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Jon Snow’s Real Beef With Facebook

From our special correspondent, Wessex Man:

Cambridge Analytica’s activities have exposed the threat to democracy that Facebook’s omissions have facilitated. Zuckerberg owes us more than a squirt of soundbites on CNN. He should do an in-depth interview with one of the organisations trying to investigate what is going on in the new digital world. At the same time, civil institutions in countries across the world need to do far more to regulate what entities such as Facebook are doing. Here in the UK, the idea that the information commissioner has just 10 frontline officers to fight the regulatory and security battles to come is close to absurd. Governments, like citizens, are out of their depth. Democracies have a super-human job to do to preserve the glories of the internet while preserving us from the abuse, filth and criminality that we now know is all too easy to conjure through it.

Why? Why would the owner of a company that is a rival to you do an interview with you, in the process, selling more ads, so less for Facebook, and giving you words you can edit down to the worst version to use against him, if you choose to? What’s the possible upside for Facebook?

As a journalist, I am grateful every waking day for what I am able to do thanks to the internet. But I loathe the idea that a company such as Cambridge Analytica has the capacity to work out whether I am susceptible to covert messaging that will affect the way I vote. Facebook has enabled us to secure literally billions of viewings of the news clips we post on our site. But in doing so we provide material around which it can sell advertising. Channel 4 News gets no revenue for this. Most readers of the Guardian and the New York Times read online. We all depended on terrestrial advertising to support what we do. That source of funding is evaporating. We have been arguing fiercely with Facebook, and Google, that they owe us a fairer share. Serious news, which Zuckerberg says he believes in to counter the fake news that thrives on his platform, costs serious money.

Why do they owe you a fairer share? You were invited to put content up there. They never offered to pay you. If your content is valuable, pull it, leave it on C4 news on TV and get viewers of it.

The problem is that the content really isn’t valuable. Not even this Cambridge Analytica scoop which already seems to be fizzling out. It was only valuable in the past because of the lack of competition but there’s now thousands of competitors. C4 don’t supply the whole program to Facebook,just the odd clip.So the real relationship here isn’t content being supplied by C4 to Facebook, it’s Facebook supplying PR services to C4. Hence, they want to be paid for it (via ads).

But I think Jon Snow has rather let the cat out of the bag. This was never about protecting Facebook users. It was about discrediting the new media to get them to cough up for the old.

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Bungo
Bungo
3 years ago

“We are lefties, so, when we do it, it really is good for you. If someone else does it, who is not under our control, they are evil racist, fascists who just want to kill you, so therefore they must pay us money.”

bloke in spain
bloke in spain
3 years ago

“Most readers of the Guardian and the New York Times read online. We all depended on terrestrial advertising to support what we do. That source of funding is evaporating.”

Is that suserration I hear the distant sound of the world outside of Islington cheering?

So Much For Subtlety
So Much For Subtlety
3 years ago

Democracies have a super-human job to do to preserve the glories of the internet while preserving us from the abuse, filth and criminality that we now know is all too easy to conjure through it.

Sounds like the Guardian is having some real competition. At least when it comes to spreading abuse, filth, and criminality. Let us remember that this is the paper that reported on George H W Bush’s father helping a refugee from Nazi Germany who ended up in Auschwitz by accusing him of supporting the Nazis and their War machine.

Bungo
Bungo
3 years ago

I would like to point out that images of John Snow singing “Fuck the Tories” was fake news. Mr Snow would never resort to abuse. You can tell it’s fake because it was never shown on Channel 4.

Van_Patten
Van_Patten
3 years ago

‘We all depended on terrestrial advertising to support what we do. That source of funding is evaporating’

Is that the sound of the world’s smallest violin playing a sonata in sympathy? As far as I am concerned the end of C4 News, The Guardian and New York Times cannot come too soon…

Mr Ecks
Mr Ecks
3 years ago

Lying leftist cockrot of the week.

Were I PM there would be a weekly “Fireside Chat” during which that weeks pack of leftist lies would be denounced followed by a segment near the end of the broadcast where I announced what counter-measures would be taken.

Spike
3 years ago

Mr Snow says, in effect, “I wanted billions of readers worldwide to read me pouring my heart out through my blog. But I am aghast that a Trump-affiliated organization would use it to figure out what I am like.” I really feel for you, man. It is tough being a product of government schools and thinking that individuals don’t really need privacy and autonomy and that they are no one unless they Change The World, which implies that the world knows it is they. But you accepted the terms, in which a giant corporation either gives away a good or… Read more »

BlokeInTejas
BlokeInTejas
3 years ago

And, according to an article in Mother Jones, Cambridge Analytica were a bunch of moneygrabbing snake oil salesthings:

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/03/the-real-story-behind-the-rise-and-fall-of-cambridge-analytica/

In other words, they ripped off Trump Inc masterfully.

Southerner
3 years ago

I represent the Moral High Ground Coffee Pot Company. It is terribly unfair that the makers of instant coffee don’t give us a fairer share. I demand that we get 10p from the sale of every tin of instant. While I’m at it, my brother-in-law from the Shiny Leather Formal Shoe Company would like a fairer share from the makers of trainers too. Ditto my mum from the Manly Cuff Link Company, only she can’t find anyone to pass the blame onto.

Steve
Steve
3 years ago

according to an article in Mother Jones, Cambridge Analytica were a bunch of moneygrabbing snake oil salesthings Probably. They are/were internet marketers after all. Remember, the Narrative goes like this: the electorate is a collection of gormless, gullible, pants-on-the-head wibbling maroons who are very easily tricked by stuff posted on Facebook by the Russians Cambridge Analytica into voting for Brexit Trump. Now, it’s certainly true that half the voting population is of below average intelligence, which is why Diane Abbott is still an MP. But the supposed ability of Facebook likes and shares to swing election results is unproven at… Read more »

Spike
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve

The all-time winner for when the American people reject something that is self-evident to you: Peter Jennings stating on ABC’s World News Tonight that Bill Clinton’s loss of the Congress in 1994 was an American “temper tantrum.”

PS – Tim isn’t right or wrong; his only move here was to introduce the article’s author, Wessex Man.

Bloke on M4
Bloke on M4
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve

“Conspiracy theories are one way by which anxious people try to explain the world without going through the additional pain of reexamining their own beliefs”

Spot on.

The “liberal establishment” for want of a better expression have been in the driving seat for around 30 years. I think Band Aid may be the start in the UK. They’ve grown so accustomed to their current state that they can’t process what’s going on. But it is nothing short of the death of the liberal establishment.

Mr Ecks
Mr Ecks
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Exactly so Steve.

The womiccumalobus trash were and (pardon the pun) remain absolutly OUTRAGED that the plebs told them to fuck off.

Bloke in North Dorset
Bloke in North Dorset
3 years ago

Have I got this right: CA managed to win the election for Trump by getting a load of people in States she never visited, but Trump did, to vote Trump when all the time they really wanted to vote Clinton, despite being labelled deplorable?

Hallowed Be
Hallowed Be
3 years ago

I read that as please please give us money for what we do. Um that’s charity Jon. It has its place but media is a business always has been. And that sting your feeling? That’s just pride. Indignation as not being arbiter of the truth or the questioners in chief. FB don’t own the airwaves. They have an address and a platform and eyeballs that visit. Your (c4s) broadcasting licence and charter protected you. It made you a little haughty, or as haughty as you can be sponsored by tie rack and sock shop. Fb’ve built a platform that very… Read more »

PJF
PJF
3 years ago

Why is Snow still fronting C4 News after nearly thirty years? Does he own it, or something?

Pompous grandees like Snow, Humphries, Simpson et al should be summarily booted in the same manner as Simon Bates and Dave Lee Travis were from Radio One years ago. Stale and increasingly irrelevant.

“We all depended on terrestrial advertising to support what we do. That source of funding is evaporating.”

Nobody watching boring old tossers pushing their leftie agenda as news anymore. Sad!

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