5 things we learned about Facebook and fake news this year

This year, Facebook faced a backlash over enabling fake news and racist ads, got hauled in front of Congress for spreading Russian propaganda and found itself under the attack from European regulators. And that’s not to say anything of advertisers and publishers standing up to the tech giant over its measurement screw-ups and dominance of their content distribution. Here are five things we learned from Facebook’s annus horribilis: Continue reading “5 things we learned about Facebook and fake news this year”

Facebook Watch, independent media, referral traffic: What’s doomed in media in 2018

Every year, a number of things die in media and marketing. This year, we thought we’d switch up the year-end prediction tradition, and ask people in those industries to tell us what they think will kick the bucket in the coming year. We granted sources anonymity so they could speak freely. Here are their responses. Continue reading “Facebook Watch, independent media, referral traffic: What’s doomed in media in 2018”

Germany: Facebook abuses dominance in the way it harvests and monetizes user data

(Reuters) — Germany’s cartel office has found that Facebook abused its dominant market position, in a ruling that questioned the U.S. social network’s model of monetizing the personal data of its 2 billion users through targeted advertising. Presenting preliminary findings of its 20-month-old probe, the Federal Cartel Office said Facebook held a dominant position among social networks – a characterization that Facebook repudiated as “inaccurate”. Continue reading “Germany: Facebook abuses dominance in the way it harvests and monetizes user data”

‘Our relationship with Facebook is difficult’: The Guardian’s David Pemsel says the platform doesn’t value quality

This article appears in the latest issue of Digiday magazine, a quarterly publication that is part of Digiday+. Members of Digiday+ get access to exclusive content, original research and member events throughout the year. Learn more here

David Pemsel, CEO of Guardian News and Media, is concerned about Facebook but bullish on the ability of philanthropic contributions to fund publishing. Below is our conversation, which has been lightly edited and condensed. Continue reading “‘Our relationship with Facebook is difficult’: The Guardian’s David Pemsel says the platform doesn’t value quality”

Facebook has hurt mainstream media more than fake news sites

Five things we learned when Facebook’s Explore Feed destroyed our organic reach.

Two months ago, Facebook launched major “reach-killing” test here in Slovakia and in five other countries. It removed all Page posts from the News Feed and relocated them to a separate new Explore Feed. That means Facebook’s main feed is no longer a free playing field for publishers — you can find here just posts from friends and sponsored posts. Continue reading “Facebook has hurt mainstream media more than fake news sites”

Facebook defends itself against social media critics

(Reuters) — Facebook Inc on Friday struck back against scientific researchers and tech industry insiders who have criticized the world’s biggest social media network and its competitors for transforming how people behave and express emotion. Facebook, in a corporate blog post, said that social media can be good for people’s well-being if they use the technology in a way that is active, such as messaging with friends, rather than passive, such as scrolling through a feed of other people’s posts. It was the second time this week that Facebook had published such a rebuttal, signaling a new willingness to defend a business model that translates users’ attention into advertising revenue. Continue reading “Facebook defends itself against social media critics”

Cheatsheet: How Europe is moving to regulate Google and Facebook

Government authorities have faced mounting pressure to regulate technology platforms across the world. This week, an independent watchdog recommended U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May introduce two new laws that would see platforms like Google and Facebook face similar regulations to publishers. Add to that the ongoing antitrust cases in Europe and accusations of spreading Russian propaganda, and platforms have been faced with more government intervention than they could have anticipated. Here’s what you need to know about how governments are trying to control the ways platforms conduct business in Europe. Continue reading “Cheatsheet: How Europe is moving to regulate Google and Facebook”

‘Facebook is not transparent:’ NY Times CEO Mark Thompson says the platform’s role needs to be clearer

This article appears in the latest issue of Digiday magazine, a quarterly publication that is part of Digiday+. Members of Digiday+ get access to exclusive content, original research and member events throughout the year. Learn more here

Mark Thompson, CEO of The New York Times Co., discussed the Times’ increased focus on the consumer, its approach to the platform giants and why he has faith the digital ad mess will get cleaned up. Our recent conversation has been lightly edited and condensed. Continue reading “‘Facebook is not transparent:’ NY Times CEO Mark Thompson says the platform’s role needs to be clearer”

Google reclaims title of top traffic referrer, and search-focused publishers are enjoying the moment

Search-focused publishers are having an I-told-you-so moment now that Google is once again publishers’ biggest source of referral traffic. On Dec. 11, Googlepar data showing that Google now accounts for 44 percent of referral traffic for publishers made its way across the internet. That share represented a 10-point swing from the start of the year, when Facebook accounted for 40 percent, and Google accounted for 34 percent; Facebook now accounts for 26 percent. Continue reading “Google reclaims title of top traffic referrer, and search-focused publishers are enjoying the moment”

Messages Matter: Exploring the Evolution of Conversation

At Messenger, we believe in the power of messages to make meaningful connections. We believe in their power to engage and unite the people who make use of them. With this study, we wanted to dig deeper into how our global conversation has evolved and get a glimpse of where it is going, plus understand if some commonly believed myths were true. What we found is that messaging turns out to be not a wedge, but instead a bridge bringing us closer together.

Now let’s explore some of the key trends and takeaways from the study

 

Academics search for meaning in images of Mark Zuckerberg


The first edition of essays to examine ways Mark Zuckerberg has been depicted in mass media is now available. Released online today, the California Review of Images and Mark Zuckerberg contains a collection of writing dedicated to analysis of depictions of Facebook’s CEO either by news media, Facebook, or Zuckerberg himself at various stages in his life in the public eye.

Essays included in the first edition include “Neocolonial Intimacies,” a look back at an awkward hug between Zuckerberg and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi; and “Mark Zuckerberg’s Significant Insignificance,” a breakdown of Zuckerberg’s early Facebook profile photo. There’s also an essay that dives into this cringe-inducing, sweaty 2010 interview with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg.

Authors whose work was included in the publication were paid a $300 stipend. A symposium for further examination of essays in the first edition of California Review of Images and Mark Zuckerberg may be held in San Francisco in early 2018, creator and editor Tim Hwang told VentureBeat in a phone interview.

Hwang made the publication in his free time, but his day job is director of the Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative, a $27 million venture to support research and projects that propel AI for the public good. From 2015 to 2017, Hwang served as AI and ML lead for Google’s public policy team.

Since Hwang floated the idea of the publication in a Medium post in late summer, much of the news surrounding Facebook has dealt with Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“We’re coming at this at kind of a strange time,” Hwang said. “We’ve had a call for more people who want to write articles, so we might very well do a Volume Two.”

As one of the best known people alive today, other examinations of Zuckerberg imagery could explore hacker-punk Zuckerberg, a deeper dive into his 50-state U.S. tour that convinced many he may run for president, or Zuckerberg in augmented reality, like his recent virtual tour of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico that raised some eyebrows.

Facebook Messenger brings live chat and bots to websites


Facebook Messenger now has a plugin that lets visitors to a website engage in live chat with a human or bot without leaving that website. Called Customer Chat, the plugin is one in a series of major changes announced today as part of the release of version 2.2 of the Messenger Platform. The announcement was made by Messenger head of product Stan Chudnovsky on stage at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. Continue reading “Facebook Messenger brings live chat and bots to websites”

Facebook issues

“Facebook is still an unbelievably powerful traffic driver for us. Facebook monetization isn’t working, so we stopped doing that. It’s more valuable as lead gen for our apps and subscription program.” (Digiday)

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