The director of Beware of Images, Sergio Toporek, has released the film online for free!
I am aware of the irony of trying to use a platform to warn others about its dangers, but there are two reasons to do so: 1- Facebook has become an almost absolute monopoly when it comes to our online social interactions and 2- The people that most need to hear the warning are those using the platform.
Unfortunately, our criticism of Facebook has resulted in our page being extremely marginalized by its algorithm. As of today, we are allowed to organically reach less than 5% of our followers. Anything beyond that, we would have to spend THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN PROMOTED POSTS in order to reach you. This issue, which affects all pages to different degrees, means that today Facebook is just one more pay-to-play channel where money equals speech. This is great news for deep-pocket advertisers, lobbyists and propagandists, but terrible news for community and educational pages [like Films For Action].
Another terrible consequence of turning Facebook into a marketing platform is that its monetization model is completely dependant on a clear segmentation of society. Are you a conservative or a liberal? Pro-choice or pro-life? Pepsi or Coke? The more accentuated the divisions, the better Facebook can serve its true paying customers: marketers, advertisers, lobbyists and propagandists. This is one of the reasons why Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook vice-president, expressed his regret over creating "tools that are ripping apart the social fabric” (in his own words).
As it stands, Facebook favors polarization over nuance, and paid propaganda over organic discourse. It has also become a dangerous tool when it comes to surveillance and censorship, and is a big contributor to the rise of narcissism in our society.
These are some of the reasons why the posts I’m sharing with you about the new Kickstarter campaign will be the last posts you’ll see from Beware of Images on Facebook. Once the campaign is over, I will post this image to all my pages and leave the platform indefinitely.
It really saddens me to do this. When I started the page almost a decade ago, I really believed that Facebook could become a great communication tool that would give an equal platform to all voices. I’ve spent countless hours and resources on this page and got to meet some pretty great people. That said, the time has come to accept that under the current circumstances, as Facebook amplifies the loudest, most divisive and better funded voices while censoring those who antagonize their agenda, I can’t justify my participation in it." — Sergio Toporek
In a time when the boundaries between journalism, public relations, marketing, disinformation and social interaction are blurrier than ever, media literacy education is the only way we can protect ourselves, our communities and our institutions from the corrupting influence of propaganda. It is also our best defense against the negative polarization being constantly instigated by our new media technologies, and our best chance at pressuring those in charge to change them for the better.
By supporting media literacy education, you will be contributing to a healthier media environment for everyone.