Thursday, October 22, 2020
Home Editor's picks OpIndia Vs Facebook: Reducing page reach from 20 lakhs to 2 lakhs, taking months...

OpIndia Vs Facebook: Reducing page reach from 20 lakhs to 2 lakhs, taking months to respond to emails

The biggest problem with Facebook is not just that they do not handle this platform in a neutral manner but that even if someone tries to correct their 'mistake' as per Facebook standards, they don't respond for months. As a consequence, a page suffers huge losses in terms of traffic and reach.

There has been a heated controversy regarding Facebook, of late. A lot has transpired in the last few days including the Facebook India chief appearing before a Parliamentary Committee and the Law Minister writing a letter with illustrations to the Facebook CEO. OpIndia also has its own experience to share on this issue, for we have been facing issues on the platform too.

Several questions have been raised regarding Facebook allegedly blocking the right-leaning pages and accounts. Obviously our own experiences of challenging the established Left ecosystem and treading off the beaten path have not been very good. Ever since we launched OpIndia Hindi, it has been catching people’s eye. We have constantly been at the target of the Communists ever since. But we faced the real persecution on the digital platform after Facebook launched latent attacks to stop us.

On many occasions, our Facebook reach was maliciously reduced down to 10 per cent from the usual. We were targeted for reporting the content that was already covered by various other media portals. This has now become routine. When we seek answers through mails, they take 40-50 days to respond. Various malicious tactics were employed to somehow reduce the reach of our Facebook page. The instant article service on our page was stopped. A direct impact of these tactics could be seen on the traffic on our page.

Let us clarify that the instant article service is the biggest demand of any digital media portal. This service allows readers to read an article on a website without wasting time and this also brings significant traffic to the website. To sum up, the instant article service benefits both the readers and the digital media. Many a time, OpIndia was prevented from reaching out to readers for frivolous reasons.

By July 13, 2020, the reach of OpIndia’s page stood at 20 lakh per day. However, we noticed that the traffic on our page began to fall again. From 20 lakh per day, the traffic fell to 1,71,000 per day. By this time, we were aware that Facebook has limited the reach of our posts. We tried to take this up with Facebook once again after which they said that they would check the quality of our page. On the contrary, it was clearly displayed on the page quality tab that this page was on the verge of being unpublished. A page is unpublished or taken down when there are at least three strikes on the quality page tab of Facebook, a ‘strike’ means facebook guidelines have been violated.

OpIndia has not actually violated any Facebook policies even once let alone three times. The one strike our page got was because of a report that we did on the tweet of Times of India journalist. A ‘dubious’ fact-checker website termed it as ‘fake news’ which was a bit strange. Even if that is taken to be a strike, how come our page came on the verge of being unpublished? And how does that explain the reduction in the reach from 20 lakh to 2 lakh?

What was more shocking to us what that this happened despite the fact that we had not violated any community guidelines on Facebook? Now the matter is around a month and a half old, but all we get in the name of response to our mail are the assurances that we would be informed of the updates, if any, in the matter. Neither have we been provided with any appropriate information nor has the reach of our Facebook page improved.

The first mail, in this regard, was written to Facebook on July 29. But instead of a satisfactory answer, we received the cliché ‘we are looking into it’. Now imagine how adversely the traffic on our website would have been affected in the meantime. Earlier, on September 25, 2019, our page was restricted for allegedly violating the community guidelines. On November 28, 2019, we demanded information from Facebook in relation to some of our posts that had allegedly violated the community guidelines.

After sending 22 emails (yes, 22 Emails), most of which were to remind that our previous mails were not addressed, they sent us some of our posts from December 2019 and told us that our page did not follow the image policy.

Isn’t that shocking? They showed us posts from December 2019 to explain why the instant article service on our page was suspended from November 2019. Anyway, this is hasn’t happened for the first time. We have been receiving such stupid replies from Facebook all the time. We have been noticing that the same images, the same stories are being openly covered by other media portals but they are not being countered in the same way.

For instance, a minor Dalit girl was gang-raped in Kaushambi, Uttar Pradesh on September 22, 2019. We did a report on the incident using a blurred image of the victim and the name of the accused in the headline. This report was taken down by Facebook without providing any reason. When we asked for an explanation, they pointed at the image we had used. Besides, we were told that AI decides which content violated the Facebook guidelines. Interestingly, the same report with the same image remained available on another website. If it was about the algorithm, a similar action should have followed on the other website as well.

This instance makes it clear that OpIndia was being targeted by some Facebook employees and not by AI. On many occasions, we have been asked indirectly to refrain from using certain words, phrases and diluting the tone of the report. On the other hand, several instances have come up where people were blocked by Facebook for using words like ‘Jai Shri Ram’, Jai Aanjaneya’ or ‘pig’. OpIndia had done a report back then on these issues. The report contained the posts of people whom Facebook had hidden.

The biggest problem with Facebook is not just that they do not handle this platform in a neutral manner but that even if someone tries to correct their ‘mistake’ as per Facebook standards, they don’t respond for months. As a consequence, a page suffers huge losses in terms of traffic and reach. The Facebook facility of redressal through mails exists in the name only. No actual redressal takes place there. They exhaust your patience by not responding to your mails in time and as a result, your website incurs losses for eight weeks straight. Thereafter, things begin to improve without any response.

This implies that Facebook gives veiled threats to use headlines as per their choice or else they will not just keep you waiting by not responding to your mails but will also reduce the reach of your page. Small portals give in to their bullying and refrain from reporting on a particular community. They even issue guidelines for their employees regarding the words not to be used.

Even today, we face the same problems using Facebook. OpIndia did not do any wrong and Facebook believes that too. Still, since July 13, 2020, we have incurred losses worth lakhs every week. But we haven’t been told so far when our issues will be resolved.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Punjab’s new Agriculture Laws are hogwash meant to fool gullible farmers, violates the constitution: Read how

The Essential Commodities Act passed by the Punjab govt contravenes the constitution, adds opacity and infringes on the centre

How do Customs officials remove gold concealed in the rectum of smugglers? Things you never thought you’d want to know

Customs officials convince the smugglers to eject the gold from their rectum, or extract with the help of doctors

21 October 1943: Netaji Subhash had formed the Azad Hind Government, India’s ‘declaration of independence’

On October 21, 1943, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose announced the formation of the 'Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind' or the provincial government of free India in Singapore and had declared war on the British Empire.

No, going to Dubai to buy the new iPhone 12 Pro is not cheaper than buying in India. Here is how

Dhruv Rathee criticised the 'Indian Tax System' by claiming that travelling to Dubai for buying an iPhone 12 Pro is cheaper than getting it from India.

Is somebody paying the “experts” to spread spurious narratives on Atmanirbhar Bharat?

A more self-reliant India, with a bigger industrial base, with lesser trade deficits was the need of the hour. Who could object?

Rahul Gandhi to help PFI member and Kerala-based ‘journalist’ Siddique Kappan who is accused of attempting to instigate violence in UP

The Congress leader met a delegation at Malappuram, Kerala on Monday and promised them to look into the issue of the arrest of 'journalist' Siddique Kappan.

Recently Popular

UK: 37-year-old paedophile named Rehan Baig jailed for raping chickens to death while his wife filmed it

Rhan Baig's wife had also joined him in the videos and at one point he alternated between having sex with his wife and the chickens.

Anti-Trump legal analyst of CNN and The New Yorker contributor suspended after masturbating on Zoom call

Jeffrey Toobin has offered an apology for masturbating on the Zoom video call and said that he thought he had put the video and audio on mute.

‘Comedian’ Agrima Joshua, who calls herself ‘feminist’, passes offensive sexual comments against woman due to political differences

Agrima Joshua had earlier found herself in a controversy after insulting the Shivaji Maharaj memorial during a performance.

During 26/11 Mumbai attack, Param Bir Singh refused to be on ground and take on terrorists, then Mumbai CP Hasan Gafoor had said

Hasan Gafoor, who was the Mumbai Commissioner of Police during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, had accused senior police officials, including Param Bir Singh of not taking on the terrorists.

Hyderabad: Hindu woman confronts boyfriend Syed Mustafa over marriage promises, stabbed to death by him and his brother

24-year-old Hindu woman was brutally stabbed to death by her lover Syed Mustafa and his brother on Saturday night at Rein Bazar neighbourhood of Hyderabad

Caught on camera: NCP’s Nawab Malik ‘predicts’ Arnab will commit suicide as he will be ‘trapped’ in TRP case

Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik insists that though the BARC letter clears Republic TV's name, the police investigation 'will find evidence' against Arnab.
- Advertisement -

Another contempt case? Prashant Bhushan targets CJI Bobde again, links his home visit during holidays with Madhya Pradesh MLA disqualification case

CJI is eligible for state arranged transport during visits to states, but Prashant Bhushan alleged CJI Bobde of taking favors from MP govt

Shahabuddin was a powerful ‘pawn’ under Lalu-led government in Bihar: Read how he dominated Siwan during the jungle raj

Shahabuddin was fearless because of the backing he got from Lalu Yadav, and in return, he made sure Lalu got votes in the elections

Maharashtra: Uddhav Thackeray government blocks CBI from investigating cases in the state, withdraws general consent

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday passed an order withdrawing its consent for the CBI to probe cases in the state

Punjab’s new Agriculture Laws are hogwash meant to fool gullible farmers, violates the constitution: Read how

The Essential Commodities Act passed by the Punjab govt contravenes the constitution, adds opacity and infringes on the centre

Paris: Two Muslim women stabbed under Eiffel Tower by white women shouting “dirty Arabs”

Two Muslim women were stabbed repeatedly under the Eiffel Tower on Sunday night by two white women who called them "dirty Arabs".

How do Customs officials remove gold concealed in the rectum of smugglers? Things you never thought you’d want to know

Customs officials convince the smugglers to eject the gold from their rectum, or extract with the help of doctors

Fake news peddler Prashant Kanojia granted bail by Allahabad High Court

Kanojia was also arrested last year for postin derogatory tweets aimed at spreading hatred.

Youth Congress chief spreads misinformation about Modi govt’s Bihar package, distorts statement of BJP chief JP Nadda

Youth Congress chief uses only a part of speech of JP Nadda to spread misinformation about Modi govt’s Bihar package

21 October 1943: Netaji Subhash had formed the Azad Hind Government, India’s ‘declaration of independence’

On October 21, 1943, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose announced the formation of the 'Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind' or the provincial government of free India in Singapore and had declared war on the British Empire.

China fines dairy company for ‘incorrect’ map of its territory in an advertisement, the company issues apology

China penalised Bright Dairy and Food for not showing 'complete and correct territory' of the country, which is a violation of laws

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
465,750FollowersFollow
18,800SubscribersSubscribe