What social media needs to learn from social media

October 10, 1999, The Los Angeles Times Has published a special issue of his Sunday Magazine dedicated entirely to the opening of the Staples Center Arena in LA City. Apparently unknown Bar The editorial staff, including the writers and editors who assembled the magazine, have entered into an agreement with the owners of the Staples Center to share the profits from the ads sold in the issue of the magazine.

When workers find out about the system, they revolt. More than 30,000 reporters and editors have signed a petition asking the publisher to apologize, which he did. In a 12-part autopsy, the newspaper’s media critic, David Shaw, noted that “many The Times Newsroom Staples sees the matter as a very visible and ugly tip of an ethical iceberg of sinister proportions একটি a profit-growth, drive-the-stock-price essential that threatens to tarnish the quality, integrity and reputation of paper journalism. The agreement violates one of the holiest principles of serious journalism, sometimes referred to as “firewall” or the separation of church and state: the business department should have no influence on editorial decisions.

Things have changed a lot over the decades since the Staples Center incident. Social media has become an influential forum for discourse and news distribution. Leaders of social media companies insist that they are not publishers but the only technological path to user-created content. And yet at the same time they proudly promote the important role they play in modern communication and access to information. The decision they make about which material should be seen from which material is more influential than anything else The Los Angeles Times Ever dreamed.

But the social media industry has yet to articulate a philosophy on how the pursuit of advertising revenue should be balanced against other social values. Facebook, in particular, doesn’t seem to have anything like the separation of church and state. An explosive investigative series The The Wall Street Journal New evidence of what happened last week has been given when the business side does not prevent people working in quality control from surpassing it. In one case, Journal It is learned that researchers within the company have studied some changes in the ranking algorithm of news feeds that were designed to increase “meaningful social interaction”. When the changes were introduced, CEO Mark Zuckerberg publicly announced that they were “doing the right thing”, even if they dedicated user engagement and time spent on the app. However, researchers have found that features, which include posts that are considered more likely to be rearranged, have inadvertently increased “misinformation, toxicity, and violent content.” According to documents reviewed by Journal, When a leader of Facebook’s Integrity Division offered a solution to the company’s business division – Zuckerberg – he refused to implement it. He did not want to leave the user busy.

In response to such stories, Facebook mentions that in recent years it has increased its investment in security and content scaling. In a press release this week, it announced that it “employs 1,000,000 people working in security and safety, which has quadrupled from 2,000,000 in 2019 to 10,000,000 in 2019 and 10,000 in 2016.” (That’s roughly one employee for every 71,000 users.) But, as Journal And other reports have repeatedly shown that, at crucial moments, those parties are dismissed by the executives in charge of company growth and lobbying activities as decisions about security, content moderation, and enforcement. In other words, Facebook needs its own version of the journalism firewall.

In fact, the lessons that social media companies should learn from traditional social media are much broader. The most interesting thing about the separation of the church from journalism and the state is that it is self-imposed. No federal law says a newspaper must keep its advertising activities away from coverage decisions. This is a standard that crystallized in the 1920s, when American journalists embraced the promise of objective, impartial reporting. As historian Michael Shudson explains in his book News Discovery: A Social History of the American NewspaperThis is an important moment in the professionalization of journalism, as journalists and editors “adopted a definition of what it means to be independent of the state and the market.” Theoretically, nothing is stopping Jeff Bezos from intervening The The Washington PostWhich he owns is Amazon, which he founded. In practice, he will risk a wave of resignation and its depreciation PostIts brand. No self-respecting reporter wants readers to think they are bidding for a sponsor. (By all accounts, Bezos has kept his hands tight since buying the paper in 2011.)

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