This email was sent to Mark Zuckerburg and Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook on Sept 19, 2018. I have not heard back from them till date.
Mark, Sheryl –
My name is Sree Iyer and I am the Editor of an India-centric blog site https://www.pgurus.com. I live in the Bay area and cover 4 aspects of India – Politics, Business, Culture, and Investment. In a short period of 2 years, PGurus.com has established itself as a credible voice on India. I am told that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi reads many of our posts. On average, we do 2 posts, of about a minute each reading time – in 2 minutes, the reader knows the most important things to know about India. I am frequently on Indian TV channels at Prime Time, as a neutral voice of an author (I have published 4 books till date).
Why am I writing this email
PGurus is self-funded and has grown quickly in the last two years, thanks to Social Media. Our posts used to attract a large viewership, especially on Facebook Pages, some of which would post PGurus articles. For the past several months, I have observing a drastic fall in the Reach of these posts on several Pages, including the official Page https://www.facebook.com/pgurus1/. The same post will have a 100 to 1 variance in Reach on different pages, posted at more or less the same time. I have done research on this and will be happy to share with you (I live in the Bay area and can drive to meet with you for about 30 minutes).
What is the goal?
The goal is to present the facts as PGurus sees it and allow you and your team to respond to our questions. The general buzz in Indian Social Media is that Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are harsher on Right Wing voices. A noted writer, author and critic Tarek Fatah, based in Canada tweeted this out in November 2015:
— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) November 30, 2015
I hope this is not true and that Facebook treats all users equally. If I had architected the code at Facebook, I would have used algorithms to filter out the millions of posts and then only a small subset would then be looked at by humans. Assuming this is true, there are many ways in which an algo can be gamed and I am wondering if something of that nature is at work.
If one of you (or a senior member of Facebook responsible for filtering content) can meet with me for an hour, I can present the data and may even be able to demonstrate my points live (we should have the meeting in the morning time in the US – then it is easy to show what I mean). I hope to hear from you soon.
For more in-depth reading on this topic, read 15 months of Fresh Hell for Facebook.