How to Outsmart the Social Media Technolords

Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP

No, this is not about the Big Tech hearings. It’s just something we noticed, in my circles, starting about a week ago.

To begin with and to obviate tiresome criticisms (yes, they are) let’s talk about why I am on Facebook at all, let alone why I’m still on Facebook.

Some years ago, my last agent told me to get on Facebook and Twitter, since publishers looked at your number of followers and how much play your social media got before they bought a book. Yes, this was pre-history, when having a publisher buy your book was all-important.

I was reluctant and dragged my feet for about a year. This is because putting me in something called “social media” when I’m an anti-social writer, who prefers to hermit up with imaginary people, seemed… odd.

More serious, and the reason I haven’t joined the chat services that my friends and kids have moved to, like Discord, I have a seriously addictive personality.

What does that mean, precisely?

Well, while I don’t drink much and don’t like the effects of drugs, I can get addicted to just about anything. I once spent a year addicted to fanfic for a TV series I’d never watched, for instance (and which I could tell from the fanfic, I’d probably hate if I watched).

Eventually, I got on Facebook and Twitter, but truly disliked Twitter.

The tendency of “Twitter storms” to form and go after someone for a perceived out-of-place step, even if it were actually imaginary or just a misinterpretation was way too much like the middle school I can never be grateful enough to have behind. So Twitter exists in my social media profile SOLELY to automatically echo my blog posts. Weirdly I have relatives whom I didn’t know were politically simpatico who follow me solely that way.

Facebook, however, is different. Not only do I share my blog posts, but I often engage in discussion about them in the comments.

And while I mostly only post either echoes of my blogs, or cat stuff on my main page, I do have a fan group for my fiction (no politics), a group for politics, and a group only for my close friends.

But I still use it mostly – and prize it mostly – as a sales tool. I’ve found that if I and all my writer friends echo a “I have this out” post, it reaches much farther than if I don’t post it on Facebook.

So, while I try to limit my time on Facebook, and most of the time hang out in private groups, I’m not ready to give it up in terms of promotion, or even discussion of my blog posts.

But I don’t like it. I particularly don’t like it that Facebook is seemingly so careless of us, and who we are and want – yes, I know we’re the product, but if you scare the product, what do you have? – that they’re imposing a universally hated user interface and shutting off avenues for people to escape it.

But the user interface comes with some interesting… glitches.

A friend of mine said that he felt as though Facebook was giving us this unwieldy, almost unnavigable interface because they were hiding something else behind it.

Well, part of what they’re hiding are posts. You no longer have a say in what posts you want to see, you can’t set your timeline by, you know, time; some posts you get displayed about ten times over twenty-four hours, other posts and responses you’re never notified of.

Maybe all this is random. Maybe.

Then about a month ago, I heard that a lot of people – weirdly a lot of my fans, which generally don’t lean left – were being offered money to not log in for eight weeks, which, coincidentally, had the elections right in the middle. And I went “uh.”

But that was so blatant as to be insane, and I guess not enough people took it?

This week, all of a sudden, I’m seeing a lot of “wokies” that I’d silenced all over my Facebook page.

More disturbing, people I had long ago blocked surfaced on my Facebook page, attempting to make trouble. (Though, fortunately, not allowed on my timeline, since I can deny them that.)

I thought this was just me, but then I saw my friend Larry Correia post on the same subject.  And then, one by one, other friends.

The scene that came to mind was of all these blocked lefties digging their way out of the blocked-grave of Facebook to attack.

I suppose that’s appropriate, this being close on Halloween.

Of course, I’m just re-blocking as fast as they pop up.

And one has to wonder about the thought behind that interesting move by Facebook. Do they think that if only we’re exposed to a timeline filled with lefties, we’ll suddenly go, “Oh, that’s right. All these brain-dead people I blocked before are for Biden. I must vote for Biden?” No wonder they’re running a zombie candidate.

On the serious side, it’s part of the left’s certainty that if you don’t think like them it’s simply because you’ve never been “educated” or “exposed to” their ideas. In other words, when the left fails to convince you, they either assume you’re evil, or that they failed to shout loud enough.

Which is the other reason I stay on Facebook, while fully aware of what a hostile environment it is.  Because since the left projects like an IMAX I figure that they’re as vulnerable as they think we are. They really might be convinced if just one viewpoint gets under their guard. It’s worth a try, and besides, we know they don’t get exposed to us much. So just the chance to explode the stereotype in their heads is worth it.

If, like me, you choose to stay on Facebook, and particularly in the (forbid the thought) event that the zombie wins, there are some tricks to get around the bots and bans.

Despite everything I share and say through my blog posts, I’ve only been banned three times, all in a row, for daring to make memes making fun of Eric Ciaramella, the fake CIA “whistleblower.” Turned out – as I eventually figured out – that though the bots couldn’t identify the name if I put in an asterisk, or if I embedded it in an image, there was a fan who was/is a lefty and who is suffering from… ah… cognitive issues. In his mind (don’t ask), what I was doing was a federal crime, and therefore he was denouncing me to Facebook. Since I blocked him, this hasn’t happened.

Though friends informed me that sharing the New York Post’s story on Biden, and/or the movies put out by the Taiwanese TV station got them banned, I linked them both through blog posts, and neither was removed, much less banned. I think the trick is to have a large enough “intro” that it doesn’t appear in Facebook’s preview.

So, if you want to keep talking freely on Facebook, do it through a post elsewhere, with an intro that has no trigger words.

Using jokes or puns also seems to evade the censor bots. A lot of them are programmed by Chinese who are uncertain about colloquial Americanisms, so that’s another escape.

If, G-d forbid, we end up living under China Joe or the Ho, we’re going to need to use the platforms that hate us to get the truth out—such as that Epstein didn’t kill himself. And the election didn’t steal itself.

So, start planning your workarounds now. But don’t plan to desert. That’s not the way to go.

Stay on Facebook, and when the zombies surface from under the block, hit them hard with the shovel of truth.