Read ELi Via Facebook? Here Are Three Things You Need to Know.

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Friday, December 27, 2019, 12:50 pm
Alice Dreger, Publisher

About two months ago, a colleague of my spouse came over to our home for an office party and said to me she was sad that ELi had ceased publication. I asked her what the heck she was talking about, particularly given that I’d been up most of the night before working on a breaking story for our readers.

Turns out she only accesses ELi via Facebook, and Facebook’s mysterious algorithm had decided she didn’t need to see our news anymore.

As you probably know, Facebook is a private, for-profit company that decides for you what you will see on Facebook, and it decides it according to Facebook’s advantage.

We can try paying Facebook to “boost” ELi’s posts, and we do sometimes. But we have absolutely no idea what happens with those boosts other than that they spend down donated money. Facebook shows us only vague metrics of what they’re doing with our advertising dollars. We hate spending donor money on ads that may be useless.

So what do we want you to know if you access ELi primarily or only through Facebook?

  1. Don’t. Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter which allows you to get a full recap each week of what we’ve published in one simple email. Alternatively or in addition, bookmark ELi’s website on your phone or computer and check it regularly.
  2. “Like” our page on Facebook. This appears to increase the odds Facebook will think you want to know what we’re publishing.
  3. Know that we are fund raising right now to try to ensure that we can be here for you through all of 2020 — and we have no idea if Facebook has let you know of our campaign. We are getting close to our matching-funds deadline AND closer to our goal, but we really need you to step up now because there are bonuses from NewsMatch that we are eligible for, if we hit certain metrics in terms of number of donors by December 31.

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