You cut your leg off to save a buck or two
Because you never consider the cost
You find the lowest prices every day
But would you look at everything that we've lost - David Bazan, "Strange Negotiations" (2011)
Last month I saw an article about whether it was time for musicians to join the advertising boycott of Facebook and Instagram due to Facebook's reluctance to curtail hate speech and misinformation on it's platforms. My first instinct was to hope that maybe that some pressure like this could cause Facebook to change, but that hope was quickly dashed.
And I'm still thinking about our fucked-up relationship with social media and how we navigate that, both as individuals and as a collective. Some artists have made the tough choice to stop buying ads on these exploitative platforms, even though that comes at a high cost of not effectively reaching new or existing listeners.
But what can fans and listeners do? One thing is to spread the word about your favorite music, the old fashion way or otherwise. It costs nothing and means everything. Another thing is to follow your favorite artists over on Bandcamp, which also costs nothing. Bandcamp is the only platform that I can think of right now that doesn't make me feel gross and actually seems focused on users (both musicians and listeners) instead of advertisers.
And they are continuing their "Bandcamp Fridays," where they waive the platform revenue share so that money goes directly to the artists- the first Friday of every month through the end of the year.
Bazan may not have been thinking about social media giants back when he was writing Strange Negotiations almost a decade ago. But his insight into human nature makes his observations then just as (if not more) relevant today.
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