Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch called on Facebook to pay “trusted” news publishers a carriage fee, similar to the model used by cable companies, suggesting that the social media giant cannot have a free ride on content from news outlets.
“If Facebook wants to recognize ‘trusted’ publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies,” Murdoch said in a statement on Monday, according to The Guardian newspaper.
“The publishers are obviously enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not being adequately rewarded for those services,” the News Corp chairman was quoted as saying.
Murdoch’s statement follows a pair of policy changes from Facebook that will likely have a significant impact on publishers, the report noted.
Last Friday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that his firm will begin prioritizing news outlets based on how “trustworthy” they are, with trustworthiness scores determined by user feedback on the site.
He also said that the amount of news users see on their news feed will be reduced by 20 percent.
Murdoch blamed Facebook and Google for popularizing “scurrilous news sources” through algorithms that are “inherently unreliable”, and called the solutions they have put forward thus far inadequate.
“There has been much discussion about subscription models but I have yet to see a proposal that truly recognizes the investment in and the social value of professional journalism,” he said.
Facebook has been struggling for some time in addressing criticism of its role in the dissemination of misinformation and propaganda, including by Russian entities in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election.
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