#ScotRef events will be more successful if more people are aware of them, and if more people attend them. Facebook helps amplify our events.
Facebook has over 31m registered users in the UK. If you want to get your product / service in front of a lot of people, there is fast becoming no better way to do that, than to use Facebook. However, recently I’ve seen a #deletefacebook campaign (ironically on Twitter) that seems to be gaining momentum.
I am not sure if there was a particular incident, article, TV programme, or annoying advert that prompted @neilmackay to post the above Tweet, but obviously his point of view has had some traction. But let me state this clearly: if you are a #ScotRef event organiser you HAVE to take advantage of Facebook. Our campaigning will play out heavily on this platform.
Perhaps it was this article in The Guardian Facebook employs political aids that raised Neil’s hackles. Or this one highlighting the role it played in depressing the Clinton vote in the last US Presidential Election. There are certainly a lot of things to dislike about this particular American Corporation.
Top of my list is there shady business practices. Facebook paid less than £5,000 in UK corporation in the UK in 2015. I remember seeing and disbelieving the headline on the news the morning of the revelation. That same morning, I cast my eyes over my inbox to see the detail of the email from my accountant: Facebook paid less corporation tax than my tiny event business!
Facebook made over $4Billon profit that year and stated that its profits in the UK were 0.00005% of their turnover. If that’s the case, the company is clearly run by eejits eh?
The legal case for Facebook to pay a higher percentage of their turnover is black and white: they have done nothing illegal. The moral case for Facebook is equally clear: they have done nothing right.
Such bad business practices alone should be enough for the “intelligent and honest” to heed Neil’s clarion call and ditch the platform. However, if those honest and intelligent people stop engaging and using the platform, then we leave it open to the total abuse by the acolytes of Trump and Farage. If we do not engage we are complicit in placing the power in their hands.
Facebook is a crucial tool for #ScotRef Event Organisers says Scientist (kind of)
Dana Fisher @ is an American Scientist, who does nothing else (it seems) but study Protests and Protesters. Her belief in the power of Facebook as a campaigning tool is clear:
Facebook is an invaluable amplification tool. And importantly for our movement it is FREE. An event can gain literally thousands of attendees from a smart use of Facebook.
So, should #scotref event organisers use Facebook? Well, we are all too aware of the negative aspects of this social media platform but we also have to be aware of the benefits to the #ScotRef movement. We have to understand it and use it. So, if you are organising a #ScotRef event don’t #ditchfacebook. Hold off displaying that anger, and let it boil over when Scotland sets and enforces its own corporation tax.
If you are interested in contributing to my work on a live engagement strategy for the YES movement please get in touch.