Am I supporting a conspiracy theorist by belonging to this FB group?
June 27, 2020 4:50 PM   Subscribe

Am I financially supporting a conspiracy theorist by belonging to this Facebook group?

Background: For the past 6 months or so I have belonged to a nonpolitical Facebook group that shares DIY tips. Earlier today the admin who "owns" the group accidentally posted on the group page something meant for his personal page. It was QAnon type conspiracy stuff blaming Soros, Gates, Rockefeller, etc. for the Covid 19 pandemic. I went to his personal page and everything he posts there was similar. He quickly deleted that post and made an apology post explaining the accident. If it weren't for the accidental post, I probably would never known about the other side of this guy. I spent a few hours deleting all of my comments and the few posts I have made, but I haven't left the group yet.

Would I be putting money in this guy's pocket by staying in the group?
posted by Daddy-O to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
AFAIK, the admins of Facebook groups don’t make any money directly from FB. So it’s not like he gets paid by FB or gets a cut of any FB ads shown in the group.

However, I know some group admins have made money by making sponsored posts. So he posts in favor of any vendors or products, and it’s a very large group, it’s possibly those could be making him money by virtue of access to that audience.
posted by a device for making your enemy change his mind at 5:32 PM on June 27, 2020 [6 favorites]

Just since it might be of interest: The Biggest Social Media Operation You've Never Heard Of Is Run Out Of Cyprus By Russians. I stumbled across this while trying to dig into "5 minute DIY crafts" after seeing a video that, among other things, indicated that you could graft together a watermelon and cherry tomato plant and it would result in tiny cherry-size watermelons. All of which to say is, this is how they get you. Come for the DIY, stay for the Qanon. (some HAMBURGER here)

You're just one number in his impressions, but yeah, his impressions get him money in some attenuated way. Honestly, leave the group because can you really rely on this guy's tips?

(note: you cannot graft plants together and get hybrid fruits from it. You can only get tomatoes from tomato flowers and watermelons from watermelon flowers and you can't hybridize those two species. They were just showing early watermelons.)
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 8:38 PM on June 27, 2020 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: OP here. To clarify, virtually all of the tips are given by the other members, not the admin. The group is kept strictly nonpolitical.
posted by Daddy-O at 4:28 AM on June 28, 2020

Best answer: You're just one number in his impressions, but yeah, his impressions get him money in some attenuated way.

Actually one of the things about Facebook is that the vast majority of the labour of content making and networking is done without any real compensation. Facebook knows, because the group is created with tags etc., that you are a DIY enthusiast and can serve you ads based on that automatically and directly without the person doing the work of the group admin seeing a dime. And in fact, Facebook uses him as a mark by “suggesting” he boost his posts for $$ (that is he pay them to promote his group) regularly,

He may be making money or receiving in-kind goods if:

- he posts sponsored posts...generally this is like 3 categories, either it’s a really big group, or it’s hyper-local (so the local pottery studio might compensate him), or it’s incredibly niche.
- he owns a business adjacent to the interests of the group, for example, fixing botched DIY Projects :)
- the group gives him offline currency to get proposals or deals forward, or community influence like running a huge neighbourhood group

Otherwise it’s not about money per se.

What it often is about, for all of us, including the reasons people post here on MetaFilter, is feeling knowledgeable and connected. By participating in his group you are giving him that sense and that may be a currency in the non-financial sense for you. This can go both can decide shunning is an appropriate answer and stop participating. Or you can decide that him knowing you may cause him to feel more pro-social, either individually in that he won’t go after you because he “knows” you, or collectively, like maybe liberals are not so bad cause they DIY too.
posted by warriorqueen at 6:25 AM on June 28, 2020 [6 favorites]

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