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Blake Dowling: The World-Wide Internets

The internet. The Final Frontier. To boldly post what no one has posted before.

These are the ramblings of me, on a never-ending mission to spread something you will find remotely helpful in your political, personal or business life.

Let’s talk about posting on Facebook. Do you post links from the press on a campaign or business page? In the past, you could post a link and yank the associated photo, changing it to something more crafted to your message or agenda.

This is no longer possible.

There have been those who have misused this feature, so the social media giant is trying to tighten things up.

For example, let’s say you post an article on Maxine Waters from CNN on your Facebook page, but replace her image that auto-populates from the article — changing it to Pee Wee Herman or Kathy Griffin.

You just might gain some new traffic with this clickbait-type tactic.

Long story short, Facebook doing everything they can to improve their cyber-integrity (to stop fake-news). So, while it is very annoying to me personally and professionally, this might actually do some good.

The official statement on the subject is here:

Speaking of Star Trek, the legendary character, Spock of Vulcan is back. Read here for more.

Now, back to the internet column … (I have some sort of cyber ADD going on, but I will try and keep the wheels on the road for the remainder of this piece).

Some might say Facebook is getting into the very delicate game of censorship vs free speech.

But those people would be wrong, as you must check the terms and conditions you agreed to when creating a page.

In essence, they can do whatever they want.

The days of Facebook and other social media used in politics are not over just because Cambridge Analytica went belly up and some Russians were indicted.

This month, we are seeing various groups use these platforms to steer policy. Two of them recently spent a lot of cash nationally — Judicial Crisis Network (formed in 2005 to support Bush judicial nominees) and Demand Justice (formed this year by Hillary and Barrack Campaign veterans).

The New York Times elaborates (in way too much detail) if you want to read more on them.

Granted, just like changing the editing link preview function, FB now regulates political ads with some new guidelines.

Just like a billboard, the ad must say PAID FOR BY someone in the ad. Guess what if you try and get around this, Facebook will yank your ads.

And just as I mentioned earlier — in regard to Terms of Service — they don’t owe you an explanation.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and state Sen. Kelli Stargel of Lakeland both had ads taken down, and they were not alone. Several state lawmakers were abruptly exposed to the new rules.

Facebook also wants to verify you are a U.S. Citizen, and they make public total spends by candidate, which is very cool (or shocking) to see. Danny McAuliffe with Florida Politics did a nice piece on this earlier in the summer on politicians here in Florida.

Thank you for reading, and keep the new rules in mind as they will affect all of us who use social media to push forward our various messages regarding The Process, our businesses … or cat pictures.

As we close, we bring you to an FBI alert about a letter that is going around saying they know about YOUR affair that you are having. Please report this to the FBI so they can catch those responsible.

Lastly, a sincere thank you to Tallahassee police officer Tony Carlson for helping a citizen in need, far beyond the call of duty.

Well done sir, we salute you.


Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. He can be reached at

Written By

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. His technology columns are published by several organizations. Contact him at or at

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