Sparta Report

Facebook Voluntarily Weakens Its Grip on the Media

Facebook seems to have come up with a pretty good solution to the whole “Fake News” problem, which is to get out of the news business entirely:

Mark Zuckerberg did what everyone in the news industry feared and many anticipated. Facebook announced Thursday that from now on, users would see more posts from their friends and family rather than from publishers and brands.

Zuckerberg said the change was spurred by feedback from users, who felt the platform was losing its focus on interpersonal connections. Meanwhile, it became one of the most widely used and powerful news distributors on the internet. In many countries, nearly half the population uses Facebook as a news source.

According to a 2017 report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and Oxford University, the internet is the primary source of news for Americans, with television in second place. Nearly 80% of 845 respondents surveyed said they used the internet for news in the week preceding the poll.

Forty-five percent of the nearly 5,000 Americans surveyed by The Pew Research Center in 2017 said they “often” or “sometimes” got some of their news from social media, mainly from Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube. It’s likely more people will now turn to Twitter and Google for their news; following Facebook’s announcement Twitter’s stock rallied.

With Facebook taking a back seat in the news business, news aggregators, which are growing in popularity—particularly Apple News, according to the report—will be where many people turn for information.

Now if only we could get them to stop banning conservatives, Facebook would be just about perfect!

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