Facebook and Google have repeatedly blocked American Heritage's "political" content because they aren't smart enough to tell the difference between Russian trolls and a trusted, award-winning magazine.
Americans now average more than two hours a day on social media. And given the lack of knowledge about American history among too many of our citizens, it is imperative that American Heritage provide trusted information about our country on social media.
Our shared heritage is what makes us Americans -- but companies like Facebook and Google make it difficult and expensive to disseminate trusted information.
Facebook forces us to pay to have our posts seen by more than a handful of people. But these paid "boosts" of our content are often blocked by lifeless algorithms or "reviewers" who apparently have no idea what our articles are about.
Here are some of the American Heritage posts that Facebook has rejected for being too political in the last few months:
- Michael Beschloss on the first U.S. Presidents he remembered seeing and the dramatic surge in presidential authority that began in 1933.
- Sergei Khruschev's memories of JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis from the Soviet perspective.
- Susan Eisenhower on Ike's efforts to balance the Supreme Court by adding a justice of the opposing party.
- New evidence about Castro's possible advance knowledge of Oswald's plans to murder Pres. Kennedy.
- Larry Tye on the first look inside Sen. Joe McCarthy's secret files.
- Ray Locker on newly released files indicating Al Haig secretly worked to have Richard Nixon ousted as President.
- Our editorial lamenting vandalism of the statues of Marquis de Lafayette and other patriots.
What idiot can't tell the difference between this content and disinformation produced by a Russian troll farm?
Google is little better. We have gotten a notice EVERY DAY from them saying we are in violation of their standards since we published Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joe Ellis’s brilliant essay on Antonin Scalia’s argument on the 2nd Amendment case, DC v Heller.
The ironic thing is the 400 or so emails Google has sent us about this violation do not say what the violation actually is or how to fix it – just that a page our website of 50,000 pages is in violation.
To add injury to insult, over the last three years Facebook and Google have siphoned off virtually all website ad revenue from traditional publications such as American Heritage, leaving us with nothing but ugly intrusive ads that bring in pennies of revenue.
It is time to stop the predatory practices that are doing real damage to legitimate, trusted publications. We desperately need an electorate that has access to quality education, not just funny videos.
Stop blocking trusted content from getting to readers who want it and need it.