Editor: The powers that Google and Facebook have over economic and political power in society – especially over the news industry — has caught the attention of lawmakers in Washington, D.C. After a close election and many worries over the quality of public debate, many ask if social media have played a role in the misinformation that erodes our free press and plagues our democracy.

Nowhere is this power more daunting than in the social media giants’ use of news organizations’ reporting, which the platforms use without compensation to journalists. Google and Facebook have a duopoly of the distribution of digital news content, which drives people to the social media platforms where the owners make money. The platforms hoard critical data and use clever tactics, like reframing stories in rich previews, to keep users on their sites – siphoning off the advertising revenue that small and local publishers need.

Every hour that goes by, Google and Facebook generate millions of dollars in U.S. advertising revenue. That amount could fund dozens of local journalists. But local newspapers in many communities that are funding the people who report on fair and free elections are struggling to meet payroll.

0
0
0
0
0

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for Reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.