The online press, now blackmailed by Facebook for "referrer" traffic, is not pointing out something that is happening in the world, and that for Facebook is quite dangerous. I refer to the news that the Russian government is preparing to prohibit Google, Youtube, Facebook and other American socialists on Russian territory.
The news is found around the network,
If the question is "why have they never done it before" is that doing it is not easy, and the Telegram lesson was enough for him: Facebook is not only widespread in several autonomous systems around the world, but it is owner (directly or not) of different IXs, and moreover its innumerable CDNs are scattered everywhere, and (often) they are based on Amazon, which in turn has a very widespread network infrastructure, not to mention of other cloud storage like Azure, Google & co. Blocking Facebook is feasible, but not easy.
Now, apparently for the big OTT business losing Russia is not much of a loss: the amount of business they do in Russia is really small compared to the total. But what would be less if they were banned is Zuckerberg's narrative. Zuckerberg, along with other OTTs like Amazon, Apple & co used Russia as a scapegoat when he sent Trump to power in the US, and while he financed various populist movements.
This "Blame Russia" story has worked so far: everyone (or almost) believed in the neutral media that the Russians would abuse to manipulate election campaigns and make Trump or European populists win.
The trouble is that this narrative could collapse, and it could become clear to everyone that Trump is simply Zuckerberg's candidate, his puppet. And the same is true of all "sovereign" movements.
To tell the truth, this alibi had begun to creak for some time.
For example, at one point we noticed that all the sovranist parties, and therefore (according to Zuckerberg's alibi) pro-Russian are against Greta Thnuberg and her agenda. But just yesterday Russia signed the reduction agreement, because it fears both the thawing of the permafrost (official, though realistic) excuse, and the viability of the northern border by invading armies. The thaw of the cap, in addition to offering new trade routes, exposes 11,000 km of Russian coasts to easy attacks, and Putin's navy is not ready to defend 11,000 km of almost uninhabited coasts.
But now that Russia has signed the CO2 rupture agreement, the question is: if the European populist movements are all pro-Russian or paid by Moscow, why are they all against Greta and defaming them on social media?
I can suggest a hypothesis: the Facebook data centers consume a gozzillion of KWh of energy, producing a gozzillione of tons of Co2. And sooner or later someone will wonder what the hell we are sacrificing the means of transport (which all in all are useful) while we keep a life of monsters like the Facebook datacenters, for the sole purpose of sharing our breakfast.
What Greta fears is not Putin: it is Zuckerberg. Although Facebook claims to have made progress in saving CO2, the reason for keeping those energy-hungry monsters that are needed to make a Social Network go more and more incomprehensible, while we aim to change ALL the other habits we have, including habits that they maintain employment, industry and commerce. Sooner or later, on the ecological agenda, one must ask "WHAT IS THE CHANGE OF Facebook" pollutes more than all the cars in Washington. Why is it necessary to keep him on his feet when we are asking people to drop the car and take the rain on an e-bike?
Russia's adherence to the CO2 reduction agreement clearly shows one thing: that Russia's agenda and the agenda of the "sovranist" and "populist" parties diverge. But if they were Putin's puppets, this shouldn't happen. The "Blame Russia" theory has a flaw, and a big one.
Added to this is the persistent rumor that Moscow intends to ban Facebook, Google / Youtube and Instragram. A mess, because if they did the Russian narrative behind Facebook's disinformation would become unsustainable.
Moscow's policy is starting to diverge from populist politics, starting from Trump up to the individual European populist parties. And when this divergence is evident, the Blame Russia narrative will no longer stand.
At that point Zuckerberg will have to find another scapegoat to justify the fact that his social network is fomenting populism and sending populist parties to power. And it won't be easy, because so far all we see is that the propaganda tool of these parties is precisely "the social network".
Someone will start to notice that Huawei is the main competitor of Cisco and Juniper in the 5G world, that all Apple's competitors are Asians, that all social networks alternative to Facebook are in the Slavic world, (VK, OK, Yandex, etc ) and that at the end of the day Trump's policy on the various OTTs of the Internet is convenient, and how, because (said as it must be said) an ecological approach would inevitably target their datacenters.
An ecological tax on the energy produced from coal would not disturb the American industry, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF IT AND ITS colossal data centers.
The reason why Trump defends coal is not the 20,000 miners (which out of 180,000,000 votes are very few), the reason is the data centers of the big OTTs (Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft …), which would suffer very much of an increase in energy costs.
The lobby that supports coal is that of IT, the mining industry is an insignificant slice of American GDP, it has no strength. In defending coal, data centers are defended, which are a large part of the export of US services.
Moreover, it is a discourse that (laterally) we know: when we talk about Bitcoin, everyone points out that mining consumes a lot of energy, and that it happens in China because using coal, energy is very cheap. The link between computing power and coal is clear to everyone. Except when it comes to Facebook.
If Russia will ban Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, or just try (maybe fail), showing a clear hostility to these social networks, the "Blame Russia" narrative will no longer be sustainable. And someone might suspect the truth, and that is that behind the populist movements there are Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon & co.
Now the next question is: how does Facebook (but also google) check online printing? It's simple: it threatens them. And how?
Let's see. This is the traffic composition of this blog, organized by channel:
The "Organic Search" channel is made by search engines. "Social" is made by social networks, "direct" are those that have a bookmark or have me in chronology, or that read the blog via RSS, and then "Referral" are the links pointing here.
As you can see, I don't depend on anybody's shit: even if Google and Facebook censored my blog, I would lose only 23% of the traffic. I am completely independent, and they cannot blackmail me (also because I don't make money, so the maximum of blackmail would be to obscure me). Mark and Larry play him.
But if we now go to get a newspaper as a Republic, the situation is probably and plausibly different. It is easy to see, seeing the page shares, that a lot of traffic (which then turns into advertising) comes from Google and the Social. Not for nothing EVERY page in these newspapers has a "share" link.
I do not have the analytics data of these newspapers, but based on my experience in the analytics sector, I can safely assume that the situation for an online newspaper is exactly opposite to mine, and that 70% (or more) of traffic ( and therefore the advertising revenue of their websites depends on Google and Facebook.
What would happen if Google and Facebook went sideways and limited the presentation of pages of a site like Repubblica, or Corriere, or La Stampa?
They would close.
Google and Facebook have a gun pointed at the head of ALL the Western press. In practice, they control them in full. There is no longer a free press in the West: there is a press entirely subject to Google and Facebook.
And even if my spannometric estimate (I recognize it) was wrong, Google + Facebook contributed only 30% to the traffic (and advertising revenue) of these newspapers, I point out that with the EBT they have a tight censorship action Facebook and Google would still be enough to shut them down.
The truth is that even if the composition (by channel) of the traffic was EXACTLY the same as this blog, the boycott of Google and Facebook would be enough to shut down the online newspapers: a -30% of revenue does not make happy NO shareholder . The truth is that I do not care because I do not earn a penny: if this blog were my only source of income, I would be forced to dance to the music of Larry & Mark, exactly as happens to the youtubers who fear coming " demonetized ".
(note to myself: I should try to advertise porn sites on this blog, and see if it pays. Because if it pays, it would explain Google and Facebook's aversion to online porn. If you see stuff like that in the future , I'm doing an experiment to understand).
But the problem is of catastrophic proportions:
There is no longer any freedom of press in the West: all newspapers depend on their online magazine, and all online publications depend on online advertising revenues, which depend on traffic, which depends on Facebook and Google.
Google and Facebook completely control the Western press through the threat of limiting traffic along users' acquisition channels.
Now you understand why the news that the Russians want to block Facebook appears only on sites that have OTHER SOURCES behind them, like Forbes. The rest of the press is under the control of large social media and search engines.
And they do not like that the narrative of "Trump is all the fault of the Russians" can be cracked.
This is probably the only place where you will see it put in doubt. And where you will read about good reasons to think that Facebook & Google are trying to seize power throughout the western world, sending their puppets to power, like Trump, Le Pen, Grillo, Salvini, Netanyahu, etc.