Remember Telephone Trees?


Those born after 1980 or so likely have no idea what I’m talking about. Telephone trees were the primary method activists employed of rapidly disseminating information in a pre-internet world.

Whether organizing demos, protests, marches, canvassing for candidates or getting out the vote, telephone trees were our networks.

Activists assembled lists of contacts to call with news, instructions, information, etc, and each in turn called others.

It was an amazingly effective system in the day, although I am sure you can imagine its limitations.

It required everyone to work together. The whole thing was dependent upon everyone faithfully making their calls. If someone dropped the ball near the outset, the whole tree fell. It was a peer-to-peer system in which everyone was equally important.

Now, with social media, one activist can do the work of dozens or even hundreds. We can almost instantaneously send email broadcasts to all our contacts. We can quickly alert Facebook friends, Twitter followers, those on LinkedIn, etc.

Until recently, I was able to do a yeoman’s job of sharing Armory articles on Facebook to a very wide audience. I regularly posted to over 100 groups nearly every day.

Then Facebook began changing the algorithm it uses to restrict what it considers excessive posting. On exceeding some secret number of posts, users are automatically restricted from posting to or joining groups for a minimum of three days. Repeated incidents of triggering the algorithm limits can exact even more restrictive measures.

Apparently, the algorithm limits have been systematically reduced of late. The latest changes to the algorithm now limit me to posting to only 28 groups before I am hurried off to Facebook jail.

Outrage gains me nothing, nor does contacting Facebook to demand they disclose their own rules. Repeated suggestions that some type of warning be employed has yielded nothing either.

Were there not more pressing campaigns, I would whole-heartedly throw myself into one which sought Facebook to be regulated as a public utility. It is the primary means of communication for millions of users, it is larger than any telephone company, yet is able to censor content and limit users’ access to one another.

My more immediate concern is disseminating Armory articles and reaching as many readers as possible.

What I need is a modern equivalent of the telephone tree.

And I need your help.

Would you be willing to share articles with your friends or groups on Facebook?

If so, please either leave a comment with your Facebook address or email it to me at

Thanks so much for your help!



5 thoughts on “Remember Telephone Trees?

  1. I’m not on Facebook; when I was locked out of my account for the third time, I decided not to try and get it back. Best decision I ever made.


    • Thank you for the kind words. Although I hold a doctorate (Juris Doctor) attorneys rarely refer to themselves as Dr outside of academia. My wife holds a PhD, and is the Dr in the family! Lol!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s