Friday, January 12, 2018

Facebook Finally Blinks - The Atlantic

Final paragraphs from a Franklin Foer Facebook reality check

"Media will feel the sting, but it’s for the best. And on some level, media knows it. The hostile coverage of Silicon Valley these past few months reflects a certain psychodrama. For years, media has resented its dependence on Facebook and Google, yet it suppressed any vitriolic sentiments. These companies carried such cultural prestige, and media felt so enslaved to them, that it broadly restrained their venting of their complaints. With the election of Trump, all of media’s pent up rage came pouring into the opinion. It was suddenly acceptable to bash these companies. Every day, the big newspaper seemed to publish a new critical expose of them.  

But instead of clobbering Facebook one more time, media should now thank it. Facebook has just done media the biggest favor of them all. It has forced media to face the fact that digital advertising and ever-growing web traffic will never sustain the industry, especially if that traffic comes from monopolies like Facebook hoping to claim the entirety of digital advertising dollars for themselves. Media can’t deny this, but it doesn’t want to sustain the pain and heartbreak that comes with transition; and it’s reluctant to relent the notion that it might exploit Facebook to achieve global scale. Now, Zuckerberg has broken that too—and freed media from a delusion that it should have discarded long ago."
Facebook Finally Blinks - The Atlantic

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