Not Media Companies
November 19, 2016. @pfrazee
After the 2016 presidential election, the Left pushed against Facebook for fake news stories, and this forced Zuckerberg into an admission:
"We are a tech company, not a media company."
—Mark Zuckerberg, Aug 8 2016
The logic of this statement has to do with moderation. “Tech companies” are neutral providers of tools and infrastructure. By positioning as tech, Zuckerberg avoids his obligation to control the content on Facebook.
But Facebook is trying to eat its cake and have it too. Ads and Applications are both forms of media, and Facebook strictly controls both. When it comes to the content they make money from, Facebook is very much a media company.
The double-standard is especially frustrating RE: the fake news stories, because, without influence on the application software, the userbase is helpless to solve the problem.
If Facebook’s a media company, then it’s up to them to dictate the standards of their content. If they’re a tech company, then they need to open themselves to custom frontends.
So, which is it, Facebook?
A follow-up conversation, between Tara (gray) and myself (blue):