Facebook still finds itself under the microscope while it continues to tweak news-related efforts — simultaneously offering alternative ways to consume news even as it cuts back on the level of journalism featured in the main feed.
- The latest effort, detailed by Campbell Brown at Recode's Code Media conference on Monday, is a news section within the company's "Watch" video component.
"We do need a destination for news on the platform...But the fact that we don't have a destination in breaking news moments is kind of crazy." — Brown to Recode's Peter Kafka and Kurt Wagner.
Shot: Asked what Facebook should be doing, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki says "I think they should get back to baby pictures."
Chaser: Guardian US reporter Julia Carrie Wong responds to Wojcicki via Twitter: "glass houses man"
Still, even as Facebook tries to address concerns, more critics of powerful online platforms are still driving the conversation, Sara Fischer and David McCabe report.
- Public Knowledge CEO Gene Kimmelman says he thinks Congress will step in over the next few years. "I think it'll be about platforms," he said at a policy conference at UC Boulder on Monday. “I’m not sure they’ll know what to do or think but they will want to do something.”
- Unilever's chief marketing officer Keith Weed on Monday threatened to pull ads from Google and Facebook until they can get divisive content under control. "This is not something that can be brushed aside or ignored," he said.
Meanwhile: A new Wired cover story details the company's tumultuous last two years. (David breaks it down here.) Among the article's revelations:
- Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and News Corp’s Robert Thomson reportedly told Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2016 that, unless Facebook stepped up its game with media firms, the publisher would increase its public criticism of the social network.
- Benjamin Fearnow, a journalist working as a contractor on the site’s Trending Topics team, was fired after leaking internal communications to then-Gizmodo reporter Michael Nuñez.
- Some on Facebook's security team wanted to publish details last April on what its investigation had found with regards to Russia's election interference, but faced opposition from the company's policy and communications teams.
Our thought bubble, per Sara: It's not that Facebook doesn't put its business first — after all, it's a publicly traded company. Rather, Facebook is starting to see consumer health and perception as a long-term way of sustaining its business.