NEW YORK – Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is suggesting that Facebook pay news organizations for the stories posted on its platform. How typical. Rather than news organizations having to innovate to keep up and remain relevant, competitive and profitable, just steal from others innovation.
There has been a lot of buzz lately about fake news stories being found on Facebook and Google and traditional media is passing the blame onto these websites for allowing people to share and find this information. But publishers are not to be held responsible for the content others post as they are not treated as the speaker or provider of that information. Landmark legislation has ensured this since the creation of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. So for now, the media is basically just guilting them into it with a fire-storm of the ‘social blame game’, and its working better then expected, I’m sure. The Electronic Frontier Foundation calls Section 230 (also under attack as is no surprise) the most important law protecting Internet speech.
So is this Fake News angle just another opportunity that transitional media has been desperately seeking to target your free and open internet? Both Google and Facebook are working feverishly to implement tools and teams of reviewers to weed out these stories but this is a task no innovators could have expected to see coming.
- Is it even fair to require them to take on responsibility for this tremendous near impossible task?
- Will they always get it right?
- Will the process be completely error free?
Of course not. But media is quick to blame their algorithm for doing a less then stellar job, continuing to pass the blame on them for failing the public. Well, Facebook and other media better be pretty careful they do not create a biased system based on who is paying you to see what. It’s bad enough publishers are loosing access to user feeds algorithmically as it is. They should not make it even more controlled. That’s when Facebook goes right down the tubes and becomes a regulated, controlled, old media system like MySpace. That died, in my opinion, when they failed to handle the massive amounts of spam inundating users. Guess who tried to control that environment through acquisition? Rupert Murdock. Lesson learned, as quick as they rise, equally quick they can fall. No one Network is immune to the power of consumer choice. But that consumer choice is always under attack.
Internet users expect access to all information and they do not want a controlled commercialized environment. It’s one of the reasons the internet has grown like wildfire. It’s free of control and permits freedom of choice. Once Facebook begins to limit particular voices, especially, opinion and expression of friends, family, favorite critics, etc, based on a pay-to-be-heard system, users might as well go back to watching television. They will begin to leave in search of a more open and free social environment.
Murdock said he would like to see Facebook operate more like a television service which pays for the content users see. Again, how typical and expected. What he really desires for the long term, is a totally bias and controlled internet environment.
This is because big media and big corporations don’t profit from consumer choice; they profit by consumer control. Control of information, control of content, and limited choice – your choice to consume the content, products and services they own.
Big media, big corporations, and big telecoms will never stop trying to control the internet; they will never give up, because ultimate control is the ultimate goal and nothing else will do. This is why the whole Net Neutrality rules have been relentlessly pursued, and recently overturned. Because it is all about control, and getting rid of the neutrality which makes the internet the free and open system that it is, is indeed the critical component. It’s the be-all, end-all. With it now scrapped, ISPs can begin to build their internet systems with the consumer focused tunnel vision they have been longing for.
I’m sure Murdock hates Facebook, Google and the Internet with a passion to begin with as all they have done is contribute to newspapers and television companies, Murdock’s main bread and butter, going from once the ultimate media control machine, to falling to their knees only struggling to survive. These companies will stop at nothing to put the control to where they believe it belongs, in their hands.
Remember what I told you… Big corporations will work their way in to gobble everything up… Not by innovation, but by law….
About The Author: John Colascione is Chief Executive Officer of Searchen Networks Inc. and Internet Advertising Inc. He specializes in Website Monetization, authored a ‘how to’ book called ‘‘Mastering Your Website’, and is a key player in several Internet related businesses through his search engine strategy company Searchen Networks®