January 16, 2018

FACEBOOK IS DONE WITH QUALITY JOURNALISM. DEAL WITH IT.

  • As acknowledged several times by Mark Zuckerberg, news doesn’t share well, compared to friends and family posts, while the entire Facebook model is based on the speed of sharing, multiplied by its two billion users, and coupled to an unparalleled knowledge of each one.
  • Maintaining a large newsfeed presence of information could become expensive for Facebook. A few weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg hinted that profits might be affected by the cost of hiring thousands of human moderators to fight misinformation. It is unclear whether FB will forgo this idea (most likely, it will hire some of them…)
  • News has turned into a PR nightmare for Facebook. Fires erupted constantly, and they were hard to contain, as with the outrage triggered by the deletion of the Napalm Girl photograph from the Norwegian daily Aftenposten, to name just one incident.
  • Most of the time, news is inherently dark, and Facebook wants to promote a positive view of society, fearing that gloom translates into disaffection. (This idea is highly disputable: Netflix original creations, for instance, are filled with scores of grim series that viewers love.)

And Twitter and Google have seen every photo (G-rated or otherwise), and in the latter case, possibly every email you’ve uploaded. I know this is a wild, zany, out of leftfield idea here, but maybe it was a mistake to put so much trust (and content) into walled garden sites such as Facebook and Twitter. (As with Yahoo before it, Google began as a search engine, but has increasingly tried to become a one-stop-for-everything site. What could go wrong?)