How crazy was the facebook news dust up?
Simply put, google and Facebook receive free clicks, searches, and advertisement revenue from news content. The key question was, should they be paying for it? This was at the forefront of the dust up between the federal government and Facebook. Eventually, the dispute ended with news companies negotiating with google and Facebook for payment for their content (source). However, the fact that Facebook pulled all news from its site including essential services and charities exposed the true nature of the organisation.
This is when I began to question my use of the social media platform and the power imbalance it holds over news companies and even our government. Personally, I differ from most with news media occupying most of my Facebook feed. So, when Facebook removed the content from its feed it was very apparent. As soon as it was gone the platform became quite hollow and boring. A repetitive regurgitation of algorithms. A funny video, a cooking video, a fun history fact and then repeat.
Normally this is what my feed looks like but with news content as well. Whilst the algorithms are predictable and somewhat boring, the news content is always new, diverse, and relevant. Despite my feed reflecting my interests and sought out content, my news covered a broad range of topics from reputable news media organisations. When I reflect back on this it becomes clear that for me, the only value I have for Facebook is its convenient compilation of different news media in my feed. I can simply use the social media to scroll and find news content that is;
- Interesting and relevant to me
- From multiple news organisations that I trust
- Instantaneous and in one place
Once the news media was stripped from the site, my engagement and interests were stripped as well. Now that Australian news is back and a deal has been made, I find it hard to just sit back and keep scrolling. Whilst Facebook might be the most convenient way I source my news, it doesn’t provide it from the goodness of its heart or from an interest in honest and trustworthy content. So, should I not be lazy and source my news from various apps and google, or sit complacently by and keep scrolling?
After the capital siege in America (for which Facebook was accused of playing a significant role in) it is clear that the platform and other social media will protect their business model at all costs (source). So, what do you think?
Where do you source your news? How do you know you can trust it? Are you happy with where you source your news?