• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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Facebook Censorship

Is Facebook guilty of censorship?

fear of rebrandingI had not really considered the idea of Facebook censorship until yesterday. I write a blog almost everyday on marketing, branding, social issues and persuasion.

Occasionally, I will boost the post on Facebook to target an audience that I think might have an interest in the topic covered.

Facebook censcorship
Facebook’s advertising rules

I don’t do this regularly but often enough that I am familiar with Facebook’s rules.

Once in a while I have a blog (Facebook calls them an ad) turned down. Is that rejection a form of Facebook censorship? I had not thought so. Usually it is because the image I have included includes text.

Facebook Censorship
Rejected from boosting my blog

Facebook is stringent on not allowing a blogger like myself to sneak messages past its screeners by including the message as text within an image. This makes sense to me because images are impossible to search for messages. They are just not searchable as text.

Yesterday I wrote a blog about persuasion.

I used as my example of persuasion a discussion on politics and religion on Facebook. I was compelled to write the blog, oddly enough, because one of my Facebook friends posted a political statement about one of the candidates for President. This friend immediately got comments from former school classmates who vehemently disagreed with his post’s assertion. I started to think about what I know about persuasion and how Facebook is a poor venue for trying to affect behavior.

Facebook Censorship seems self-serving

Facebook censorshipDo me a favor and read yesterday’s blog. Then tell me how it transgresses on any of the rules for boosting a post on Facebook? I think it was only guilty of speaking to the limits of Facebook posts and why, as a venue, Facebook friends should probably avoid posts that profess a view on politics or religion.

Why? Because your opinions won’t change anyone’s opinion. It is, in research terms, a self-selected study, meaning only those who adamantly agree with you or fiercely disagree with you will take the time to comment or share. Others may throw up a respectful LIKE, but I doubt they ever read past the first sentence. A nominal like is a passing acknowledgment that they follow you.

In the spirit of full disclosure

Facebook censorshipI’m not a huge fan of Facebook. I find that it causes me to spend way to much time spying into the shenanigans and happenings of friends and acquaintances. I have found it very useful to reconnect with folks I have lost contact with over the years— childhood friends, old classmates, co-workers from another time and the like. But I don’t need Facebook to find out what is going on with my close friends and immediate family.

I know those things the old fashioned way. I talk to them and ask. In many ways, Facebook gives me an artificial sense of intimacy with people I hardly know any more. I come think I know them much better than I really do. It can cause us to refrain from the real connection that comes with a phone call or visit. We THINK we are connected.

Will Facebook Censorship block this blog as well?

This is my real reason for writing this. Will Facebook allow me to express criticism of the pseudo connection that we lie to ourselves as enjoying through Facebook? At this point, I have no clue. I even resubmitted yesterday’s blog to Facebook and asked why it was denied. So far, I know as much about Facebook’s thinking on this as I do about the REAL emotional experiences of my Facebook FRIENDS.

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