“We can make it much harder. And that’s what we’re going to do…” -Mark Zuckerberg
Ok, I took that quote completely out of context. Sorry, Mr. Zuckerberg. But allow me to explain my frustration.
That quote was taken from this video where Mr. Zuckerberg discusses Facebook cooperation with the Russia investigation following the 2016 election:
The first time I saw that video, my first thought was “will Facebook take action against any American entities that use Facebook to influence foreign elections?”.
But then I mostly forgot about the situation. Or at least tried to. Until last week.
I had created a video for the Facebook Expat Flat page. Here is the video. It’s about a building that is for sale, not far from St. Petersburg, Russia:
Mark Zuckerberg has created a powerful tool in Facebook. And it’s probably because Facebook is such an effective communication tool, that it is now at the epicenter of the international political discussion. And if it weren’t effective, I also wouldn’t be frustrated with it.
For me, Facebook has been a great tool both for promoting Russian language blogs within Russia and promoting opportunities in Russia (like in the video above about the building) around the world.
And for the first time in a long time, I decided to promote a Facebook video ad in the USA. In this case, I was targeting Russian speakers in New York City as I felt they would be folks who would see the investment potential of the “fixer-upper” in question.
And my Facebook ads account was deactivated immediately following this.
I received automated questionnaires from Facebook asking for additional information about my account to help clear up the problem. I filled them out, providing all applicable information. I filled them out again. I did this ten times. Nothing changed. And no further explanation was sent me.
I don’t like to guess what the problem is. I would prefer to get a precise explanation from Facebook. But since that’s not happening, I am left guessing. Maybe social networks politics are affecting the small businesses of hard-working folks around Russia. I hope that’s not the case. And I hate the fact that this is even a thought that comes to mind.
On the other hand, there is more talk that Facebook will be blocked in Russia, just like LinkedIn was some time ago. This is because Russia requires web-sites that store Russian citizens data to do so on local storage.
If this happens, I am sure this will rile up the most indignant of us. But I also think that US citizens also want their data to be stored on US servers and comply with local law, so there’s that.
And after everyone is done being indignant, they will get back to work, hence unburdened from at least one distraction.