Ari Melber Hits Zuckerberg: Facebook Doesn’t Care if it Posts Propaganda ‘As Long As You Keep Clicking’

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been a regular target for MSNBC’s Ari Melber. In October, The Beat host took on the Facebook creator for using hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico as a prop to promote a new app. Then on Nov. 1, Melber called out Zuckerberg for ducking Congressional hearings on how Facebook was used by the Russians to interfere in the 2016 election. Wednesday night, Melber blasted Zuckerberg once more. His charge this time? Facebook isn’t concerned about posting fake news. It is only concerned with the traffic. “Facebook doesn’t just want to you connect,” Melber said. “It wants to you crave those connections. It stokes just about anything that meets that profitable craving. As a platform, they don’t care if news is real or propaganda from Russia as long as you keep clicking.” The Beat host went on to turn the focus specifically on Zuckerberg. “[T]he question for Mark Continue reading "Ari Melber Hits Zuckerberg: Facebook Doesn’t Care if it Posts Propaganda ‘As Long As You Keep Clicking’"

“Checking Twitter…while being rushed into a bunker”: Considering fake news and nuclear war

Coming soon: The Disinformation Action Lab. Part of a group of Knight grants announced last week: The Data & Society Research Institute is getting $250,000 to launch the Disinformation Action Lab, which will “use research to explore issues such as: how fake news narratives propagate; how to detect coordinated social media campaigns; and how to limit adversaries who are deliberately spreading misinformation. To understand where online manipulation is headed, it will analyze the technology and tactics being used by players at the international and domestic level.” It continues the work of Data & Society’s Media Manipulation initiative (one of whose reports I covered here). The details of the Disinformation Action Lab — including who will be hired to lead it — are still being worked out, said Sam Hinds García, Data & Society’s director of communications. The publication of the May report “opened the door for Continue reading "“Checking Twitter…while being rushed into a bunker”: Considering fake news and nuclear war"

The Trust Project brings news orgs and tech giants together to tag and surface high-quality news

Will readers trust the news more if they have more information about who’s behind it? It’s worth a try. Thursday marks the launch of The Trust Project, an initiative three years in the making (but feeling oh-so-relevant right about now) that brings together news outlets such as The Washington Post, The Economist, and the Globe and Mail, as well as Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Bing, in a commitment to “provide clarity on the [news organizations’] ethics and other standards, the journalists’ backgrounds, and how they do their work.” The project will standardize this method of increased clarity so that news organizations, large and small, around the world can use it, and so that the algorithms of the tech giants can find and incorporate it. “The public can look at this and say, ‘okay, I know more about what’s behind this organization’,” said Sally Lehrman, senior director of Continue reading "The Trust Project brings news orgs and tech giants together to tag and surface high-quality news"

Publishers’ Secret Weapon Against Facebook & Google: Brand Safety

By now, you know about the recent brand safety crises surrounding Facebook and YouTube, where brand ads were displayed alongside controversial or inappropriate content. There’s been no shortage of backlash. In fact, the anger among marketers was so great that YouTube lost five percent of its top advertisers before its most recent NewFronts course-correct instilled enough confidence in marketers to rethink abandoning the platform altogether. In the wake of this controversy, publishers are presented with a unique opportunity to capitalize on the increasing importance of brand safety and credibility. They’re now in prime position to attract advertisers over many powerful competitors. Publishers can lean on promises of brand safety to calm the nerves of buyers, and win business over the biggest social platforms. But what does marketing brand safety look like, exactly? What tactics and approaches can be emphasized? Here are the top ways that publishers can present themselves as
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Newsonomics: The New York Times’ Mark Thompson on regulating Facebook, global ambition, and when to stop the presses (forever)

Five years is a long time, especially in the media business. It was five years ago this week that Mark Thompson took on the top job at The New York Times Company. It was an enterprise still wobbling from the effects of the Great Recession, its new paywall only a year old. The Huffington Post was trumpeting that it had surpassed the Times in digital traffic — a recognition of Google’s market power and of Facebook’s emergence. The Times was a shrinking enterprise. It had shed revenues, profits, staff, and share price. It had also shed its previous CEO, Janet Robinson. Publisher Arthur Sulzberger’s pick of Thompson to replace her surprised many; despite having led the BBC’s ongoing transition to the increasingly digital world, Thompson had no publishing management experience. And he was a Brit, plucked out of London to head America’s flagship newspaper company. Half a decade later, the Continue reading "Newsonomics: The New York Times’ Mark Thompson on regulating Facebook, global ambition, and when to stop the presses (forever)"

Ex-Facebook Prez Sean Parker Says They Knew They Were Exploiting Vulnerabilities, ‘Did It Anyway’

Sean Parker, the co-founder of Napster and former president of Facebook, painted a dark picture of the social media platform he was once president of in an interview with Mike Allen of Axios. Parker, who was the first president of Mark Zuckerberg’s mammoth social media platform (famously portrayed by Justin Timberlake in The Social Network), described how they would draw in users during his time at Facebook. “I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying,” Parker told Allen, before noting “the unintended consequences” of a network growing to “a billion or two billion people.” “It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other,” Parker said. “It probably Continue reading "Ex-Facebook Prez Sean Parker Says They Knew They Were Exploiting Vulnerabilities, ‘Did It Anyway’"

China blocks Facebook. But state-owned media still target English-speaking audiences on the platform

It’s no secret Facebook has been trying to make its way into China. Mark Zuckerberg is painfully learning Chinese. He’s put himself through a jog in Tiananmen Square under an extremely smoggy sky. Facebook has worked on censorship tools with the aim of appealing to the Chinese government. It’s tried a photo-sharing app “Colorful Balloons,” that doesn’t bear its name. It’s looked for office space in Shanghai. To no avail, at least not yet: Facebook’s still officially blocked there. But Chinese media agencies are all over Facebook, and spending big to target English-speaking audiences on the platform the country has blocked its people from using, according to a report from The New York Times. (Testifying before Congress last week, Facebook’s general counsel said “to his knowledge” China hadn’t meddled in the 2016 U.S. elections the way Russia-linked groups had.)
Each quarter China’s government, through its state media agencies, Continue reading "China blocks Facebook. But state-owned media still target English-speaking audiences on the platform"