I remember it clearly… It was 2012 and Kristen and I had just married and launched our little herdshare farm under the name “Creambrook”.
We had started a farm Facebook page as a fun way to share what we were doing with family and friends. We hadn’t thought to use it as a marketing tool, but instead viewed it as a fun way to connect.
Kristen came to me and told me about McDonald’s “pink slime” ingredient they were using in their burgers and the subsequent backlash that was growing on facebook from small organic farms and their supporters. She asked if we should join in on posting about it or do something different.
We didn’t realize it at the time, but this was our first encounter with the rage that would become a common part of social media in the following years.
After discussing the situation, we decided that our public mission was to show people the benefits and joys of choosing nutrient dense food, focusing on the positives.
While it would be easy to jump on any bad news that would support our mission, we felt that it would be more effective and encouraging to choose positivity.
Since then, that has been our unwavering policy and mission, even as social media has gotten darker.
In 2017, we bought our farm and launched our Instagram page with the goal to reach our members in a virtual way that would allow them to stay connected to the day to day life of the farm.
We didn’t have the ambition of becoming an “influencer” or gaining tens of thousands of followers to entertain the masses. This strategy worked for the first few years and it was a joy to share with others what was going on at Creambrook.
However, with the onset of the pandemic, social media companies have decided that they should be the arbitrators of what is true or not and have sought to punish those who hold views contrary to what they think should be espoused. With the pandemic slowly working toward a hopeful conclusion, social media companies are now focused on pushing their own view on every aspect of life.
One of their new targets is animal agriculture. It doesn’t matter if you are organic, regenerative, or sustainable – social media is not friendly to farmers.
Their community guidelines prohibit the sale of animal products, meat, eggs, etc. They don’t allow farmers to link meats, animal products to the Instagram shop.
Social media companies are censoring words related to the sale of animal products (we’ve had this happen) and if community guidelines are crossed, they threaten with link removal, shadow banning, or loss of “privileges”.
This has made Kristen’s job of sharing on social media frustrating and stressful, as many of our farmer friends have been punished for promoting local, ethical animal production. It’s not a space we enjoy anymore.
Again, our goal for being on social media in the first place was to share with our members and those interested in nutrient dense foods.
After taking all of these things into consideration, we have decided that social media is no longer the best option for us to communicate with you, our wonderful farm members.
On December 1st, we will be deleting our Facebook and Instagram accounts. We are working on a new option for our members to stay connected in the community. We will also be continuing our weekly farm emails and regular blog posts on our website. Join our farm email community at the bottom of this blog post so we can stay connected!
We are excited to be starting a new chapter and want to channel the energy that has previously been focused on social media toward improving your connection to the farm and the food you enjoy every day.
It’s sad to see social media devolve from the fun, enjoyable platform we enjoyed in 2012 to the manipulated, dark place it is now.
In spite of this, we are as excited as ever to share our farming journey with you!
Thank you for being a special part of our farm!
Ben, for the team