By Nathan Robinson : theguardian – excerpt
For independent and non-profit outlets, small shifts in algorithms – as Mark Zuckerberg just introduced – can pose an existential threat
Facebook’s recent company announcement should scare anyone who values independent and non-profit media.
In response to mounting criticism over its role in spreading “fake news”, as well as research showing that social media has been making people less happy, Mark Zuckerberg has revealed that the company is overhauling its news feed algorithms to de-emphasize “passive content” from brands and publishers and promote “meaningful interaction” with friends and family instead. Facebook says it wants its users to feel positive after using its service, and will display content accordingly. So more pictures of adorable dogs, fewer links to news sites.
Everyone can support efforts to eliminate fake news and improve user experiences. But for media organizations, Facebook’s approach is troubling. Many outlets depend on traffic from sites like Facebook and Twitter, since social media has become the main gateway through which people access content on the internet. If news organizations are “blacklisted”, or buried at the bottom of news feeds, they could see a significant chunk of their audience evaporate overnight.
There is already evidence of what the changes might do. The rollout of algorithm tweaks in other countries has had serious impacts on certain organizations, with at least one subscription news service losing nearly one-third of its Facebook engagements after the tweak, and Cambodian NGOs complaining that the delivery of public service information was disrupted… (more)
How is that net neutrality working for you so far? Burger King did a great ad that explains how net neutrality works when applied to their business. If you need a good laugh, and who doesn’t, you should love this ad.
Bytheverge ( video included)
Burger King — a fast-food chain that sells cheap beef — apparently understands net neutrality more than the average member of Congress. The company released an ad today explaining the concept of net neutrality with a stunt that showed what it would be like to have paid prioritization in a burger joint. In the ad, actors playing Burger King employees taunt “actual guests” by making them wait for absurd amounts of time to receive their food — unless they pay huge tolls to get it quickly…(more)