Facebreak: Our Newsroom’s Two-Week Trial Separation from Facebook
June 8, 2020
It’s been an ongoing discussion here at ecoRI News whether to leave Facebook.
On the one hand, Facebook allows us to distribute our content to a wider audience. However, many people on the platform simply like or comment on a story post without actually clicking the link to read the story. And Facebook’s algorithms are such that many of our Facebook fans never even see our content.
Worse, Facebook has engaged in troubling behavior with respect to the data security of its users, the spread of misinformation, and an abdication of responsibility when it comes to misinformation.
And then, just recently, the company took a hands-off approach to the president’s inflammatory post about protests over the police killing of George Floyd. That was the last straw.
By feeding our content for free into the maws of Facebook, we began to wonder if we’re tacitly contributing to the deterioration of media, civic discourse, and democracy.
So, we’re going to take a two-week break (that break began June 4) from Facebook and see how not posting impacts our content engagement and web traffic as we reassess how Facebook (and Instagram, which is directly controlled by Facebook) fits into our nonprofit news model and our values as an organization.
If you are a reader who traditionally finds our content on Facebook, you can bookmark our home page (www.ecoRI.org), which is updated daily, and, if you haven’t already, you can subscribe to our free weekly e-newsletter www.ecoRI.org/read. Please feel free to provide feedback in the comments section below.
Joanna Detz is the publisher of ecoRI News.
Publisher’s note: ecoRI News received a $5,000 emergency COVID-19 grant from the Facebook Journalism Project in early April. That grant went to fund our news team’s reporting on COVID-19 and its intersection with the environment and the environmental movement. The grant didn’t influence our decision to stay on or leave Facebook.
Join the DiscussionView Comments
Your support keeps our reporters on the environmental beat.
Reader support is at the core of our nonprofit news model. Together, we can keep the environment in the headlines.