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Welcome to See Through News

Speeding Up Carbon Drawdown by Helping the Inactive Become Active

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Social Media on a Shoestring: How to Win Followers and Influence People

social media network exploiting for see through news content delivery architecture

From Facebook to YouTube, our zero-budget social media strategy revealed

A free megaphone to break through the noise

For better or worse, social media dominates the way we communicate today.

Whether you seek to sell widgets or reduce carbon, anyone aspiring to influence people must use social media. New Media has created a multiplicity of megaphones, and a cacophony of noise, creating both challenge and opportunity.

By now most of us know the price we pay for ‘free’ platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The notion of ‘if it’s free, you’re the product’ was coined by ad man Richard Serra, talking about TV in the 70s, but the Internet age has added a new peak of significance.

The more we realise the downsides of exchanging our personal data to commercial corporations driven by shareholder value, the more sceptical we’ve become about the value of the ‘free’ services provided by the Internet giants.

Abandoning social media altogether is impractical, but let’s not forget these services, however compromising, are still largely free of charge. This presents an extraordinary opportunity for anyone, like See Through News, seeking to influence large numbers of people in a short time on zero budget.

Leveraging social media to reduce carbon

While deferring to no one in our contempt for our Silicon Valley Overlords and their social media networks, those blinkered sociopaths have built something truly extraordinary.

No one who aspires to reach and influence people, let alone Help the Inactive Become Active, can afford to ignore Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Twitter. When your budget is zero, the ‘free’ online infrastructure provided by our SVOs is an extraordinary opportunity to do something for nothing.

We’re leveraging their fantastic array of ‘free’ social media platforms to serve our Goal of Speeding Up Carbon Drawdown by Helping the Inactive Become Active. It’s interesting that the people who built these platforms appear to assume that everyone who uses them is motivated by the same thing they are – money. In general this involves selling eyeballs to advertisers so they can persuade us to buy more stuff. This puts more carbon in the atmosphere – quite apart from the carbon cost of the data centres running the whole shebang.

It’s only tech, neither good nor evil

Even more fascinating is that the technology works just as well if you’re trying to do the reverse, and reduce carbon. These platforms may be optimised to multiply eyeballs, make money and facilitate users who share these objectives, but it turns out they work just as well if you aim to Speed Up Carbon Drawdown.  

Better, sometimes. Our probing for ways to ju-jitsu the technology behind these platforms to our purpose has revealed exploitable features of their algorithms. 

Facebook may put more carbon into the atmosphere, by persuading us to buy more crap we don’t need, but we’ve found that its infrastructure can be also used to remove carbon from the atmosphere, by facilitating Effective Climate Activism.

We’ve found several ways in in which doing the latter reveals glitches and cracks that can be used to undermine the former. We’re still discovering new ones, and new ways of exploiting them, but for all the damage our Silicon Valley Overlords have wrought on our society, they’ve also provided a powerful and sophisticated network for See Through News to pursue its goal of carbon drawdown, at zero cost.

Always pragmatic, See Through News starts with the platform that reaches the most eyeballs, Facebook, and works its way down.

For a start, we’ve found a brand that’s strong, flexible and unique. This has enabled us to claim the See Through News handle on every platform we’ve come across (please alert us if you find one we’ve missed). Our focus so far has been on the Big Two, Facebook and YouTube.  

We’ll continue to have some presence on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, which we can build in future, or adopt for specific projects. In the short term we’ll focus on improving this website and integrating the major platforms with it.  

Beneath the Matrix

Our tone may be ‘Fun, Friendly, Factful’, but underneath it’s all ‘Structure, Structure, Structure’.

All our content, whether website articles, Facebook posts, YouTube videos or podcasts, follows the same basic taxonomy.

Developed with world expert ontological taxonomists and digital strategists, our bespoke See Through News taxonomy means whatever content we produce, and however diverse/random/unconnected it may appear, all links together, serving the same coherent goal.

The Matrix

The surface structure also follows a logical and consistent pattern. Vertical topics mesh with horizontal geographic levels to create a robust and flexible scaffolding, that’s overlaid on all social media platforms.

The vertical topic groups follow a similar pattern to a standard news operation, categorised by specialists carbon-generating areas, like building, food, clothing, transport, energy etc.

When connected to the horizontal community-based groups, this creates a self-reinforcing pipeline of content interchange. Content created in a vertical group can be tweaked to be relevant to various geographical levels. In reverse, content specific to a geographical level can be tweaked to be generalised into broader topic-based content.

This makes it possible not just to recycle, and squeeze the most value, from any given item of content, but also to link different platforms and groups, and create an upward mobility towards more effective climate action.

In general, the lower down the geographical hierarchy, the less we mention carbon and the more indirect our activism efforts are. The higher up the hierarchy, the more explicit the calls to action, and the more evident our carbon-reducing goal becomes.

The great thing about being carbon-based life forms, is that just about every element of human endeavour has carbon implications. Just because we frame issues in less contentious and triggering terms, like saving money, reducing pollution, clearing up litter or improving safety, doesn’t mean precisely the same goals won’t also measurably reduce carbon: switching to cheaper renewables, eliminating waste, mitigating flood control…

The best illustration of how this matrix works can be found in our Facebook groups, which also currently form the majority of our global reach (a disparate, but consistently measured, collection of indices from Facebook Group Members, to monthly, YouTube viewers, website page impressions and podcast downloads).

Horizontal/Geographic Facebook Groups 

One matrix of our Facebook groups is our Five Geographical Levels. Here, they are, categorised by relative scale [pilot groups in brackets]. More are being added all the time – contact us if you’d like us to set up a new See Through Group – but here’s our Pilot example, together with others that fit the template:

The lower the level, the more focused they are on community matters and the less they mention carbon drawdown. As you go up the levels, they become more explicity focused on carbon drawdown.

Vertical/Topic Facebook Groups

Our second matrix is based on specialist subject matter, like Desks in a newsroom. Posts from Topic Groups can be cross-posted to relevant Geographic, Topic or Project Groups. These are all explicity linked to net zero targets in the context of their particular scope.

We’re adding new ones all the time, but examples include:


These are all based around the taxonomy that underpins all See Through News activities. A taxonomy is a way of consistently categorising content.

Project Facebook Groups

These are Facebook Groups for our various Projects, e.g.:


YouTube Channel

The See Through News YouTube channel is organised according to the same STN taxonomy used for this website and all the Facebook groups.

The Channel is divided into Playlists that mirror the same categories used in the Facebook Topic Groups, and this website, e.g.:


There are also Playlists dedicated to specific See Through News Project, like their parallel Facebook Groups, e.g.:

Most of the videos featured in these playlists are original STN content, but we also curate other videos we think match our Goal of Speeding Up Carbon Drawdown by Helping the Inactive Become Active.

All perfectly clear?

This content delivery architecture is quite complicated, and not everyone’s cup of tea. We have plenty more nerdish slides, schematics and stats for anyone interested, but there’s no need to know about all this stuff if you’re not interested.

The big point is that it’s all in the service of our Goal, it costs nothing, and it works. Since the UK Pilot groups were established, our geographic Facebook Groups have expanded exponentially, at consistent double-digit monthly growth rates.

Thanks to a network of country co-ordinators, we’re now expanding this methodology internationally, initially in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa and Mexico.

It would be more surprising if it didn’t work than if it did. Consider:

  • The Facebook algorithm , and those of other social media, is pretty much the same everywhere
  • People are also largely the same everywhere
  • 3 out of 8 billion people use Facebook every month

We’ll let you know how it goes, if you don’t hear indirectly first…