While most people on Facebook share memes, stalk exes or post 24 pictures of their child a day, others use it for a lot more. If you’ve never heard the terms ‘Leftbook’ or ‘Weirdbook’ then grab a seat kiddo, we need to talk.
Anyone with a Facebook account has probably been bombarded enough with political posts to not want more of them. BUT WAIT! What if there are people on Facebook just (or mostly) for political reasons?! This may just sound like spicy news to some but for those experienced enough, alternate Facebook isn’t a new concept. To explain the depth of Leftbook and Weirdbook would require some serious detective skills but we’ll explain.
Leftbook basically covers all the progressive (left-inclined DUH) political groups while it’s predecessor, Weirdbook started with absurdist meme groups. “Meme” in this context doesn’t just mean text-over-picture-lol, we’re talking extensive groups of curated content. Groups for text posts, visual posts, shitposting and even just a mix of ridiculous screenshots.
Most Weirdbook and Leftbook groups intersect due to the strict entry requirements of some groups- you either know someone in them or answer entry questions testing your political and personal opinions. Any kind of discriminatory or predatory behaviour is vetted out through this screening process, a process which surprisingly most fail.
Source: What do you sign up for when joining these groups?
Before you set out on an adventure to look for these groups, remember most of Leftbook and Weirdbook have remained hidden for a long time not without reason. Personal information of members in the network doesn’t just include their date of birth and location, it extends to their political and personal beliefs. Beliefs that can affect their daily lives if they’re doxed. Bosses can fire their employees, students can be suspended from school or worse, shunned by their communities.
You’d think anyone in these groups would be suss about making new friends online. Welp, that’s where you’re wrong. Leftbook and Weirdbook have largely created a community of individuals globally uniting with the common interest of being a force of change or meme-ing their time away. Sending a friend request to an absolute stranger because of their group post or the many common Leftbook friends you have is almost second nature. For some, a lot of these URL friends are more precious than IRL ones.
While scrolling through various terrible interpretations of the ‘Loss’ meme on your feed, you’ve probably encountered several posts about the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Not to complicate it with big adult words that no one really wants to Google, we’ll help you understand. A political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, helped political parties in several countries by providing user data to help them win. How does this affect Leftbook, Weirdbook and perhaps even you?
Here’s the thing- Cambridge Analytica used some messed up ways to profile personalities and sell them. By putting out a personality test that many Facebook users responded to, they were able to get information that benefitted Cambridge Analytica financially and certain parties politically. We’re not talking about “What kind of pumpkin pie melted on a dashboard left in a hot car after a long night of filing taxes would you be?” type of personality tests. Cambridge Analytica used a test with the OCEAN (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism) measure. What’s worse is they were aided by Facebook. Zuckerberg betrayed us all and doxed us. As if getting targeted ads the morning after we dreamt about something wasn’t bad enough, hey?
Source: Facebook has more on you than you think
The issue at the core of all this is that Facebook can no longer be trusted with our information with some people feeling the breach of privacy is severe enough to delete their account. Before you go “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MEMES?!”, there are also many friendships, support systems and lifestyles at stake because of the oversharing of information. Zucc has since issued a statement accepting responsibility saying it’s being rectified but the information has already been shared so, what now?
The next few weeks will be interesting for all Facebook users but particularly Leftbook where views could potentially trigger a backlash in one’s personal life. While we wait to find out more about what Zuck will do, many have already deleted their Facebook accounts especially after alias accounts have been suspended and doxed.
In the meantime, protect your personal information the best you can and it’s always handy to download your Facebook data. Right. Stay safe and don’t let your memes be dreams, folks!