Facebook and the “Rowdy Republican”

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Eagles are cool y’all

So some entity called the “Rowdy Republican” is busy on Facebook, and while their output includes just what you’d expect (AOC is bad! Yay Trump! Obama gross!) it turns out that it quickly moves on to pumping a page where you can buy a book about diabetes that advises you to ignore your doctor or else.

The Rowdy Republican page, which has over 780,000 followers, is run by an affiliate marketer with a history of legal problems and deceptive practices. He is seeking to drive people to a site about “The Big Diabetes Lie,” which tries to convince people to purchase a $55 paperback book. According to the website, if you have diabetes and don’t purchase this book, you will soon die:

If you are OK with slowly losing your vision and then going blind as diabetes destroys the blood vessels in your eyes causing them to wither and die, if you’re perfectly fine with dying 9 years earlier, possibly not waking up tomorrow, dropping dead at any moment or having your legs amputated. If you are OK with not seeing your kids or grandkids grow up, then please, close this page and go back to what you were doing.

One of the leading medical experts in treating diabetes, Dr. David Goldstein, an endocrinologist affiliated with the University of Missouri, reviewed the website and told Popular Information that the information was “ridiculous” and contained “dangerous misinformation.”

So basically it’s the typical scammy bullshit that makes Facebook the dumpster fire full of toxic waste that it is, but just really extra successful (the page’s reach exceeds that of a number of major news outlets).

You might have though that Facebook’s new fact checking program might have helped, and in fact it was fact checked – by an outfit run by the Daily Caller, doughy white supremacist Tucker Carlson’s site. So yes, even more toxic sleaze in one place. (They rated it “true!” which I guess fits with their usual definition of “true.”)

Are you wondering why Facebook would turn to the Daily Caller for fact checking? Presumably to try to keep Congressional Republicans from yelling at them. Because the fact checking operation, like everything else at Facebook – the “privacy controls,” every statement made in public by Zuckerberg or Sanders, etc. – isn’t really about doing something right, it’s about protecting the realm.

No doubt some people with diabetes saw the picture of AOC, went to read more, and found themselves forking over money for a book on diabetes by people with no qualifications full of advice that will make them sicker. If you’re Facebook, the most important aspect of all that is: more engagement!

Shitty company, shitty platform, turning the world into garbage. Delete your account. Burn it all down.

(After this was reported, the diabetes stuff vanished. I guess they’re lining up a new scam for after the heat dies down.)

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