Facebook

There is No Solution to the Problem of “Fake News”

Reading Time: 4 minutesIn the aftermath of the 2016 election, the term “fake news”, seldom heard previously, became ubiquitous. This was, of course, no coincidence: the unexpected victory of Donald Trump cried out for an explanation, and invoking the concept was one such attempt by the president’s many critics, who could not bring themselves to face the possibility that he won fairly […]

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Murdoch’s Right: Facebook would be better off paying publishers cash than lip service

Reading Time: 3 minutesRupert Murdoch, perhaps the most polarising media owner in the world, may seem an odd man to be a prophet of the future. He did sell off a large chunk of his media empire to Disney, after all: a move some have read as a retreat from the game of newsmaking which he lead at for so many years (often enough with dubious practices). It’s hard to side politically with […]

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Sesame Credit and the Future of Social Credit

Reading Time: 2 minutesWhen it comes to bashing countries for poor internet freedom practices, China usually appears near the top of the list – and with good reason. Perhaps in part that’s because, in contrast with more crude filtering systems adopted in many authoritarian states, the Great Firewall is an almost elegant panopticon […]

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Is Facebook a Technology or a Media Company?
Reading Time: 1 minute

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Here’s a transcript of the presentation

Facebook calls itself a technology company

  • Technology companies should not have political leanings nor bias
  • Meanwhile, a media company has a communicative vision and purpose
  • They do have bias
  • This May, Gizmodo revealed Facebook routinely suppressed conservative news stories in the ‘trending’ section of your news feed
  • A former Facebook worker said:
  • “Workers prevented stories about the right wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even thought they were organically trending among the site’s users”

If Facebook workers tamper with a news feed then your new feed is biased

  • Meanwhile Facebook claims their trending topics are simply popular articles shared around the world

Why should you care?

  • A reader of traditional media can educated themselves about hte biases associated with that content
  • A readwe has no idea how to interpret the articles they read on Facebook
  • Which gives Facebook enormous influential power in how we think

Why should we worry?

  • 1 billion people log onto Facebook every day
  • 60% Americans get their news direct from Facebook
  • With a huge audience – Facebook gets a lot of money from advertisers
  • Which should be going to the publishers
  • News outlets and publishers are closing around the world because they can’t make any money

Could this be the end of an independent, open and varied web?

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