“In the end, Facebook didn’t care about media companies. Faced with perhaps its first ever existential crisis—the weight of being considered a “media company,” and all the responsibilities that come with it, including being blamed for the rampant spread of “fake news,” a Russian psyops campaign, and the tampering of a US election—Facebook has decided it’s not cut out for the news business.
In the long term, this is good. For all of us. First, it is a personal relief. I hope that I nor any other journalist will have to care for one second longer about Facebook’s news feed. More importantly, journalism that is engineered to be viral, to be liked or picked by an algorithm is not journalism, it’s marketing. A news media whose existence relies on a centralized portal is subject to the whims of that portal. And a society that relies on a centralized portal to get its news may very well be doomed. My hope is that Facebook is not as important as everyone thinks, it’s just where people happen to be on the internet right now.”