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Even New York Times is Wary of Facebook’s Influence

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Mark Thompson

New York Times CEO Mark Thompson
Credit: CNBC

by Calvin Freiburger,

While conservatives may be the loudest critics of Facebook’s handling of political content, they are far from the only ones, as evidenced by the CEO of The New York Times expressing the same fears at a recent event.

On Tuesday, New York Times CEO Mark Thompson delivered a speech at an event on journalism and free speech hosted by the Open Markets Institute in Washington, D.C., during which he had harsh words for the world’s largest social network.

While crediting Facebook’s leaders with a “willingness to listen” and granting he saw “no evidence that they want to destroy journalism,” Thompson nevertheless found their decisions severely lacking. And while he also had concerns about Google and other digital platforms, he directed most of his criticism toward Facebook.

“We face an immediate threat here,” he warned, “which is that Facebook’s catalogue of missteps with data and extreme-and-hateful content will lead it into a naïve attempt to set itself up as the digital world’s editor-in-chief, prioritizing and presumably downgrading and rejecting content on a survey — and data-driven — of whether the provider of the content is ‘broadly trusted’ or not.”

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© 2018

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