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An echo chamber full of fake news? Blame Google and Facebook, says Murdoch chief

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Hillarious

That somebody linked to News International - thus the Sun - has the utter gall to complain about fake news! Search for how they treated Jörg Sprave for instance. They are just terrified that once print media finally dies then they will all be out of jobs and are currently losing money hand over fist!

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Boffin

Re: Hillarious

I don't think it's about losing money from print sales, I think it's about losing their control of public opinion.

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Re: Hillarious

Indeed, if you like fake news, it's available in abundance in Murdoch's publications and Fox News.

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Re: Hillarious

Search for how they treated Jörg Sprave for instance.

You don't need to go to so much effort - just read any Sun front page. Or page 2. Or page 3. or...

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Re: Hillarious

It does show a lot of brass neck on the part of News International.

However, it also must be admitted that he does have a point. A case of shoot the messenger, not the message.

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Re: Hillarious

The point you raise is valid, but your stupidity is truly bedazzling. It's people like you that give the 'general public' a bad name.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hillarious

Go to Mersyside and ask them what they think of 'The Sun' and Murdoch.

Stand by for a tirade.

They lost public opinion big time over Hillsborough and will never get it back.

As for 'wart face'.... Time for him to retire. Oh wait, his annointed successor is just as bad.

I won't buy any Murdoch rag nor will I subscribe to Sky. I would like to live out the rest of my life without paying them a bent penny.

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Flame

@Timmy B Re: Hillarious

Entirely agree. In the "prehistoric days" before Google and FarceBook it was the case that, in the UK at least, the Dirty Digger and News International in the form of the late and unlamented "News of the Screws" and the still extant "Soar away Sun" had a near monopoly on fake news. They specialised in it in fact as anyone who followed what happened at the News of the World is entirely familiar with. That we are in a whole new paradigm where the likes of FarceBook, Shitter and Slurps R' Us (no not Win 10 in this case although that is bad enough, we are talking master class slurping here and that is Google) enable broadcasting of this shit in nanoseconds over the entire face the planet does not change the fact that anyone from NI should keep their mouth tightly shut.

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Devil

Re: Hillarious: NOT!

I may despise Murdoch, his exploitive news papers and his rip-off PayTV empire, that should not distract from the fact that what this guy is saying is basically correct.

Google and Facebook are exploitive parasites. Google does make a fortune both from their own IP infringements and ignoring the infringements of others.

What other eBook publisher / retailer allows hard copy scans as an eBook source as Google does. Almost all their YouTube income is based on either IP infringement by uploaders or allowing dodgy content!

Almost all the adverts on Facebook seem to be scams or fake news.

Then transparent auditing. How many views or click are bots or real users? I'd be surprised if Google and Facebook don't know, but ignore it as the advertiser pays and it increases their revenue.

Google knows when someone uses a different PC or OS when it's an account. Facebook and Google track browsers across sites. Of course they know which views are probably fake.

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Re: Hillarious

So you point out FN instead of ABC CBS NBC MSNBC. Really? Oh, that's right, those other networks no longer do news, they're de-facto leftist propaganda outlets.

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Re: Or page 3

They're printing words on page 3 now?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hillarious

The most fakes come from Washington Post, New York Times and CNN, at least on Googles news aggregator..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Or page 3

They're printing words on page 3 now?

Not that I saw...

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Re: Hillarious: NOT!

Yes, they are exploitatvive parasites, but they are also sensitive to public opinion and both organisations are now making serious moves to combat fake news, that should be applauded.

News International will simply continue to publish only that which serves Murdoch's agenda, fake or not...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Or page 3

Well the christian name...plus some fake news.

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Re: Or page 3

Yes. But the text was usually along the lines of "Phwoar! Lookit dem jugs!" or something like that. I don't think they could do much more than that, mostly because they couldn't fit anything more on there with the huge crayons they had to hand.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hillarious

However, it also must be admitted that he does have a point. A case of shoot the messenger, not the message.

Yes, he does have a very valid point. But he also creates that rare instance where you CAN shoot the messenger too :).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hillarious

It's just sour grapes on their part. They are having trouble finding people to pay for their shit news.

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Re: Hillarious

>.It's just sour grapes on their part. They are having trouble finding people to pay for their shit news.

and as the number of eyeballs they attract plummets, the advertising money (i.e. their real customers) moves to google and facebook.

It does appear that in the US at least, the news is massively partisan. They appear to be willing to go to extreme lengths make sure their side wins, willing to edit video clips to make them say the opposite of what was what going on. (think Kelso in that 70's show) and cut interviews if they appear to be "going the wrong way." When you dig into why Trump called CNN "fake news" its becomes quite entertaining.

Not only is it not news, even if it is what you want to hear, it won't be interesting for very long. I don't think Google and FB are healthy for the internet, but I have little sympathy for "old media" either.

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Trollface

Re: Or page 3

I tend to read the stories on page 3. They're quite good...

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Re: Hillarious

Moreso if you take fact-less opinion as news.

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News of the World

Murdoch became successful because he realised that the market for sensationalism is far bigger than the market for journalism. It was the success of The News of the World that allowed Murdoch to buy The Times and later expand into broadcasting.

I have little sympathy for the newspapers that have themselves failed to invest in their own advertising technology. That the market for digital advertising is uncompetitive is as much the fault of the ad buyers as it is of those providing the ads.

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Re: News of the World

NOTW BAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!?????????!!!!!!!

Is an excuse for not thinking. In the past you published content that you mostly created yourself and drew in ad revenue as a result of having a limited print run. The ad revenue allowed you to create more content. If the content you were pushing was tosh then you ran the risk of getting sued over it or other wise picked up by toothless watchdogs.

Nowadays content that is created by A is scraped by B-Z and its dog. The print run is no longer limited and as a result the ad price per impression has fallen to near zero. The content creators have difficulty financing new content and as a result the quality has dropped. Google & Facebook don't care whether the content they are running ads against is original or 1000th hand, nor whether the ads are actually seen by a real person.

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Re: News of the World

How can anyone say the News of the World was fake news? It was based on the best telephone tapping that money could buy.

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Anonymous Coward

The gall of this creature

A Murdoch minion opining on fake news. How about the "The Truth" headline in Murdoch's rag after Hillsborough? Was that fake enough for you?

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Echoes

The echo chamber gets bigger and bigger, but not much else is changing except who profits from it.

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Devil

Textbook

"Your business model can't be simultaneously based on both intimate, granular details about users and no clue whatsoever about rather obvious pirate sites..."

Sounds textbook from the BOFH manual to me!

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Anonymous Coward

Straw Man

3 comments posted as I write this and all of them ignoring the points raised and instead promoting a straw man to distract from them.

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Re: Straw Man

"3 comments posted as I write this and all of them ignoring the points raised and instead promoting a straw man to distract from them."

I guess I was one of the 3. I didn't even address the article but used it as an opportunity to point out that any complaint about fake news from anyone with anything to do with news international is just plain hypocritical It's like a drunk driver that owns a pub complaining about other drunk drivers who drink in other pubs.

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Facepalm

Re: Straw Man

Can't see a straw man in any of the comments preceding yours. Nobody has tried to refute anything said in the article. I doubt anything said in the article is new to anyone around here and I also doubt any around here disagrees with anything it contains.

The only thing of note is that somebody from a company renowned for being an immensely influential publisher who routinely publishes selective news and views is saying that "you should be concerned that we are entering an era in which these immensely influential publishers will routinely and selectively 'unpublish' certain views and news."

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Holmes

It's funny that this comes out on the day the USA bomb Syria after a Syrian chemical attack, yet the very same scenario was published in the media on 29th January 2013. Except, in the published scenario, the US were going along with a plan to use chemical weapons in Syria, blame it on the Syrian government, and then bomb them/invade.

Life imitating art? Or fake news creating news?

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How's about a link? Y'know, so we can see WTF you're talking about?

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I'm not sure that report stood up to critical analysis. But the fact so many people remember the sensational announcement that a false flag conspiracy had been uncovered, and few remember that very little evidence was presented does indeed show the power of fake news.

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Maybe the reason there's a duopoly is because that's what most of the masses want. Conflict makes them uncomfortable, so they instinctively seek out sameness, sanity, and comfort. If that's the case, then it won't matter if it was Google or Facebook. Even if they never existed or ceased to exist, someone else would've just settled in their place.

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Anonymous Coward

Luddite Whining

These old school media companies totally miss the boat when the web was young. They could have been the amazon, the craigslist, the youtube, the facebook, if they had resisted protecting their old media rather than adopting the new media.

Its like the pot calling the kettle black. A very good succinct description of how print and television news censors what ever its owners wish.

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Re: Luddite Whining

No, you miss the point completely. Old media was always about content. The quality of the content varied, but it was always about content. Sometimes it was low quality, semi fictional, sometimes it was regurgitated press releases, and sometimes it was genuine high quality journalism, but always real content was generated, which in turn meant overheads. Then the media firms competed with each other primarily on their content. The public being what they are high quality content attracted a lower market than, shall we say mass market content to be kind, but it was always about content.

Mega advertising corps, on the other hand, don't give a flying **** about content. Instead they leech off content creators, and where at all possible get useful idiot amateurs to create the content for free - Wikipedia being a prime example, and Youtube another with its original mix of pirated content and amateur tosh.

And the other problem is that the net has turned out to favour monopoly. The long tail has turned out to be a myth.

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Re: Luddite Whining

The Internet, like most things competitive like a poker tournament, eventually has an endgame. You eventually have a winner.

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Re: Luddite Whining

The old media was the original fake news. We wouldn't be in this mess if they had done their job as the 4th Estate. Instead they fed us lies after lies supporting an Elite that undermined democracy and capitalism.

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Re: Luddite Whining

"Mega advertising corps, ... Wikipedia being a prime example,"

There is no advertising on Wikipedia, so what the hell you on about?

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Re:There is no advertising on Wikipedia, so what the hell you on about?

FX: sigh. Wikipedia is a prime example of amateurs giving away content for free, which content appears on search result pages alongside the advertising.

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Re: Luddite Whining

Because the Fourth Estate is a myth. A news agency is like any other business: its main goal is to make money to keep itself operating. All else is secondary (wish it was, but it would take a law to do that and even then there are no guarantees). If the Elite pay the bills...

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Re: Luddite Whining

That's not true at all; or wasn't until Google et al came along.

In the old days content sold, whether rabble rousing in The Sun, investigative journalism in The Guardian or analysis in the Financial Times. Remember the Telegraph's expenses investigation?

And then you had an audience which advertisers were prepared to pay for handsomely (because sales went up and there were limited places to advertise). Running a newspaper was almost literally a licence to print money. The business model was simple. It was never the elite paying the bills, not directly, it was the owner, a trust or the public via advertisers.

Now there are many places to advertise and get content, so both Ad revenue and circulation have slipped. Newspapers have had to become more business oriented. The Daily Mail chases Ad revenue by running click-bait rubbish, The Guardian sells assets to pay the bills, the Telegraph and Financial Times chase subscribers. The Sun attempts to blend the Mail and Telegraph models (or you could describe that as adopting the Sky model).

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Re: Luddite Whining

Old media was always about content.

Sounds like you've never worked in an advertising funded business: to many content is only valuable if it can be sold with advertising.

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So when is Murdock going to come out and claim copy write on fake news?

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Anonymous Coward

Colour me surprised, a once influential media company that used it's power for evil and forming opinions is usurped by two companies who now have this influence.

He's right though but this is the nature of the internet, you can post what you want whether it's true or not and no algorithm is ever going to spot the fake news.

I could claim the the Royal family are actually lizards who are part of secret society running the planet which is why the home secretary in 1936 just before the war started stopped attending the births of new royals so they could keep it a secret.

I know this is ridiculous but if someone went on to search the fact presented then that could make some people think twice and lets face there are enough idiots out there.

Fake news has always been about it's just now people are now believing and reading the wrong fake news.

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"I could claim the the Royal family are actually lizards who are part of secret society running the planet which is why the home secretary in 1936 just before the war started stopped attending the births of new royals so they could keep it a secret."

Calm down David Icke

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I'm not sure where I sit on this one....

On the one hand, we have a dude that works for a fake news company espousing hypocritical views about the situation, but on the other hand, he actually has a fucking point. IMO, Google et al (inc Bing, Twatbook etc), should ALL be taking more responsibility for the information they make available. I know they are only indexing sites, and that worked long ago in the early days of the WWW. Now, they are profiting from the proliferation of fake information and news (as well as the legit stuff) - so they need to be held to some kind of account for it.

If only the guy saying it wasnt this guy. It might hold more credence.

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Meanwhile "Real" News

Assad gassed his own people!

It's true! Everyone says so!

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Re: Meanwhile "Real" News

Given that he almost certainly ordered the torture of teenagers who had dated to criticize him it really isn't that infeasible that he gassed "his own people"

The idea that a dictator may consider some of his own people his enemy, or simply expendable, cannot be that much of a shock, surely... They aren't all benevolent patriarchs, indeed, history shows very few total rulers even come close to such a classification.

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Re: Meanwhile "Real" News

Was either Assad or the Russians, as nobody else had the technical ability to do it.

I really doubt that the Russians would because Putin is clearly not an idiot.

Assad on the other hand has definitely done it before, and -

importantly - got away with it last time.

He got away with it this time as well, as Trump helpfully told the Russians the target, giving plenty of time for Assad to move his assets away.

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