Is Facebook buying conservatives' silence?
Here's a post that appeared on my Facebook timeline this past Friday morning.
(The colored highlights are my own.)
Is it truly just an innocent offer to take part in a political survey?
Is it something I was chosen for because my regular, daily political statements on Facebook made me seem an especially appropriate choice for such a study about the up-and-coming U.S. election? Had I really been chosen for the same by some clever computer algorithm? Or was something else entirely actually happening? Was there some other reason for the offer?
By Sunday morning, I'd heard from two friends who had also received this same offer. Like me, both were outspoken, bold, and pretty articulate Trump-supporters.
Had, I wondered, any of my less politically minded friends been invited to participate?
No, not that I'd heard of.
And how about my bold and outspoken left-leaning, Biden-supporting friends? Had any of them been invited to participate? No. Again, at least not that I heard of or about.
The offer was for thirty dollars — to be paid to me for "participating" — this in the form of an unspecified "gift card." Or maybe more than thirty dollars — for the offer also spoke of "additional payment for deactivating and not using your [Facebook] account."
Was that really what this was about? Silencing me and my conservative, Trump-supporting pals? Keeping us quiet? For...yes!..."thirty pieces of silver"?
Maybe or maybe not. Frankly I cannot say for sure. But I have reason to be afraid. And that lack of trust is something that Facebook seems to be working very hard to deserve.