December 13, 2019

A Brief Guide to Atheist Revolution's Facebook Page

Facebook connecting people

I maintain a page for Atheist Revolution on Facebook. I do so because having a presence on Facebook is good for generating blog traffic and because it provides people who still use Facebook with another way to interact with my blog content. Aside from maintaining this page, I no longer use Facebook. In this post, I am going to answer a few of the recurrent questions asked by those who visit Atheist Revolution's Facebook page.

What does this post have to do with atheism?

This is one of the most common questions I receive on Facebook, and I have answered it here. Since that answer rarely seems to suffice (probably because those asking the question do not bother to read it), I'll briefly address two similar issues that frequently come up.

But this is an atheist page! You shouldn't post anything that isn't about atheism.

This isn't a question, but I'll respond to it anyway. Please understand is that this is my Facebook page, and I created it to accompany my blog. I approach this page in much the same way I approach my blog, meaning that I will write about whatever I damn well please. If this bothers you, I hope you will soon find a Facebook page that better meets your needs.

Why do you post content related to politics? I'm not a liberal (or conservative), and I don't want to see that liberal (or conservative) crap! What does any of this political stuff have to do with atheism?

You are right that atheism itself has little to do with politics. In fact, I'm not sure it has anything to do with politics. On the other hand, some topics related to atheism have quite a bit to do with politics (e.g., public education, separation of church and state, reproductive rights). I post content that interests me, and I sometimes find political content interesting (although this is not as common an experience as it once was). As a freethinker, I often go out of my way to expose myself to political views that differ from my own. If you are attempting to prevent yourself from encountering political content with which you might disagree, you probably won't be happy with some of what I post here.

Why do you post links to content you didn't write?

I try not to do this often because I understand that it can be annoying. If you wanted to see someone else's content, you'd be following their page. Still, I do periodically share links to content written by others that I find interesting and/or thought-provoking. And every so often, I post a link to something written by another atheist blogger to bring his or her work to your attention. I've always appreciated it when others do this because it has often helped me discover new atheist blogs.

Why are there so many assholes leaving comments filled with name-calling, personal attacks, etc. on this page?

Relatively few of the people commenting here do anything like that. Those you are referring to make up a tiny minority of those who comment. As to why they do this, your guess is as good as mine. Some are probably trolls. Some are probably unhappy people who are angry much of the time. Facebook and other social media platforms seem to elicit this sort of behavior from people who might be decent in much of their daily lives offline.

I don't want to put words in your mouth, but I wonder if part of what you are asking is why I don't do more to stop this sort of thing. My expectation is that those commenting on the Facebook page will abide by my comment policy. This does not always happen, and I do occasionally delete comments and ban people from the page. At the same time, I don't spend enough time on Facebook for true comment moderation to be feasible. And besides, the problem seems to be small enough in scale that this seems unnecessary.

Why didn't you respond to my comment?

I don't spend much time on Facebook. I don't read every comment left there, and I don't always have time to respond to those I do read. Given the limited time I have available to allocate to blogging and related activities, I try to prioritize reading and responding to the comments left directly on the Atheist Revolution blog. I realize this is not ideal, but it is one of the compromises I've had to make as a small hobby blogger. Given the choice between writing a new post and responding to comments on Facebook, I am almost always going to write that new post. That means that if you really want to make sure I see something, you are encouraged to leave a comment on the blog.

If you hate Facebook as much as it seems, why are you still using it?

I started using Facebook to provide people on the platform with a way to interact with Atheist Revolution's content. I have continued to use it because it has been helpful in generating blog traffic. There are plenty of things I dislike about Facebook, and this list seems to get longer over time. I have cut back the amount of time I spend on Facebook, and I have been exploring alternative platforms. I am not quite ready to give up on Facebook, but I am periodically re-evaluating how much longer I want to contribute to their platform.