An Open letter to Facebook

Facebook needs to be more transparent about how its algorithms work and why the same post published on different pages at the same time perform differently


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:

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.

Moving forward

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.

Best

Sree Iyer

For more in-depth reading on this topic, read 15 months of Fresh Hell for Facebook.

Team PGurus

We are a team of focused individuals with expertise in at least one of the following fields viz. Journalism, Technology, Economics, Politics, Sports & Business. We are factual, accurate and unbiased.

1 COMMENT

  1. One fails to understand FB / Twitter practical implementation of their respective “mission, vision and values” if any!

    In most of the cases it has been anti-right wingers. There is no neutrality even amongst the Founder Members/ Directors. Most of them are biased and sympathizers of leftists ideology. But in private they are capitalists!

    When the organization grows exponentially in short time, it gets confused and loses focus and principles go out of the window. Business model chases hot money under non-disclosure agreements. Politician in them comes out. Slowly Directors start their own shops elsewhere.

    Seventy percent of the Technology is developed in India (back office of the world) for 15% maximum CTC of what is offered working abroad and the remaining technology is further upgraded with patents abroad and in specific countries.

    Emails sent to the highest are ignored or forwarded to HR’s inbox. In India HR thinks he is “above all”. Be-all-end-all !

    When MNC CEOs visit India, we extend huge support, give virgin lands on subsidy (not waste or non cultivable lands) to establish their swanky offices and allow them all kinds of tax breaks and allow them to import the junk/second hand goods/equipment to destroy our land, water, air, environment/ecology and use their names just to enter 30 States and 7 UTs politicians list of achievements to claim such and such MNC is operating with a head count of 80 to 2000 as special exemption zoners !! Just one political appointee looks after everything!!

    As a world’s leading information technology manpower supplying young nation why we still depend on some foreign company invented social media platform? How long do we intend to work as a back office of the globe supplying cheap labor? Nation is killing innovative brains and creativity which peters out after 28/30 years of age?

    Sree Iyers ji pursue your request for an appointment with FB top notch.

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