facebook should pay for trusted news
Last Updated : GMT 13:26:15
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Last Updated : GMT 13:26:15
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Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch

Facebook should pay for 'trusted' news

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Almaghrib Today, almaghrib today Facebook should pay for 'trusted' news

Rupert Murdoch
Washington - Al Maghrib Today

Facebook should pay media companies for providing trusted news content that appears on the social network, media mogul Rupert Murdoch said Monday.

His remarks follow Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's announcement Friday that the world's largest social network would prioritize which news organizations' articles and videos users were more likely to see in their Facebook feeds, based on user surveys about trustworthiness of news sites. That followed a plan by Facebook to revamp the News Feed so that users would see more posts from friends and family, and fewer articles and videos.

Both of the moves are responses to criticism that Facebook did not do enough to prevent the spread of disinformation and divisive posts from Russian operatives during the 2016 presidential campaign.

If Zuckerberg wanted to do right by news sites, he would have Facebook pay news sites just as pay-TV systems pay broadcasters and cable channels, Murdoch said Monday in a statement posted on NewsCorp.com. "The publishers are obviously enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not being adequately rewarded for those services," Murdoch said.

"Carriage payments would have a minor impact on Facebook’s profits but a major impact on the prospects for publishers and journalists.” Carriage payments refer to the fees cable companies pay to a broadcaster or pay TV channel. 

Murdoch's criticism went beyond Facebook to include Google, saying that both online destinations "have popularized scurrilous news sources through algorithms that are profitable for these platforms but inherently unreliable. Recognition of a problem is one step on the pathway to cure, but the remedial measures that both companies have so far proposed are inadequate, commercially, socially and journalistically."

Murdoch is executive chairman of News Corp., which includes The Wall Street Journal, and New York Post, as well as U.K.-newspapers The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times, plus The Australian.

Also the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, Murdoch controls that company with his sons James and Lachlan. Fox recently agreed to sell some of its assets including the 20th Century Fox film and TV studios to Disney for $52.4 billion.

Murdoch's concerns about Google's use of news sources are nothing new. Back in 2009, he threatened to pull his news outlets from the search engine.

His current complaint boils down to pretty much the same gripes he had back then: a lack of compensation for the cost of news production.

"There has been much discussion about subscription models but I have yet to see a proposal that truly recognizes the investment in and the social value of professional journalism," Murdoch said in his statement. "We will closely follow the latest shift in Facebook’s strategy, and I have no doubt that Mark Zuckerberg is a sincere person, but there is still a serious lack of transparency that should concern publishers and those wary of political bias at these powerful platforms."

Source: AFP

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