I run a small, independent magazine. I worry Facebook will kill us off

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.

By theverge ( 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)

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Does Even Mark Zuckerberg Know What Facebook Is?

By : nymag – excerpt

The author lays out his perception of Zuckerberg’s quest to discover exactly who is a part of the community he developed and what the company’s responsibility is to that community. A possibly good read on the morning after the largest single mass killing in America’s history.

The same company that gives you birthday reminders also helped ensure the integrity of the German elections.

Mark Zuckerberg had just returned from paternity leave, and he wanted to talk about Facebook, democracy, and elections and to define what he felt his creation owed the world in exchange for its hegemony. A few weeks earlier, in early September, the company’s chief security officer had admitted that Facebook had sold $100,000 worth of ads on its platform to Russian-government-linked trolls who intended to influence the American political process. Now, in a statement broadcast live on Facebook on September 21 and subsequently posted to his profile page, Zuckerberg pledged to increase the resources of Facebook’s security and election-integrity teams and to work “proactively to strengthen the democratic process.”

To effect this, he outlined specific steps to “make political advertising more transparent.” Facebook will soon require that all political ads disclose “which page” paid for them (“I’m Epic Fail Memes, and I approve this message”) and ensure that every ad a given advertiser runs is accessible to anyone, essentially ending the practice of “dark advertising” — promoted posts that are only ever seen by the specific groups at which they’re targeted. Zuckerberg, in his statement, compared this development favorably to old media, like radio and television, which already require political ads to reveal their funders: “We’re going to bring Facebook to an even higher standard of transparency,” he writes… (more)