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Unilever is latest brand to boycott Facebook (npr.org)
134 points by klelatti 17 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 106 comments

What's interesting here is that these big brands see Facebook advertising as non-essential to their business. I suspect a large part of Facebook's market cap may rest on the assumption that it's an essential advertising outlet. If so, the knock-on effect of this would be much larger than just the loss of revenue, hence Zuckerberg rushing out a response.

The new dot com bubble is here: it’s called online advertising https://thecorrespondent.com/100/the-new-dot-com-bubble-is-h...

eBay stopped online advertising and the traffic changed from paid links to unpaid links.

>The experiment continued for another eight weeks. What was the effect of pulling the ads? Almost none. For every dollar eBay spent on search advertising, they lost roughly 63 cents

It turns out that brand keyword advertising metrics are misleading, especially for established brands. Boycott gives opportunity for Unilever take a pause and run the experiment.

ebay just stopped paying for people who search for "ebay" and related. (these are called "brand" keywords). that's a completely different statement than saying advertising is a fad. depending on the business it may be but ebay definitely spends a ton on keywords with buying intent. FB is in a very different market from both brand keywords and non-brand high intent keywords.

>completely different statement than saying advertising is a fad.

Nobody is saying that.

There is sickening commenting trend where people take maxim of every argument, then argue against that.


I would push a little further and say that this is a component of Western thought - binaries, enmity and polemics. The disjunction between the metanarrative of what our system is - a democracy based on equality - and what our system is - pro-slavery. The result is we blame, individuals or groups of individuals like 'woodpushers' when it is the entire logical order. Just try breaking any of our main socially-organizing binaries: Male/female (be trans!) or black/white (everyone is both!), sexuality(be pan-sexual!), class (celebrate being poor!) and so on. We meet in enmity to decide what of these categories we are (without ever uttering it) and then we argue our own truth, generated from within, and argue it to the death. Just like folks will when they read this. Go a piece of the way with this. Do some reading - Spivak, Mbembe, Benedict Anderson, Roedigger - there are decades of theory and meaning out there that is now mainstream. The problem is not the 'bad folks' - it's our own western solipsism.

Alternatively it’s a signal that FB no longer holds most relevant data. They used to be able to market themselves as indispensable marketing tool (and they were) but that’s changed dramatically in the past couple of years. I imagine Apple played a bigger role than people realize.

The article is half truth because Unilever has exited advertising from ALL social media platforms including Twitter, not just FB.

I'm not sure if it necessarily means Facebook is non-essential. This actually makes me think social media has entered a deep stage of maturity. Anyone else here remember how advertisers were primary regulators of content on TV? That unusually offensive content was avoided out of fear that companies would pull their commercials? I think we see the Facebook has now entered this stage.

It's an interesting perspective, yet a TV a ban on 1 show or network was pretty limited for the advertiser since there was proper regulation on media at the time. I.e. dropping the most popular news program still left you with ~50% reach in the same category on the other 2 networks.

An advertiser dropping a major tech company today is refusing to be seen in all social contexts of one type, or all searches, etc.

If advertisers go ahead with this on a permanent basis it is a very interesting message, and I think we don't know so much about this since our past regulations were really based on outcomes with individuals and small companies as the victims of bad markets.

CPG brands are not core to FB's revenue growth. In general, FB make most of their money from direct response advertising, rather than brand advertising.

Additionally, the CPG model of ad buying doesn't make a lot of sense for eithe Google or Facebook, I'm not sure that this boycott makes much difference from a revenue perspective.

However, because Unilever are so huge, it probably does make a difference from a PR perspective, which is why we see lots of articles about this.

Bold of you to assume Unilever has so little understanding of their consumer that they are relegated to the metrics they collect from their vendor.

Facebook is a fat red X for young new markets who increasingly eschew it's tone-deaf cash cow platform for increasingly less commoditized alternatives. what once stood as a beacon of unity is now an increasingly ugly and divisive platform that's outlived its original purpose: predatory surveillance capitalism. Brands are in my opinion evolving, and using zuckerbergs increasing incompetence as an excuse to loose themselves from contracts.

Member since the student requirement. I must have missed the "beacon of unity" phase. It is just another website.

I remember other websites providing similar functionality around the time Facebook appeared (not MySpace, Friendster, or any of those), including the ability to see who last visited your page: other members. You could then go visit their page. AFAIK, Facebook never had that. Instead it had "poke". If today you could see who is accessing your Facebook page, it would probably inhibit you from posting so much personal content. The entire design of today's Facebook is to dissuade you from activiely checking friends' or potential friends' pages on your own initiative. Instead Facebook wants to "feed" you content from other members (and advertisers). Default settings and behaviour discourage exploration and encourage relying on "suggestions" (by Facebook) instead. They even go so far as to ask for money to "promote" your page to others.

I remember a time when all my friends were on Facebook. Being able to connect in a concrete way with people that lived far far away seemed magical. Facebook was that scrappy SV upstart that wanted to change the world and provided an ads free experience focused almost completely on people. It seems like a hazy memory, but I do remember liking it and imagining it as an agent of good in the general scheme of things. Very different from the toxic wasteland it is today.

I wasn’t really all that surprised how it went. But then again, when The Facebook first expanded to my campus, I used it to run targeted attack ads on student government candidates, as an independent expenditure unaffiliated with any candidate or campaign committee. Maybe I was the cancer that is killing Facebook.

But I pretty much left Facebook when they introduced the News Feed — that’s when I realized they were after all of our privacy.

I probably just don't use it enough to understand this perspective, but why is it a toxic wasteland? My facebook feed has my friends from college, family far away, etc., and yeah there's an occasional political argument from time to time, but if anyone gets annoying you can just block or unfriend them, so...?

It's just so easy for a naive and trusting person to be pulled into an information bubble. Like a few off topics and then get all the confirmation-bias support you would ever need with no "need" to go search out countering information.

If we really take the macro view, it seems Facebook is a bank which can print money at its whims.

Sure, advertises commit their billion dollar adspent but Facebook can always claim their commited amount have been spent and populate the dashboards with realistic data.

The big brands do not base their ad expense on specific metrics like small businesses do. Once you are big enough to make billions, chasing matrics results limiting your market.

This doesn’t resonate with me at all: at those scales there are entire teams dedicated at tracking impact and outcomes of said spend on the advertiser side. Sure FB could lie about the metrics, but won’t be able to keep that up for long (matter of weeks).

If your CTR on ads drops for all advertisers on facebook. What can you do? How can you figure out of its just a technical glitch or someone purposely wrote bad code to create this situation where Facebook is benefiting at expense of every other advertiser..

Infact, Facebook can hire a residential IP service provider like Luminati and use bots to click their advertiser's landing pages in name of malware checks and bill them and later when caught say "ohh we made an error" then even your CTR or landing page tracking metrics are going to fail.

I come from adtech, so I know what is possible in this space and what my smart colleagues are capable of doing.

Remember when fb inflated video view counts to bring more advertisers?

Nobody should be trusting ad metrics from them

Or when they collected the wrong passwords you entered and used then to try to access your other web accounts to collect data?

>Or when they collected the wrong passwords you entered and used then to try to access your other web accounts to collect data?

...what?! Do you have a source on that I can read? I thought my opinion of facebook couldn't go lower...

One big reason that Big Brands advertise is to drive up the ad price and block out smaller competitors by raising the cost of entry.

Even more so if sales increase over this, may become marketing to not be upon facebook - then thinks would suddenly turn.

It's interesting that no advertisers had even a hint of concern when informed about the massive privacy invasions, many of them highly illegal, that Facebook performed for a profit.

This is because not enough people were actually upset about that... there are enough people upset about the latest rounds of scandals that advertisers are deciding it is worth pulling advertising.

That, or they are realizing they aren't getting a good ROI on facebook ads and figure now is a good time to pull out.

I think the latter reason is correct. If it were an important generator of business they would never leave. Its clearly not as valuable to them as maybe Facebook thinks it is.

A significant portion of advertising is about building brand identities and associations in consumers' minds, not about driving direct sales.

This is why some companies worry so much about their ads appearing next to objectionable content. They're not trying to get you to go buy something: they're trying to get you to associate their brand with a certain lifestyle and identity.

If the context changes so those associations become negative, the value of that advertising can swing rapidly.

That's an excellent observation. Are enough people angry at Facebook for not interfering in public discussion?

Probably because they all participate along with Facebook in the same anti-privacy racket.

Is it interesting? It's pretty obvious that all people and all companies cannot be upset about all things all of the time.

The fact that some people and some companies get upset about some things some of the time is actually a massive improvement over how it was in the 90's and earlier. A sea change.

Fox News has been the target of an ad boycott every year or two for the past decade. They did not lead to any meaningful change.

Every time they get rid of the most egregious hosts and replace them with new ones. The new ones start out moderate, then inevitably drift to extremism. The advertisers have plausible deniability for half of their employees and customers. The other half don't care or are cheering Fox.

Mutual fund companies do something similar with underperforming funds. They cull the worst performers and the remainder make the whole fund family look good due to the magic of survivorship bias.

Facebook is obviously drastically different than Fox. That said, they are a large company and organizational inertia is very hard to overcome. Right now FB is optimized to promote quantity of engagement without regard to quality. Turning down the heat and promoting civility would result in fewer posts, which would mean fewer ad impressions. That's not happening.

Fox News doesn't change because apparently they don't get most of their money from advertisement, but rather from cable bundling


I'd imagine individual shows are still more wholly tied to ad dollars. Doesn't defeat your point.

Agreed. Another reason, besides inertia, is that optimizing for quantity of engagement is something you can program a computer to do, reasonably easily (although I'm sure they're very good at it). Optimizing for quality of engagement is, if not impossible, then at the very least a lot harder. It would probably also require a LOT more moderation, and that brings with it a whole host of other political landmines.

It is worth considering, that a "link everyone to everyone, without any particular topic or purpose in mind" social network, is just a bad idea. Goodreads, LinkedIn, StackOverflow, they're none of them perfect, but they're all a lot better than Facebook. They also all have some purpose. I think Facebook may not be fixable. So long as it makes money, though, it will not go anywhere.

Fox News has dropped anchors because of ad boycotts.

The cynic in me thinks this could be a great way to cut costs in preparation of the Greater Depression while hiding behind a worthy PR cause.

Unilever has made a statement saying they are shifting the money to other advertising companies but are not planning on cutting back on ads.

Did they mention who exactly?

Don't forget that loudly leaving and quietly returning is the nature of many supposed changes in the world.

This reminds me of congressional hearings where $tech_exec_du_jour gets grilled publicly, and begged for funds privately.

It also reminds me of a remark from Henry Paulson about a conversation with Barack Obama during the latter's campaign, which took place in the midst of the financial crisis. Paulson recalls (https://youtu.be/QozGSS7QY_U?t=2166):

""" He very nicely warned me: 'You better take care of the Republican candidate because if I start hearing populist anti-bailout rhetoric from him, I'm going to have to start talking that way'. """

The fact I registered that nonchalant remark probably is telling of why I wasn't drawn to operate in politics where shape shifting is sine qua non.

Speaking of Facebook, you could see Joel Kaplan, Facebook's VP of Global Policy, also known as the guy sitting behind Zuckerberg in practically every hearing, in some shots.

EDIT: confusing quote edited as per https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23658571.

Your quoting is unparseable without watching the video...

Paulson said about Obama: "He very nicely warned me, 'You better take care of the Republican candidate, because if I start hearing populist anti-bailout rhetoric from him, I'm going to have to start talking that way.'."

I.e. Paulson claims Obama said the sentence starting with "You better...".

And just reading this sentence makes me wonder what the context of why Obama said this.

>Facebook brought in nearly $70 billion in advertising revenue last year.

What % of that was from companies that are now boycotting, including Unilever?

I have to imagine a company like Unilever was spending no small sum on Facebook ads.


This article has some more details about some large companies spending habits on FB ads, including this quote:

> The consumer products giant has spent more than $11.8 million in the U.S. this year on Facebook, according to marketing analytics firm Pathmatics.

I’m shocked a mattress company that I’ve never even heard of spends that much on facebook ads.

I too am surprised.

This mattress company [1] was founded in 2015 and acquired for $1.1 billion in 2017. That’s an exit comparable to Instagram in speed and scale.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_(company)

> Unilever, the maker of Dove soap and Hellmann's mayonnaise, will stop advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the U.S. through the end of the year. The company cited a need to end divisiveness and hate speech during a polarized election season.

Why was Twitter included in this?

> Why was Twitter included in this?

Have you ever been on Twitter? It's not exactly where you go to look for inspirations for best human behavior, compassion and inclusiveness.

Probably because Unilever thinks Twitter is a source of divisiveness and hate speech.

Probably because the recession side effects are real, and advertisements are costly.

I would bet that marketing departments for companies like Unilever have a hard time showing ROI on Facebook advertising. Why not get some marketing attention for cutting your spend?

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Facebook ad that wasn’t trying to get me to do something, to go to some page or to click through to a store full of tracking garbage and buy something. Surely for all of those you can very easily measure RoI?

I’d understand this argument for something like YouTube where most ads seem to be TV style and not trying to get me to click away to buy something immediately, but Facebook ads seem to always want me to go do something they can trivially track.

Advertising isn't necessarily about buying something right now. There is some focus on building familiarity so the next time someone buys something they buy [brand X].

The ROI of that effect is typically real, noticeable and impossible to directly attribute.

That doesn't mean that works for them. I hope the vast majority of purchases of Dove, Breyers, Klondike, Lipton, Vaseline, etc. can't be connected to social media impressions.

Yeah, not just ROI, even within Unilever, no more unicorn colored toothpaste for kids or Daniel Craig co-branded deodrant for getting laid quickly, since the movie has been postponed. Recession brings a lot of conservatism in the big corporations, and when the new products aren't being launched, not much to advertise!

> Unilever, the maker of Dove soap and Hellmann's mayonnaise

They mean makers of Best Foods mayonnaise!


And about a thousand other brands Unilever is massive.


Somewhat interesting history as well, lever brothers before the merge bought products from Belgian colonised parts of Africa that used slave labour well into the 20th century and they knew it.

Even had a separate own company so they could use their own slaves and keep it nice and separate from the main company.


Twitter is where the president lies about US elections and says a lot of his racist things and endorses violence. And Twitter more or less lets it go, so that's not great.

I stayed away from twitter until about a month ago when boredom set in. I found it utterly fascinating during the BLM protests. It's amazing to be able to follow political leaders and journalists and see the evolving discussion. But yes, gosh, so so much blatant racism, trolling, etc., it is just miles apart from the general level of thoughtfulness on, say, HN.

I was on Twitter for the BLM protests too. Traditional media - even most new media - cannot keep up when events are happening that quickly.

> Why was Twitter included?

Twitter is a Hell where, instead of pushing a rock uphill forever, its denizen are stuck in eternal rush hour traffic such that everyone can read bite-sized chunks of everyone else's angry, rage-induced thoughts and some of these people actively ram into other cars just to make it more miserable/gain status.

Official statement: https://www.unileverusa.com/news/news-and-features/2020/driv...

> Given our Responsibility Framework and the polarized atmosphere in the U.S., we have decided that starting now through at least the end of the year, we will not run brand advertising in social media newsfeed platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the U.S.

> We will maintain our total planned media investment in the U.S. by shifting to other media.

> the polarized atmosphere in the U.S

That's smooth.

Almost as good as MS saying they're removing update settings to 'prevent confusion.'

This is huge because Unilever is a conglomerate of B2C brands. Online presence is a big budget item for them.

Does Unilever really need to run ads on Facebook? They sell soap and ice cream[1]. That budget would be better spent on product placement with influencers on some type of image/video centric site like Instagram, Snap, TikTok, etc.

Edit: Apparently they are pulling out of Instagram as well. Maybe that didn't meet their ROI expectations?

[1] https://www.unileverusa.com/brands/

It's a good play. See pictures of your ex-boyfriend with his new girlfriend and feeling a little blue? What's better than a nice hot shower and a pint of Ben & Jerry's?

That coupled with brand recognition and I'm surprised companies don't spend more than they do.

Haha, I was thinking about paying users with >100k followers, not the platform, to mention the soap tangentially or have the ice cream in-frame in a picture supposedly about relaxing.

I'm surprised the platforms haven't rolled out scalable middleman services for this.

In 2011 I worked at a startup in the online marketing / advertising space.

It was a surreal, over-crowded, confusing, fact-light, peer-pressure driven, mystical, big promises, metrics-resistant, yet bewilderingly optimistic market place.

In the past decade it's gotten much, much worse.

Compare the field in 2011 [1] to now [2].

Then consider that there are people to whom all of this makes sense.

[1] https://chiefmartec.com/post_images/marketing_technology_lan...

[2] https://cdn.chiefmartec.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/marte...

The image resolution on (2) is too low to clearly see everything, but it also looks like they're including more & more (sub-?)industries over the year.

E.g., SEO wasn't included in 2011 but is in 2020.

It's clear that there were increasing numbers of sub-industries, and players in those sub-industries, over time.

SEO in 2011 certainly wasn't nascent, but it was a bit of a black art, and not an especially large sector.

I don't think there were (m)any that were offering exclusively SEO products -- from memory it was more of a bundled / add-on offering for other services.

Unilever's marketing team rightly recognizes this as a moment when temporarily boycotting running facebook ads gains them more attention and good will for free than their ads that were previously running on facebook did for pay.

> saying it profits off bigotry, racism and violence.

People in glass houses...


That was between 80-110 years ago. Is anyone that was even a part of that decision making process still alive?

If no institution that ever participated in bigotry, racism, and/or violence is allowed to take a stand against those things now, there will be no organizations left.

If the United States tries to pass laws against those things, are you going to point out that the US had slavery 160 years ago? BMW made equipment for the Nazis.

Unilever the company that kept killing people by adding hydrogenated vegetable fat to most of its products long after the disastrous effects of trans fats on heart health were well known.

Unilever the company that when it finally removed the hydrogenated vegetable oil decided to replace it with Palm Oil. Which, given the amount it uses (the world's largest consumer) has massively contributed to the destruction of the planet's remaining tropical rainforest.

Then we've got enormous amount of plastic pollution ...

So, is Unilever really attempting to occupy the moral high ground? Or is it just an attempt to sell more of it planet destroying sh*t to a particular demographic?

Hmm, welcome from Unilever, the brand that promoted the "fair and lovely" creams in India and created a whole well-marketed industry of fair skin being better. In which itself promoted hatred of darker skinned people.

Note that some brands under Unilever (like Ben & Jerry's) had already stopped their Facebook ad spend. Unilever is also only pausing advertising on these platforms in the US.

This all has reminded me of the laws preventing big tobacco from running television ads.

I might be getting my details crossed but remember reading all the major cigarette brands ended up seeing this as a long term win because of how much money it’d save them to not have to advertise through an expensive channel, knowing their competitors couldn’t either.

I’d imagine if enough major consumer brands all sort of agreed not to compete on Facebook ads, it might end up helping them all in the long run.

Of course prisoners dilemma and all...

Just look at FB's stock over the last week. Wew lads, this is actually pretty big. From ~245 to 215 at market close today.

That's got more to do with the resurgence of Coronavirus cases than anything else.

This helps me out in arguments about whether a corporate priesthood is just throwing its weight around and hiding behind moralizations to do it. Thanks, Unilever!

Good. Facebook is just an echo chamber for hate speech and mis-information. Looking at you high school friends.

You think your other sources of information are better? You're sure that Hacker News isn't an echo chamber?

HN is an echo chamber on anything Facebook related. Everyone here is patting themselves on the back

HN is an echo chamber on certain topics, but not on hate/racism or easily gamed to push a mis-information agenda

HN loves:

- LSD microdosing

- intermittent fasting

- Tesla

- Mastodon

- contrarian views to whatever the top comment is

HN despises:

- Blockchain

HN also has views on privacy that are not shared by most of the non-techie population. Most people like privacy, to be clear, but would not be willing to sacrifice as much for it as many here.

I have always found it odd that an interest in privacy would coincide with an interest in tech.

> I have always found it odd that an interest in privacy would coincide with an interest in tech.

Perhaps knowledge of tech makes you aware of how easily it can be (ab)used to track you and invade your privacy.

> HN despises: Blockchain

That makes a lot of sense from the business perspective. People who bought Bitcoin early have no need for Y Combinator funding now. :P

Both Tesla and Mastodon have big back-and-forths about pros and cons every time they come up.

It's not an echo chamber for "for hate speech and mis-information".

Ehhhhh, I’d take a closer look at HN’s casual (and sometimes not so casual) misogyny.

Yes, Hacker News is a lot better than Facebook, I think. Here, the crowd seems to skew extremely libertarian and contrarian and really, really, really, really, really kneejerk hates JavaScript, but on Facebook I was regularly seeing hate speech and conspiracy theories.

I do think one is worse than the other.

> Yes, Hacker News is a lot better than Facebook, I think. Here, the crowd seems to skew extremely libertarian and contrarian...

HN's more balanced and tolerant than most tech communities (including the StackExchange network and especially Twitter), but it still skews quite left. If I ever show an indecent amount (by Silicon Valley standards) of libertarian-contrarian tendencies, I get thrashed and downvoted to Hell. That said, I have learned some of the libertarian-contrarian (or, really, non-Progressive) land mines to avoid in HN discussions, and tend to get up-votes.

That said, this comment (third most upvoted comment under OP) is pretty typical of the soft authoritarianism prominent on HN. I have no particular love for Fox News or even Facebook (I kind of dislike them both and don't consume either), but what they do is kind of up to them and their viewers/users.


So, anyway, HN is left with a small-ish but dense pocket of libertarian-contrarians, the Valley is left of HN, Tech Twitter is left of the Valley.

As a libertarian with -10 karma, this comment is hilariously wrong (I had a lot more before I started speaking my mind)

This site, like most, is a liberal echo chamber.

Though I will say it's still a decent place to have a debate as long as you are fine with fighting 10v1 and going negative, which I am.

The most frustrating thing is the post limit you run into when you get flagged/negative karma. It's really annoying to be in a debate and not be able to reply. I abuse the edit feature to get around it, but that's limited.

Also the ability to only downvote with 500+ karma leads to group think. Only the high karma users with the popular opinions can downvote, and they certainly use it.

> Though I will say it's still a decent place to have a debate as long as you are fine with ... going negative, which I am.

Just a hunch, but that might explain a lot of your negative karma.

A lot of people here enjoy civil, friendly debates people who they disagree with completely on a given topic, but "going negative" is a great way to send your karma down.

Stay away from negativity directed at others, use charity in your arguments, and above all, don't be sarcastic, and your karma will rise, regardless of the topic. And to be clear, I'm speaking from my own experience here and on other internet forums or mailing lists.

You misconstrued that quote, all that sentence meant was I'm fine with defending sides that I know are unpopular and will lose me karma.

Most importantly to gain karma you need to choose the "correct" side, like you do. Ya'know, the Beto gun confiscation side.

If you go against the crowd you will be downvoted, period. That's no surprise, I'm just giving you guys insight what it's like outside the bubble. It's definitely not mainstream libertarian here.

> You misconstrued that quote, all that sentence meant was I'm fine with defending sides that I know are unpopular and will lose me karma.

Ok. That's an novel meaning of the phrase "going negative" to me, but you know what you meant.

> Most importantly to gain karma you need to choose the "correct" side, like you do. Ya'know, the Beto gun confiscation side.

You misread my comment [1] on that subject. I didn't take the pro gun-confiscation side in that comment. I addressed another comment about how the assault-weapon confiscation procedure would take place if they were in fact banned. Whether or not I support a ban on assault weapons (I do) was irrelevant to the comment. You might notice that I also argued that if a ban were put in place, that owners of those weapons must be given the opportunity to voluntarily turn in those weapons without the immediate threat of violence being used against them.

> It's definitely not mainstream libertarian here.

Sure. It more neoliberal (lower taxes, less social safety net) than the anarcho-capitalist or ethno-nationalist libertarianism that you might see elsewhere. But all those viewpoints are represented here, as are democratic socialist (like me), labor unionists, and other shades of the political left.

Outside of the ethno-nationalists, most of those viewpoints don't get downvoted unless they use personally offensive rhetoric (i.e demeaning particular demographics, advocating violence against the rich, contempt for the poor, etc).

A viewpoint that gets downvoted no-matter-what is ethno-nationalism. I'm OK with that, because I think we have plenty of documented history of ethno-nationalism to understand why it has no place in public discourse.

1. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23656498

> but you know what you meant.

Yes I know what I meant because I wrote it, I'm telling you that you interpreted wrong.

> I didn't take the pro gun-confiscation side in that comment.

You didn't have to, you were defending the confiscation process. As another user pointed out to you, the government asking before forcing to take your guns is no different than a bank robber passing a note to the clerk with a threat written on it.

> It more neoliberal (lower taxes, less social safety net)

I don't ever see anyone on here advocating for less regulation and lower taxes. I mainly see marxists, socialists, and liberals.

> Outside of the ethno-nationalists, most of those viewpoints don't get downvoted unless they use personally offensive rhetoric

That's convenient and untrue. No, not all viewpoints that get downvoted are offensive unless you count them being offensive to the opposing political ideology.

You don't need popular opinions to maintain positive karma. Slow down on the politics and be relevant on tech-oriented topics. I've seen you do it. I believe in you.

My point to GP was that libertarian views are not popular, I don't really care about karma.

I love discussing all topics on HN that I'm passionate and informed about, including politics.

When I do see political topics (which is often these days) and such a one sided view, I feel the need to voice the other side.

> When I do see political topics (which is often these days) and such a one sided view, I feel the need to voice the other side.

Me too, but I thank the slowdown-bot because slowdowning is generally a good idea in life. Forced to take time, you'll probably write a better response anyway. Knowing that you're slowdowned, you're forced to be more strategic in what you choose to respond to. It's a gift.

I don't disagree that everyone should think carefully about there responses to others, I certainly do.

The slowdown for me is about 3 posts every 5 hours it seems. I'm not aware of the exact limits, do you know?

No, rather than test its limits, I find that chill is the better choice.

Ah you used the term "slowdown-bot" so I figured you had specific knowledge.

Posting 3 comments in half a day is not really testing the limits, there is plenty of chill time.

I’m hardly on Facebook, but I hardly notice this. I use Twitter significantly more frequently, but I also notice significantly more divide on politically charged topics, especially on Tweet comments.

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