Since early June, The Western Journal has been engaged in communications with Facebook to determine why our two largest pages have been throttled by the social media giant.
For weeks, those conversations were to no avail, though Facebook assured us there were no flags or penalties against our pages.
Then on Wednesday afternoon, one day before The Western Journal was set to be represented at President Donald Trump’s White House social media summit by longtime conservative activist Herman Cain, that changed.
But first, some background.
The Western Journal operates several Facebook pages, but the largest by far are “The Western Journal,” with 5.2 million Facebook followers, and “Conservative Tribune by WJ,” with 4.2 million followers.
Prior to June 3, Facebook would normally show any given story posted on one of those pages to less than 1 percent of our audience.
Then in early June, we discovered that Facebook had drastically reduced our “reach” — Facebook’s term for how many people see the content posted from a page — even further. This despite the fact that Facebook would still take money from The Western Journal to advertise our page, and despite the platform’s assurances that we had not violated its guidelines.
Weeks of back-and-forth email exchanges between The Western Journal and Facebook did not help fix the problem.
Finally, The Western Journal received an email Wednesday stating that Facebook had identified a number of issues it was resolving, and that The Western Journal should expect to see increased traffic immediately as a result of changes being made by Facebook.
In fact, we had seen traffic rebounding about three hours prior to the receipt of that email.
Facebook’s email came one day before a White House social media summit, which has attracted criticism and ridicule from the establishment media.
“Trump invites right-wing extremists to White House ‘social media summit,'” CNN noted in its headline.
Among those so-called “extremists” are Charlie Kirk, founder of the conservative youth organization Turning Point USA; former journalist and current TPUSA chief creative officer Benny Johnson; undercover journalist James O’Keefe; national radio host Bill Mitchell; and activist Ali Alexander.
Also scheduled to attend was Cain, a successful businessman and activist who ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012 and was nominated earlier this year by Trump to be on the Federal Reserve Board before withdrawing his name from consideration.
Cain was set to bring up The Western Journal’s issues with a number of social media platforms, including Facebook — which was not invited — at the summit, though the platform told us Wednesday that the issues had been resolved.
Similar to CNN, other establishment media outlets also mocked the summit.
“Trump’s Social Media Summit Brings Fringe Voices to White House,” Bloomberg’s headline read. According to The Daily Beast, “Trump’s Social Media Summit Mortifies White House, Enrages Far-Right Allies.”
Previewing the summit Thursday morning on Twitter, Trump wrote that “A big subject today … will be the tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by certain companies.”
A big subject today at the White House Social Media Summit will be the tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by certain companies. We will not let them get away with it much longer. The Fake News Media will also be there, but for a limited period..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2019
“We will not let them get away with it much longer,” he added.
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