that Mr Zuckerberg’s minions may have been approached by a third party (the Tory Party? Conservatives know they are well behind the Left when it comes to social media presence) with a financial offer to do this – but that would still leave Facebook out-of-pocket in the long run.

For now, it seems, the only solution is to do as advised: Visit the main Vox Political page on Facebook, click on the button that says ‘Follow/Following’, then click on the option ‘see first’.

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24 thoughts on “Is FACEBOOK trying to gag social media sites by hiding them from readers?

    1. Derek Kelsey

      You are right Mike, I have checked and they were all set to default. If I change them to See First they change back to default again so something going on. I have tried several times now and they still revert to Default.

  1. Fibro confused

    This has been happening for some time Mike, it is to do with ££ but not from political avenues, if your followers don’t click the see you first option you end up being left with the option to pay to have your page appear on peoples feeds. It must have been the political pages turn to get pushed down for just the one day hopefully or until the algorithms are altered again. After the US orange man election there has been a push to get rid of fake news too, whether you & others are caught up in that perhaps possible, I think the money making option is more likely though.

  2. Dez

    Facebook is now an official paid up member of the Globalist Elite and its original free spirit has been converted into the greed and power driven global agenda. They are definitely out to kill free speech and push the Globalist power media and information only and slow up the more informed public media. Also I find feedback is being interferred with such as to frustrate users with blocking and seizing up comments. I feel it is about time an alternative real free spirit was back on the scene….these guys have sold out their souls and are working for the dark side now.

  3. the ramblings of a deluded mind

    I have the same number of posts from here and the canary as usual. not sure that is the same amount as is posted but some days i get up to 3 or 4 posts. however with the other groups i am in it can easily be pushed south.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m currently doing only a few a day – between three and six, I think.

  4. Liz Douglas

    Most of the sites you mention like the Canary also has an ‘Unsafe scripts’ notice in the address bar if you click ‘Load unsafe scripts’ the first part of the address of the site goes red and I’ve noticed that several sites you’d think would be fine stop you sharing anything the buttons are dead in the water happens a lot on the Mirror for instance. I also discovered that fb is now blocking flash player because it doesn’t think it’s ‘Safe’ so you have to allow plugins every visit to most pages even games although one game will have it and another not don’t know what to make of that – I’ve added pages to my safe list I’ve allowed flash player and a couple of other things didn’t work

  5. Zippi

    facebook has always been interfering and changing its user experience; altering privacy setting and the like, without consultation, or even warning, we decided, to justify some people’s paypackets. I had been having problems with this very site, since the day after the election and wondered whether anybody else was having a similar experience. I sent messages to you, Mike, via facebook and also twitter but heard nothing. Repeatedly, I posted what I was presented with but heard nothing. This went on for a period of maybe 3 weeks, during which I was unable to access any of your articles. In the end, I decided to delete all cookies, which related to voxpolitial and hey, presto! I was back in touch with the voxpoliticalonline world! I still don’t know why this occurred, why it happened when it did, whether, or not I was alone in that experience and why I had no communication from you, regarding this, which was, perhaps, the most frustrating part. Did you receive any of the messages?

      1. Zippi

        Très interessant!
        My facebook message feed is still there; here are the messages…
        10 June 20:40
        Hallo. I’m just wondering whether, or not there’s something wrong with voxpoliticalonline. I keep getting this message: 400 Bad Request
        Request Header Or Cookie Too Large
        It has been that way since last even.

        15 June 07:40
        Hallo, Mike.
        I sent a message on Saturday. I do appreciate that you have been very busy, however, I am still unable to view your articles; this has been the case since the election. I cannot be the only person who is experiencing this, surely? Is there a problem? All that I get is:
        400 Bad Request
        Request Header Or Cookie Too Large
        This is immensely frustrating, for even here, on facebook, I am still unable to read your articles, only the headlines.

        19 June 12:57
        Hallo, again, Mike. I still can’t read your posts. I keep getting the same message. Is anybody else experiencing this problem? This has been the case since the day after the election. I am concerned.

        22 June 01:22
        Hallo, Mike.
        Me, again. I’m still no able to view your posts, I still get the same message:
        400 Bad Request
        Request Header Or Cookie Too Large

        and at 01:23
        I’ can’t be the only person who is experiencing this, surely? This has been the case, since the day after the election. I have sent you several messages but have yet to hear from you. This is most frustrating.

        I believe that I posted a similar on the facebook page, to see whether, or not other people were experiencing that but heard nothing from anybody else, either.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Ah! I’ve just found you. Of course you have a different name.
        I don’t get to monitor my messages anything like as well as I would like, due to pressure of time.
        The problem here is that I would have had no answer for you in any case. I cannot understand why Facebook would have done that to you.

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        Yes I did, but I didn’t know what to do with it. I couldn’t publish any part of it without also giving away dangerous information.

      4. Zippi

        Of course! Silly me! It wasn’t just facebook, though; I couldn’t access the site at all.

      5. Mike Sivier Post author

        There’s some strange nonsense going on.
        I guess it’s another example of absolute power corrupting absolutely.

  6. marc

    Hi Mike, There are several sites that I follow, no doubt as others also do, and if, like me, probably follow not just from from source (eg-FB) but also Twitter (which I prefer to FB), so at least at some stage would hope all followers to sites mentioned, would become aware of site content, and as soon as possible, if not just a little later. I always check all sites daily in any event, and wouldn’t rely upon ‘clicks to stories/websites’ or wait for them to be brought to my attention. Certainly hope this is how many followers go about this.
    As for the part regarding 3rd party approaches to Zuckerberg, people always think certain groups coulld never, ever sink any lower than whatever previosu decision made…but as we know, this has never been the case with Tory party!
    Final point like to make, love your site, information supplied, and just keep doing what you have been. Superb!

  7. hugosmum70

    ive not been on tghe fb page for this site before, preferin to get all messages via email. but have now followed your advice. i hope i will still get them by email though cos even putting pages to see first i dont always see everything someone posts. i have at times sent you messages however Mike saying that every so often i seem to go through a phase where emails will give the title of a message but nothing about it in the body ofthe emaiol. very frustrating. however i now think i may have cracked it. you need to delete ALL your history every so often and especially if that happens by looks of it as once done it seems to go ok. only problem is. even if yopu untick passwords to prevent them being deleted in history. it often deletes those too. ive had to sort a system out so i have all my passwords to hand without compromising them. in case i lose them all . as i did on 2 occasions after using delete history button. ,

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Hmm. I wouldn’t advise switching from email notifications to FB at all. As a back-up I suppose it’s okay – and you could always let me know which notifications get missed by Facebook.

  8. HomerJS

    I have noticed that when I sign in the list of articles is in order of importance. When I put it into my preferred most recent list format then a number of articles just disappear. So something added just a few seconds ago can appear in the important list but then disappear when I go to most recent. It makes you question how they are managing the articles/lists, although not necessarily making me suspicious.

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