On the same day that Facebook officials said they could not “guarantee” that social media has been good for democracy, Fox News head Rupert Murdoch denounced them and Google for spreading “scurrilous news sources.” According to an official statement released by News Corp, the elder Murdoch noted, “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.” As a result, he continued, Facebook and Google should pay carriage fees (like cable companies) for “trusted” publishers’ content.
Calling the two companies’ use of questionable news sources “profitable… but inherently unreliable,” Murdoch declared, “The time has come to consider a different route”:
“If Facebook wants to recognize ‘trusted’ publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies. 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. Carriage payments would have a minor impact on Facebook’s profits but a major impact on the prospects for publishers and journalists.”
This isn’t the first time the News Corp chairman and CEO has made his feelings about Facebook and Google’s practices known. In a lengthy BuzzFeed News article from October, Murdoch was described as a “hero” by many media executives in the ongoing fight against search and social media’s continual crackdown on content publication and news aggregation. “We will closely follow the latest shift in Facebook’s strategy,” he said of the company’s latest news feed change. “But there is still a serious lack of transparency that should concern publishers and those wary of political bias at these powerful platforms.”
(Via News Corp)