DISLIKE: State Department spends $633,000 to increase Facebook “likes”

Promoted Facebook pages, we've all seen them sitting at the top of our newsfeed trying to make you like their page so they can expand their reach and/or customer base. But what would you do if you logged into Facebook and now a promoted post from the United States State Department?

Well, it's unclear exactly what type of Facebook campaign the State Department was running, but it seems that many of Americans may have experienced just that. According to a May report from the Office of the Inspector General, the department's Bureau of International Information Programs spent $630,000 on two Facebook campaigns to increase its number of followers on English-language Facebook pages.

Yes, $630,000 taxpayer dollars. Has Facebook invented a 'dislike' button yet? Now would be the perfect time.

TheBlaze.com is reporting:

"The campaigns were successful garnering more than 2 million new followers for each page — up from 100,000 — and it also increased following on foreign-language pages.

But those within the bureau questioned this practice, according to the report.

“Many in the bureau criticize the advertising campaigns as ‘buying fans’ who may have once clicked on an ad or ‘liked’ a photo but have no real interest in the topic and have never engaged further. Defenders of advertising point to the difficulty of finding a page on Facebook with a general search and the need to use ads to increase visibility,” the report stated.

For example, four of the bureau’s English-language Facebook pages are cited as having more than 2.5 million fans by mid-March of this year, but only 2 percent actually are engaged in activity on the pages.

“Engagement on each posting varied, and most of that interaction was in the form of ‘likes.’ Many postings had fewer than 100 comments or shares; the most popular ones had several hundred,” according to the report.

On Facebook, less engagement means less of a chance that any postings will make it onto users newsfeeds informing them of the bureau’s activities.

“This change sharply reduced the value of having large numbers of marginally interested fans and means that IIP must continually spend money on sponsored story ads or else its ‘reach’ statistics will plummet,” the report stated.

The other offices and bureaus of the State Department were found to have more than 150 social media accounts that are “wrestling with the issue of strategy and coordination” and having some overlap issues."

...

"The report recommends the IIP “direct its digital advertising to specific public diplomacy goals” that “find the right balance between youth and elite audience engagement.” It also states that a social media strategy should be adopted that actually drives engagement to accomplish the IIP’s goals.

It advocates that the public affairs office for the department work with IIP to coordinate regular meetings that would help get all parties working together without overlap.

The IG report stated that during its inspection the IIP stopped paying for advertising on Facebook as it evaluated its pages and program goals."

"I don't like the State Department in any sense of the word 'like.' I don't like it on Facebook, I don't like it with ham, I don't like it, Sam I am," Glenn said after seeing the report.

"Why would you — why, if you're the State Department, do you give a rat's anus about how many people give you the 'like' symbol, the thumbs‑up on Facebook," Pat added.

Stu noted that the 'likes' reached were artificial, which, if true, would mean the State Department spend over half a million dollars to expand their reach for a face value number that doesn't even increase their reach or influence across social media. Why made Stu ask the question, "Why do they care?"

"I really want to know?  Why?  Do presidents and prime ministers around the world go, 'Well, how many likes does the State Department have,'" Glenn asked jokingly.

According to the State Department they wanted to increase their pages 'likes' to increase outreach (or the amount of people their page reaches), but if the likes are artificial…they're not exactly reaching more people.

"It's not outreach when you're buying people," Stu noted.

"Are you Facebook liking anybody who has the State Department as part of their likes," Glenn joked.

And while Glenn and Stu are both right, the likes — if artificial — don't do anything to expand their reach, it could give off the perception that the public is more pleased with their performance than they really are. Odds are, after Benghazi, the State Department's approval rating isn't exactly off the charts, but they can give off the appearance of being more engaged with the American people than they really are.

While we're on the subject...you may want to dislike the State Department, but don't forget to LIKE Glenn & TheBlaze on Facebook!

Eric Weinstein, managing director of investment firm Thiel Capital and host of "The Portal" podcast, is not a conservative, but he says conservative and center-right-affiliated media are the only ones who will still allow oppositional voices.

On "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week, Eric told Glenn that the center-left media, which "controls the official version of events for the country," once welcomed him, but that all changed about eight years ago when they started avoiding any kind of criticism by branding those who disagree with them as "alt-right, far-right, neo-Nazi, etc.," even if they are coming from the left side of the aisle. But their efforts to discredit critical opinions don't stop there. According to Eric, there is a strategy being employed to destroy our national culture and make sure Americans with opposing views do not come together.

"We're trifling with the disillusionment of our national culture. And our national culture is what animates the country. If we lose the culture, the documents will not save us," Eric said. "I have a very strongly strategic perspective, which is that you save things up for an emergency. Well, we're there now."

In the clip below, Eric explains why, after many requests over the last few years, he finally agreed to this podcast.

Don't miss the full interview with Eric Weinstein here.

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Glenn Beck: Why MLK's pledge of NONVIOLENCE is the key to saving America

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Listen to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s pledge of nonviolence and really let it sink in: "Remember always that the nonviolent movement seeks justice and reconciliation — not victory."

On the radio program, Glenn Beck shared King's "ten commandments" of nonviolence and the meaning behind the powerful words you may never have noticed before.

"People will say nonviolent resistance is a method of cowards. It is not. It takes more courage to stand there when people are threatening you," Glenn said. "You're not necessarily the one who is going to win. You may lose. But you are standing up with courage for the ideas that you espouse. And the minute you engage in the kind of activity that the other side is engaging in, you discredit the movement. You discredit everything we believe in."

Take MLK's words to heart, America. We must stand with courage, nonviolently, with love for all, and strive for peace and rule of law, not "winning."

Watch the video below for more:

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Conservatives are between a rock and a hard place with Section 230 and Big Tech censorship. We don't want more government regulation, but have we moved beyond the ability of Section 230 reforms to rein in Big Tech's rising power?

Rachel Bovard, Conservative Partnership Institute's senior director of policy, joined the Glenn Beck radio program to give her thoughts and propose a possibly bipartisan alternative: enforcing our existing antitrust laws.

Watch the video below:

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Dan Bongino, host of The Dan Bongino Show, is an investor in Parler — the social media platform that actually believes in free speech. Parler was attacked by Big Tech — namely Amazon, Apple, and Google — earlier this week, but Bongino says the company isn't giving up without a fight. In fact, he says, he's willing to go bankrupt over this one.

Dan joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail what he calls a "smear" campaign behind the scenes, and how he believes we can move forward from Big Tech's control.

"You have no idea how bad this was behind the scenes," Dan told Glenn. "I know you're probably thinking ... well, how much worse can the attack on Parler have gotten than three trillion-dollar companies — Amazon, Apple, and Google — all seemingly coordinated to remove your business from the face of the Earth? Well, behind the scenes, it's even worse. I mean, there are smear campaigns, pressure campaigns ... lawyers, bankers, everyone, to get this company ... wiped from the face of the earth. It's incredible."

Dan emphasized that he would not give up without a fight, because what's he's really fighting for is the right to free speech for all Americans, regardless of their political opinions, without fear of being banned, blacklisted, or losing jobs and businesses.

"I will go bankrupt. I will go absolutely destitute before I let this go," he said. "I have had some very scary moments in my life and they put horse blinders on me. I know what matters now. It's not money. It's not houses. It's none of that crap. It's this: the ability to exist in a free country, where you can express your ideas freely."

Watch the video below to hear more from Dan:

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