TO SAVE FACE FACEBOOK PAYS BIG MONEY TO FAKE MEDIA
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Facing an onslaught of negative headlines and critical press coverage, Facebook has begun paying UK paper the Daily Telegraph to run drooling stories about the “positive impact” the social media giant can have on people’s lives. These features will appear to newspaper readers as genuine news scoops rather than being the paid for advertorials they are.
The partnership has seen the Telegraph run 26 stories defending Facebook over the last month, dismissing “techno fears” about the company, while dealing with issues of key importance, including terrorist content, online safety, and cyber bullying, Business Insider reported.
The series is called “Being human in the information age” and is overseen by Telegraph Spark, the paper’s sponsored content unit. The stories are mini-labelled “Brought to you by Facebook” but, aside from that, they are indistinguishable from a regular news story.
Newspapers publishing sponsored content is not totally unusual and is an “increasingly popular method of monetization” for many publications But, at a time when lack of public trust and concerns over “fake news” are plaguing Facebook, paying newspapers to spread positive content disguised as hard news about it might backfire.
Despite its best efforts to secure some glowing media coverage, it’s been another bad PR week for Facebook, as it was also shockingly caught asking new users for their email passwords during the sign-up process.
The tech giant later admitted that demanding people’s email passwords wasn’t “the best way” to have people sign up, and said they would stop “offering” that option. The password scandal came just two weeks after it was revealed that Facebook stored passwords for hundreds of millions of its own users in unencrypted plaintext for seven years.
Another classic case of Fail Facebook occurred when as part of the new campaign, the Telegraph ran a piece about Facebook’s work to “ensure terrorist content is identified and removed as swiftly as possible”, Poor timing, just two days later, a gunman killed 50 people at a Mosque in New Zealand and live-streamed the gruesome event on Facebook.
Other pieces focus on Facebook’s charity work, online behaviour classes for children, artificial intelligence, and combating online scammers. It is not known exactly how much Facebook is paying the Telegraph for the articles or if the company has editorial control over the final product.
A recent scoop on the vicious anti-white racism of Facebook published by The Ethnic European (FACEBOOK’S VICIOUS ANTI-WHITE RACISM) recently garnered nearly 3,000 shares on that one platform, possibly the scoop was read by more than 199,000 online media readers.
MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WEEL, EUROPE ARISE, TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROES, MEGACAUST, DEATH OF A CITY, WITNESS TO HISTORY, THE BUSINESS BOOSTER and THE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and II, and 50 other book titles.
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