How would we systematise a association that:
- distributes news and information to billions of people each month?
- is a vital source of news and information for a vast cube of those billions of people?
- sells ads that run alongside those news articles and videos, generating billions in income each quarter?
- is paying companies trimming from a NFL to Insider to make strange video programming that streams to mobile devices, computers, and connected set-top boxes?
- is appropriation and producing a possess strange radio shows?
Most would call that a media company. And many would design that association to belong to a standards, safeguards, and manners that all media companies do.
But Facebook, that does all of a above, will not concur it’s in a media business. Indeed that’s a sequence a association has avoided for years.
On Thursday, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s arch handling officer, released a latest such rejection of a obvious, telling Axios editor Mike Allen that the amicable networking giant is not a media company. To make her case, Sandberg forked to a fact that Facebook is run by technical workers and engineers. In her view, since a association itself doesn’t furnish news content, it can’t be a media company.
“At a heart we’re a tech company,” Sandberg said. “We sinecure engineers. We don’t sinecure reporters. No one is a journalist. We don’t cover a news. But when we contend that, we’re not observant we don’t have a responsibility. In fact we’re a new kind of height … as a distance grows, we consider we have some-more responsibility.”
But that’s an impossibly slight perspective of what a media association is. Sandberg’s clarification of a media business seems to be a classification that hires reporters and producers to make news content. But media companies are broader than that. They curate content. They discharge it. The beget ad income from it.
A company such as Facebook, that distributes media and creates income off it by offered ads is, by definition, in a media business. Sandberg is right to indicate out that Facebook’s distance means it has a large shortcoming to discharge accurate information. But she’s wrong to repudiate it serves many of a same functions of a media company.
It doesn’t matter that computers or algorithms or engineering geeks are creation editorial decisions. They’re still portion a editorial functions of a media company. In fact, Sandberg pronounced progressing in a talk that Facebook was portion an editorial purpose by display users associated articles to news stories they see their News Feed and employing fact-checking organizations to oldster some content.
The renewed questions about a company’s purpose in a intersection of tech and media come as a discuss around feign news and feign Russian ads on a height are heating up. The United Kingdom is already deliberation regulations that would provide Facebook some-more like a media company, for example.
Sandberg’s also wrong to contend Facebook doesn’t sinecure journalists. The association hired former NBC anchor Campbell Brown in Jan to conduct adult a company’s news multiplication and work with other reporters to maximize their use of Facebook’s platform.
There are countless reasons because Facebook would be reticent to acknowledge it’s a media company. It could mistreat a sky-high valuation, that is now during about $500 billion. That’s a tech association valuation, not a media association valuation. It would also open Facebook adult to regulatory manners in a US and other countries that it would rather avoid.
But a abuse on Facebook’s platform, from feign Russian ads to feign news swelling as recently as final week’s Las Vegas shooting, uncover a larger need for Facebook to start behaving like a media classification that it is. The earlier Facebook admits that, a better.
This mainstay does not indispensably simulate a opinion of Business Insider.