After giving it quite a bit of thought, I have decided to take Forward Kentucky off of Facebook.
I just can no longer support a platform that enables so much destruction. In addition to the ongoing problem of FB being used to attack our democracy and for the intentional spreading of disinformation, the kicker was learning that the platform has been used for human trafficking.
So, we’re leaving.
I know, I know – removing our “voice” from Facebook just makes more room for the other voices: the conservatives, the far-right, the racists, the QAnon crowd, and crazies of all kinds. I get that.
But to be honest, do you think any of those groups are actually following us on Facebook? Or engaging with us in the comments?
And even more important – do you think our being on Facebook actually changes anyone’s mind? Or gets them to consider the progressive point of view?
Remember, on Facebook (and many other sites), you are not the customer – you are the product. And frankly, I am tired of enabling the destruction of democracy by our admittedly small part in the platform.
So ... now what?
I actually posted on Twitter that we were leaving FB, and asked people where we should put our social-media efforts. To my surprise, the number one destination was — wait for it — TikTok.
To put it mildly, I was shocked. My image of TikTok is short and viral videos, primarily of young people dancing. (That image came from TT videos that have been shared, not from my own use of the platform.) What in the name of Abba would an older white male have to offer on there – especially to talk about Kentucky politics.
But, I reminded myself: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. So, this coming weekend, I’m going to spend some time looking around TikTok (yes, I’ve signed up), and try to make an introductory video. Wish me luck.
Other channels we are (re-)adding
The other two channels that got some play were Reddit and YouTube. (No Instagram, since it is part of Facebook ... er, Meta.)
We have had a YouTube channel for a long time, but it has basically been dormant since I stopped doing the live version of “The State of Kentucky.” I'm now thinking about ways to use it again, including a weekly discussion show we may start in January.
There is a /r/KentuckyPolitics subreddit that is a little active, so we will start posting there some. And, there is also a /r/VoteDem subreddit that is very active, to which we will post on occasion. (I’m setting up a Zapier automation for both, so I don’t have to do it manually.)
And finally, I’ve been posting our podcasts only on the site, so I’m considering putting them back on the various podcast feeds out there. I’m also looking at a private podcast for members.
And remember – YOU can still share
Every post on here has those sharing buttons at the top. Even though we are leaving FB, if you are on there you can still share our posts on your own feed. And, of course, you can also share to the other platforms up there (Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and emailing a story to someone, as well as copying the link and posting it wherever you want.)
So, even though Facebook has been a main source of our traffic over the years, I’m not too worried. For six months, our goal has been to build a following made up of loyal readers, instead of just having a high number of visitors. Since we announced we were leaving Facebook, we’ve had over 100 new people sign up as Subscribers, plus a few more signing up as paying Members. People are coming to the site and reading multiple stories, instead of coming here from Facebook to read one story and then leave.
Goodbye, then, to Facebook. We’ll try to grow the progressive voice for Kentucky politics through other means. And, we’ll do all we can to save our democracy, as well.
If you have feedback about this decision, or about our other channels, or advice for me on how to actually DO TikTok 😄, then either post a comment below or email me directly. Thanks!
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