And so it begins

We all have sides, and we all have sides we tend to look less at. There is no exclusion, no even me. I try to always take the bigger picture in view, but at times I too fail to do that and today might be such a time. So if you have objections, you might be right. It all started a little over an hour ago when I took notice of ‘CNN denies Australians access to its Facebook pages, cites defamation risk’ (at https://www.reuters.com/technology/cnn-quits-facebook-australia-citing-defamation-risk-2021-09-29/), on one side I am in a state of ‘Who the fuck cares?’, on the other side I am wondering why someone would take the stage to this degree? You see, we take notice of “after a court ruled that publishers can be liable for defamation in public comment sections and the social media firm refused to help it disable comments in the country”, so what happens when the public comments commence in http://www.cnn.com? The newsagent does have a website and lets face it, social media is not a place for news, it is a place for flames to bolster engagement, as such the part of “the social media firm refused to help it disable comments in the country” makes perfect sense. News leads to flames, flames leads to engagement and engagement leads to additional advertisement revenue which is the bread and butter of Facebook. I for one do not consider Facebook any kind of place for news, and if there is any, it is not place to comment there, I have a blog that does that and if there is a real reason to directly offer issues, they have an editorial and they have an email address (which tends to lead to the circular archive system). Flames are not now and mostly not ever useful, it only propagates the limelight of ones own ego.

So as we take notice of “defamation lawyers accusing Australia of not keeping up with technological change and noting the contrast with the United States and Britain where laws largely protect publishers from any fallout from comments posted online”, my issue here is that the posters of comments are also absent of accountability and there is a problem there. With “Australia is currently reviewing its defamation laws but in the meantime, other global news organisations, especially those that feel they can easily live without an Australian Facebook audience” we do see a truth, there is no need for ANY newsagent to be on Facebook, but that stifles the revenue of Facebook, does it not? And it is true, the world does not need the 25,000,000 people in Australia. Facebook has close to 3,000,000,000 members (read; near active accounts), so 25 million are not much of a dent, but it is a beginning. There is an upside for all newspapers to move away from Facebook, there is a downside as well. You see one place to flame all is a setting that rarely ever will lead to anything positive, but the newsagents all tend to think that it leads to revenue and for a few at times it might but there is a reason why I check WWW.BBC.CO.UK, theguardian.com, www.ft.com, www.reuters.com, www.aljazeera.com on a nearly daily basis and there are a few more (ABC, SBS, Arab News), you see the papers are still in levels of problems, the papers have to deal with bias, political siding, stakeholders and a few more and as I see the same article on a few sites I get a better view of the issue (that is when they do not directly copy and paste from Reuters). But I digress, it is about CNN and here we see that Reuters have two more gems to offer. The first is “We are disappointed that Facebook, once again, has failed to ensure its platform is a place for credible journalism and productive dialogue around current events among its users,” this from my point of view two issues, one is that Facebook is not a place for credible journalism, no matter how you slice it. Too many are in a stage to get traction and visitor revenue through flaming and through the incitement of flaming. And the second part is ‘productive dialogue’, there is no way in my mind that ANYTHING on Facebook will lead to that unless it is a closed circle of personal friends and family. The second gem is “defamation lawyers accusing Australia of not keeping up with technological change and noting the contrast with the United States and Britain”. It is a gem because it raises a few issues. It is not about technological change, it is about accountability. And we see close to nothing on that front from either the USA or the UK for that matter. There is also a larger stage that adhering to this on a much larger stage is a problem. Even though I will oppose the news mummy (Rupert Murdoch) on nearly every front, because I believe that he lost the plot on news and he is too much about flames and revenue (which is not entirely wrong for him). In this, the danger of flames depending issues and people, the danger becomes the house catches fire and that is not a good thing (newspapers burn really well). 

Until there is a real stage where the people on social media get hauled towards accountability this stage will not change and Facebook does not want change. The newspapers are close to zero in their consideration. It is about engagement to sell advertisement and so far Facebook has the upper hand. This is not meant good or bad, it is their business model and it works for them, yet over the years we see media look at places like Facebook and they all wonder if they can tap into this, First Google search, now Facebook and soon they will move beyond Twitter. Where next? Who can tell. Yet the Murdochs and Murdoch wannabe’s will continue because their newspapers are founded on the need to entice the people to flame, they have been at it for a long time in many places. So when Australia held Facebook liable Facebook closed the tap and they are entitled doing so. As such it is not “Facebook, once again, has failed to ensure its platform is a place for credible journalism and productive dialogue”, it is “Posters need to be held accountable for what they post, including posters of comments” and the law in many many nations are not ready or prepared to do that. Too many places rely on flames of all kinds. It is time to recognise that part of the equation.

In this consider a UK setting. In the first we see a statement (wiki) “The Daily Mirror, founded in 1903, is a British national daily tabloid-sized newspaper that is considered to be engaged in tabloid-style journalism”, here we see two parts ‘newspaper’, as well as ‘engaged in tabloid-style journalism’. Yet in another source we see “largely sensationalist journalism (usually dramatised and sometimes unverifiable or even blatantly false)” and it is a stage we see far too often. So in addition we have an image.

With the text “Big Brother’s Grace and Mikey expecting fourth child and say people think they are mad”, so it is a story about people, a woman who willingly received a penis into her vagina with a long term gift (36 weeks later). Now, I am happy for her, but is it news? This is not royalty, or people with global impact. And this is on the FRONT PAGE of the Daily Mirror (website), this is news? And here the problem starts, we agree that CNN is real news but the ledge that separates them from a place like the Daily Mirror is too small, moreover on places like Facebook too many people cannot tell the difference. In all this the one element (not) overlooked is the need for (actual) Newspapers to find ways to grow revenue, I do not oppose that, the problem is that other ways need to be found and in This they will find a better venue talking to places like Google then Facebook and that is before we see a new social media side in Amazon, because that option is mere inches away. 

When the people start realising that Facebook lost the edge is had, when they realise that true social media comes from places like https://cocoon.com Facebook will get hit after hit and there the people will be able to set a stage for what some spokespeople call ‘productive dialogue’, Google might have shut down its plus side, but it opens the realm for Amazon 

So it begins and it did not start in Australia, it did not start in censorship it started with the realisation that there is nothing to be gotten from flaming, there almost never was and that realisation will cause the loss of revenue in plenty of places.

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Filed under IT, Media, Politics

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