7/24/21: Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire

IG’s a funny experiment when it comes to observing human behavior. Those who post, have a reason for posting. If there wasn’t a reason, one wouldn’t post. Sounds simple, but impt to lay that foundation.

Now, those reasons differ across a ridiculously wide spectrum. It’s everything from feeling good when ppl hit “like,” to enjoying comments on an outfit, to showing off, to trying to portray a best life, to trying to be real, to filling a void. Just some of the many reasons ppl post.

In the advocacy world, if your primary focus isn’t selling a product/service, then at least one of your primary (& maybe your only) reasons for posting is – you enjoy helping others & bringing abt change. Change of thought, policy, societal norms, etc.

It’s OK whether you advocate to a community of 200 or 2Mill that you WANT your voice heard & your posts seen. Advocacy provides purpose. Nothing wrong w being driven by purpose.

How do you measure impact? Personally, I go less by “likes” & more by views. Advocacy is abt getting ppl to see things in a new way. I’d rather 1Mill views & 1 like, than 10k views & 10k likes.

This is why for so long, I’ve been going BONKERS abt IG’s (& let’s be honest, other SM channels’) suppression/censorship. I noticed it abt 2 yrs ago as our fbook was reaching 50k, & IG abt 10k.

Since we can’t see the Wizard behind the curtain, it took some investigative work. And then I found the pattern. In this space, the issue isn’t talking MH, generally. The issue is saying anything that prevents their advertisers from selling more product: pills/services like online talk solutions.

The diff may be nuanced/subtle to the casual user, but it’s a BIG deal: talk abt MH thru – labels, disorder, diagnosis, DSM5, “affected groups,” sick vs able, terrible symptoms, how “others should treat us,” & there’s NO censorship. Why? Bc these concepts separate us into buckets, & when we’re in buckets, we feel alone, isolated, & believe we NEED specific targeted products/services to “fix” us.

But to the casual user, these accts talk abt “MH” & they don’t get suppressed, so clearly IG has no bias, right? Wrong.

They know who butters their bread. It’s their advertisers. Consider this: if we or other MH advocacy pages talk abt: healing in a group setting, using supplements, finding STARR Exercises at home you can do for free in front of a computer, how we can come together & feel less alone, why MH is about common challenges & then changes to our neurobiology that can be worked on…& not “imbalances unique to the sufferer” – do these messages we share hurt or help their advertisers selling the ideas that pills fix us, singular modalities like a meditation app fix us, & engaging in talk or text therapy thru a screen fixes us?

Do you see now why they don’t want these msg out there? Do you see now why they make changes to algorithms & terms & even as we’ve seen the past few days, options in our settings that are auto chosen for us? Finally the past few days (whether you believe these impact our feeds or not), a LOT of content creators are speaking out, bc they are all being impacted by these IG decisions (ones we aren’t even told abt before they are implemented). I’m not in the space of these advocates (I stay in my lane), but the fact that so many individual/group pages are speaking up at the same time, says something. Where there is smoke, there is fire. I HATE censorship. I think ppl should be able to search info on their own, weigh what they read, & make the best decisions for THEM/their family.

So we have no choice. If you like the messages of other pages/advocates, there’s only one way to get those messages out further – support. Banding together: 1) turning on notifications for them, 2) commenting on their posts, 3) sharing their posts, 4) saving their posts for times you want to go back to them. These are things an algorithm can’t fully stop & for now, it’s our best collective fight against their tactics. Where there is smoke, there is fire. Too many advocates from many cause areas, are speaking up – at the same time, noticing the same thing, for this not to be a true issue. We must continue to be loud & call this all out. This post will prob be censored or I’ll have to take it down. But that’s ok. Whoever sees it & hears it & shares it – it’s worth the effort even if they erase & penalize. We gotta get folks to know this is going on & how to fight back.

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