Help Us Fight Back Against Facebook’s Conservative Bias

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Like everyone in the writing biz, we rely heavily on Facebook to drive traffic to our site. Nobody really likes this, but it’s just the way things are these days. So when Facebook made some changes to its algorithms a couple of years ago that were supposed to have a modest effect, we were pretty stunned when our reach plummeted. A few days ago the Wall Street Journal told us how this had happened:

In late 2017, when Facebook tweaked its newsfeed algorithm to minimize the presence of political news, policy executives were concerned about the outsize impact of the changes on the right, including the Daily Wire, people familiar with the matter said. Engineers redesigned their intended changes so that left-leaning sites like Mother Jones were affected more than previously planned, the people said. Mr. Zuckerberg approved the plans.

This would be easier to take if Facebook really did have a liberal tilt that needed correction. But it doesn’t. Its daily top ten list of news posts routinely includes something like seven or eight conservative sites. Its own videos warning against fake news provide examples solely of conservative misconduct. The problem is not that Facebook underrepresents conservatives. The problem is that it’s under constant assault from conservative politicians who make up weepy—and ridiculously fanciful—stories about how they’re discriminated against.

For Mother Jones, the result of all this has been a big loss of revenue, probably something on the order of half a million dollars. This is one of the reasons we do regular fundraisers: it costs a lot to produce our website and our magazine, and we have to make up for the loss of traffic that was deliberately engineered by Facebook two years ago. That’s why we’re doing one now.

I’m going to keep bugging you about this, because the world needs more outlets like MoJo, and I get that everyone might be a little fundraised out toward the end of an election season. But we’re a continuous operation, and we need to keep the doors open 365 days a year. So how about a little help making up for what Facebook did to us? Here’s the link for contributions:

https://secure.motherjones.com/flex/mj/key/7LIGHTB/src/7AHCK02|PAHCK02

You can contribute once or sign up for a monthly donation. And it’s tax deductible. The more you donate, the more you save!

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

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