Most consider this part of the great sanitation at Silicon Valley.
Let me say that I do not pay Facebook for anything because I don’t think I should have to. I understand that my reach has been cut considerably but what has happened to major conservative pages such as Right Wing News and LibertyOne Radio Network is criminal.
Brian Kolfage, the current owner of Right Wing News, spent over $300,000 in Facebook ads to build his Facebook page. Apparently, it was a business, an investment and yet Facebook found him to be guilty of promoting his business, a conservative-leaning website and unpublished his Facebook page (which had 3.5 million follows/likes) with little to no warning.
I understand that Facebook has rules and sometimes individuals have skirted those rules to get by their algorithms, but this is not cool.
Excerpts From Right Wing News Owner:
My name is Brian Kolfage, I’m a veteran of The United States Air Force. I was severely wounded in Combat, on 9/11/2004 while serving in Iraq. I lost both my legs entirely and my right hand. I’m the most severely wounded US Airman to survive.
I worked alongside Democrat Congresswoman Gabby Giffords on her veteran advisory committee. I endorsed her, have great respect for her, and helped her win her final election with a pivotal campaign commercial. In Giffords’ Time Magazine interview, I was honored to be named as someone who inspires her.
I’m not a conservative. I’m not a liberal. I’m an American, with deep beliefs in what our country stands for. I proved this by fighting for America, knowing I may not return home. My life was spared, but I paid for freedom with one arm and both my legs.
It is true: I manage the Right Wing News Facebook page, and have been involved with the brand for many years. I took over managing the page when John Hawkins decided to step aside to pursue other endeavors. John and I have a great relationship and I was honored to have the torch passed down to me. We had a coveted, verified blue check mark 3.5 Million fans, and I invested over $300,000 in ads at Facebook’s own request, nearly begging us to spend spend spend just to reach our fans … whom they kept making more difficult to reach with every passing year.
Never once did Facebook come to us to say there was any issue with Right Wing News or our other pages. Never. But they sure loved taking our money.
We did run multiple Facebook pages; Facebook allows businesses to have more than one page, and we did own them and had them for years. We were not “spamming,” we were not using fake accounts, we were not doing anything “wrong” … except we supported President Trump, and apparently that’s not allowed.
Katie Harbath, Facebook’s head of Global Politics, knew all this for years about our pages and accounts. It was no secret. Why wouldn’t they just come to us if there was a problem? We were one of the biggest ALL ORGANIC conservative news sites, and very reputable. We spoke to Katie at least once a month, and any time there was an issue, we worked together to resolve and ensure it never happened again.
It’s their sand – until it’s made not to be. There comes the point where you stop playing be the rules, lest you lose everything that matters.
Facebook has been allowed to get away with murder, politically and culturally speaking. They have been allowed to “push the envelope” with regards to manipulative and unethical behavior.
We were very proactive and always remained on top of Facebook’s policies, rules, and regulations. We have all the emails to back this up.
We’ve had very close working relationship with Facebook’s Katie Harbath, constantly pushing her to remain open with us so we could stay in compliance with their ever changing guidelines. Recently I begged her over and over to schedule a webinar with us so we could ensure compliance; after months of dialog it was finally set up for last week, but sadly she pulled the plug before it happened.
Right Wing News NEVER had a major problem with fake news, misinformation or spam. We had a rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 with over 3,000 reviews. We were the very epitome of proud Americans.
All the bad stuff you’re reading in the mainstream media about us is false. It’s a campaign to label us as “Russians” or “spammers” or a “clickbait ad farm” or “right wings nuts” pushing fake news and engaged in “coordinated inauthentic behavior” and the “spreading of disinformation.”
Here is more of his statement:
It’s no secret that Facebook has employees who hate everything about us. A few months ago a Facebook employee blacklisted my email so I couldn’t contact employees to have an open dialog to resolve issues. We have had other Facebook employees change our page settings and names to “Comedy Club.” This type of malicious behavior is everywhere in Facebook. They hate us because we lean conservative.
Keep this in mind: I gave three limbs, came home, and was attacked for my political beliefs.
Let that sink in.
Facebook also deleted my other business page. I own a coffee company called Military Grade Coffee company. We don’t post politics, we sell coffee and support veteran charities. Facebook is maliciously attacking my way of life because of my beliefs, and they don’t care.
What Facebook has done is illegal. It’s a malicious coordinated attacked on everything I fought for and everything generations of Americans fought for. And this is exactly why a Facebook Engineer making 6 figures a year walked out and quit his job today, over the assault on conservative beliefs within his former company.
It was political, and not for cause. They violated their own rules. A violation of free speech, committed by a publicly traded company, which holds a monopoly on internet communications similar to that which was enjoyed by Bell Telephone back in the day.
I do feel sorry for Brian, but this is why you should never rely on a third party platform for your business. They can change their terms of service or just decide not to do business with you anymore and you are screwed if you are reliant on anything other than your platform.
Go ahead and use Twitter and Facebook to promote your business, but do not use them as your primary outlet. Any business you get from those sources should be immediately shifted into your ecosystem. Buy advertising there if you feel you must, but use it for free as much as possible. In other words, use them and take advantage of the free stuff, but never, ever, rely on them for your business.
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