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NY Times: "All the News That Mark Zuckerberg Sees Fit To Print"? 79

theodp writes Two years ago, Politico caught Mark Zuckerberg's soon-to-be launched FWD.us PAC boasting how its wealthy tech exec backers would use their companies to 'control the avenues of distribution' for a political message in support of their efforts. Now, the NY Times is reporting that Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook, citing a source who said the Times and Facebook are moving closer to a firm deal. Facebook declined to comment on specific discussions with publishers, but noted it had provided features to help publishers get better traction on Facebook, including tools unveiled in December that let them target their articles to specific groups of Facebook users. The new plan, notes the Times, is championed by Chris Cox, the top lieutenant to Facebook CEO Zuckerberg and a "major supporter" of FWD.us. Exploring Facebook's wooing of the media giants, the Christian Science Monitor asks if social media will control the future of news, citing concerns expressed by Fusion's Felix Salmon, who warns that as news sites sacrifice their brands to reach a wider audience, their incentives for accuracy and editorial judgment will disappear.
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NY Times: "All the News That Mark Zuckerberg Sees Fit To Print"?

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  • by rleesBSD ( 909405 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @09:27AM (#49344757) Journal
    There was a brief moment in time (sorry Stephen) when I thought the internet would break up the gate keepers. That moment has passed.
    • by Deagol ( 323173 )

      Meh. Didn't AOL / Time-Warner try this crap, too? Look how that ended.

      Info wants to be free and all that jazz. Nothing to see here. Move along.

      • Meh. Didn't AOL / Time-Warner try this crap, too? Look how that ended.

        AOL failed at a lot of things. Facebook is unlikely to make the same mistakes.

        Info wants to be free and all that jazz. Nothing to see here. Move along.

        Anyone willing to make an effort will still be able to find other sources of news. But many people won't bother, and those people can vote.

      • AOL and similar services, like CompuServe, were founded while the Internet was still restricted to "non-commercial entities". They were giant, nation-wide bulletin board systems. They worked and were profitable. At the time they connected to the Internet, it was seen as a way to increase profit. But then came "big content". The major ISPs now perceive that forcing the major content providers to directly pay for access will increase their profits even more.

        Will this really work? I don't know. But it will hav

        • "The little ones will be dependent on the tolerance of the big ones to get their content seen." Absolutely. This is the likely future of content. My original post was directed to an analogy between the old paper publishing houses (the gatekeepers, once known as the Big Six) and the devolution of the internet. Who will the new gatekeepers be (or already are)? The list is short: Google, Amazon, Trashrags, Inc - and now (Facebook).
    • There was a brief moment in time (sorry Stephen) when I thought the internet would break up the gate keepers. That moment has passed.

      The gate keeper serves a much needed function.

      Searching Google News for the Greenways crash returns 10,846 hits as of 1:45 PM EDT.
      You can be very, very, good at this sort of thing and still be overwhelmed by the numbers and the difficulty of getting concise, timely, and meaningful results.

      If I am, god forbid, reduced to paying cellular rates for data, what I want is a targeted selection of stories in depth and a quick overview from MSN News.

      The gatekeeper can negotiate for access to content that would oth

  • by rodrigoandrade ( 713371 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @09:28AM (#49344777)
    "their incentives for accuracy and editorial judgment will disappear."

    Have there ever been any?????
    • by Opie812 ( 582663 )
      the ole' things were so much better in the past fallacy. I'm sure it's got some fancy name that a 10 second google would highlight.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Have you seen U.S. "news" sites today, they're 75 percent sentimental slop human interest stories. Really not much different than the tabloid trash rag rack at the supermarket checkout. Pandering to morons is profitable
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why can't anyone else. If you have Rupert Murdoch owning as much media as he does to control the political discourse, seems kinda how things are going, may as well have someone who is willing to toss a bit more diversity into the mix and allow more social dissemination of news. I think Mark Zuckerberg is in an interesting position to put a counterpoint to the newscorp media spinmachine and others like it. Puts News organizations on more equal footing and ultimatly accountable to their subscribers vs just us

  • Internet - lite (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @09:31AM (#49344823) Homepage
    What exactly does Facebook have to offer the New York Times?

    The NYT already has a website, and as bad as it is, it still is ten times better than Facebook? Basically the advertisement for Facebook should read:

    Do you have no idea how to make your own web page - even using squarespace?

    Can you not figure out how to mass email your friends?

    Are you clueless about how to find free free games on the internet?

    Does the idea of signing up for a blogging site scare you?

    Does the laborious process of signing into and out of websites bore you?

    Does the idea of locking yourself into a relationship with a company excite you - particularly because all your friends use the same company and they force outsiders to have an account before they let them see your stuff?

    Then FACEBOOK IS FOR YOU For the low low price of your giving up privacy, you too can simulate the basic internet skills that every single American should be taught in High School.

    • What exactly does Facebook have to offer the New York Times?

      Eyeballs. Ad Revenue.
      New York Times has a pretty big distribution, 2.3 million people per day.
      Facebook has 890 million users per day.
    • "ISIS Seen to be Destabilizing Force in Yemen - Like and Share This, but 86% of you Won't"
    • by Bob9113 ( 14996 )

      make your own web page...mass email your friends...signing up for a blogging site...signing into and out of websites...locking yourself into a relationship with a company...basic internet skills that every single American should be taught in High School.

      Wow. That really is a huge concept. We're trying to teach everyone to write software, which is like teaching everyone to be an engineer, but we're not teaching them the skills to be independent on the Internet, which a much higher percentage could and should

    • It's true that facebook didn't really create any service that wasn't already around (neither did twitter for that matter), but people like convenience and controlled ecosystems even if they already know how to accomplish everything independently. This from someone who doesn't have a facebook profile (just throw-away account).
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @09:36AM (#49344869)

    Seriously - the only people I know who are still on Facebook daily are soccer moms busy shuttling kids seven different ways. That's a pretty powerful demographic in terms of household purchasing power, but to say that it's key to media domination...misses the fact that there's Twitter and whole webs of social media that people over 25 don't even see. (I "borrow" my kids tablets and phones once in a while just to see how far they and their classmates are off mainstream social media grid.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Anecdotes aren't data. FB has 1.3 billion *active* users. That is, users who use the site at least once a month. FB also has 775 million daily users. So thanks for your pointless post.
      • by prefec2 ( 875483 )

        It is still a valid question, even though anecdotes are not a good source for quantitative measurement. The question is, who uses FB and to what extend? Many small shops, little labels, projects have FB accounts to promote themselves. However, I do not know how many of these 1.3 billion users fall in that category. xxxJonBoyxxx assumes that a large group of people in there are soccer mums. While this is a terrible US centric view of the world and does not apply to many other parts of the world with Internet

      • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
        Calm down Mark.
  • by jgtg32a ( 1173373 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @09:36AM (#49344875)

    So like AOL back in the day?

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday March 26, 2015 @09:49AM (#49344989) Homepage

    I can guarantee you that any media which starts hosting their stuff in Facebook will be immediately deemed a useless source of information and blocked.

    I have most of my browsers set to block anything from Facebook, because I'm tired of the sheer number of web pages which have their crap embedded.

    Screw off and die, Zuckerfuck. I trust you and Facebook not at all.

    How he's managed to convince actual news companies to let him in the door I have no idea. That just sounds like idiots being hoodwinked by assholes.

    • by prefec2 ( 875483 )

      Most media corporations are already useless sources of information. I cannot see any change in going into FB.

    • Facebook generates a lot of traffic but your right I wouldn't think it would be news that they would attract. I would expect it would be more like trendy over priced brand name of the day.

      I have teenagers that are convinced that cheaply made, over advertised, over priced, crap are quality brands. Seriously, if you blow out a pair of shoes in 3-4 months and buy the same brand again only to do the same thing? Fool me once... They like to point out that I have expensive work boots that cost more but I also get

  • "who warns that as news sites sacrifice their brands to reach a wider audience, their incentives for accuracy and editorial judgment will disappear"

    Wow, and this quote is on a Dice owned property?

  • Newspaper execs have proven over and over again that they don't get the new digital media. If they sign up for this it'll be just more proof that they still don't get it. Further diminishing their own brand to prop up the declining Facebook one.

  • Not that I'm a fan of news meda slipping even further down the drain, but TFA talks about editorial judgement and accuracy like it's not already massively broken for all the reasons he states. There's nothing to suggest that Facebook would actually make the situation worse, or better, than it already is.

    The problem is that we don't want anyone to control the news with money, and by proxy, control the integrity of the news. However, the money to keep it going has to come from somewhere and we don't seem to

  • Facebook is now the new consumer computing platform.

    .
    Anyone want to wager how long it will be before Microsoft ports Office to Facebook?

  • by Baldrson ( 78598 ) * on Thursday March 26, 2015 @11:55AM (#49346609) Homepage Journal

    The primary function of government is protection of property rights. Early anarcho-capitalist Lysander Spooner described all legitimate government as a mutual property insurance company. Guys like Gates, and now Zuckerberg, should be taxed on their net assets, not on their actions (ie: not on income, capital gains, sales, value added, inheritance, etc...) as that is the closest thing to a property insurance premium.

  • There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think... it's all about the information!

  • I have seen enough half-truths and outright untrue "news stories" on Facebook that I no longer rely on it for a source of news. Not to mention that I don't want to be blasted by ads, which is FB's sole source of revenue for the stockholders.

If money can't buy happiness, I guess you'll just have to rent it.

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