Rupert Murdoch says Facebook should pay news publishers for content

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Rather than adjusting news feeds and search algorithms, Murdoch argues Facebook should reward publishers that are already recognized as trusted sources of journalism with carriage fees, much like those used by cable companies.

Facebook last week said it would survey its users and prioritise news sources they deemed "trustworthy". If Facebook wants to recognize "trusted" publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies. His goal: get entities like Facebook and Google to pay money to publishers, effectively in exchange for the value news outlets bring to those platforms. Ahead of the United States presidential election in 2016, Facebook was criticised for bias because its human curators of a " section were only allowed to pick links from a set of sources Facebook designated as trusted, which excluded some conservative sites.

The decision has led to concerns within the rest of the media industry that their content will be sidelined in preference of posts from users' friends and family.

Google and Facebook take the lion's share of new advertising revenue - a shift that has hurt the newspapers, which produce most original news.

Murdoch's comments came on the same day that Facebook acknowledged more forcefully than it has in the past that the platform can have the unintended consequences of spreading misinformation and undermining democracy.

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In a different move, Facebook reported that it will rather organize posts from "reliable" news distributers and will depend on client overviews to figure out who is reliable and who isn't.

Murdoch asserts that Facebook and Google's websites incorporate algorithms which are "inherently unreliable" for news distribution. Meanwhile, trust in journalism was on the rise, up 5 percentage points to 59 percent. "There is nothing worse to a company long-term".

"If there's one fundamental truth about social media's impact on democracy it's that it amplifies human intent-both good and bad", says Samidh Chakrabarti, product manager and civic engagement at Facebook, in his post. "We want to make sure that our products are not just fun, but are good for people", said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in an interview.

It's a combination of updates that has publishers concerned about their future on Facebook.

His comments come as Facebook admitted that social media posed a potential threat to democracy and pledged to tackle the problem head-on. "They are constantly changing and iterating".

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