Charged: Google News is broken. “There’s been a lot of discussion about the future of publishing over the last few years, particularly as Facebook traffic began cratering, leaving publishers scrambling to find new sources of traffic. What’s never really discussed, however, is how those platforms work, and how news sources end up getting mountains of traffic from them, let alone approved for them in the first place.”
New York Times: The Rise of the Robot Reporter. “As reporters and editors find themselves the victims of layoffs at digital publishers and traditional newspaper chains alike, journalism generated by machine is on the rise. Roughly a third of the content published by Bloomberg News uses some form of automated technology. The system used by the company, Cyborg, is able to assist reporters in churning out thousands of articles on company earnings reports each quarter.”
CNET: China deletes 9,800 social media accounts of independent media. “Chinese has erased 9,800 social media accounts tied to independent media. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said the accounts violated rules such as ‘spreading politically harmful information, maliciously falsifying (Chinese Communist) party history, slandering heroes and defaming the nation’s image,’ Reuters reported Monday.”
Chartbeat: What happens when Facebook goes down? People read the news . “What would the world look like without Facebook? Chartbeat had a glimpse into that on Aug. 3, 2018, when Facebook went down for 45 minutes and traffic patterns across the web changed in an instant. What did people do? According to our data, they went directly to publishers’ mobile apps and sites (as well as to search engines) to get their information fix. This window into consumer behavior reflects broader changes we see taking hold this year around content discovery, particularly on mobile. This is good news for publishers.”
Computer Journalism Review: Smaller outlets reduce, scrap Facebook promotion over new ad rules. “For smaller publishers, Facebook’s new rules can be so unwieldy and demanding—and the definition of what constitutes a ‘political news story’ so capricious—that small newsrooms in four states told CJR they are either scaling back their Facebook usage or, in some cases, have given up on promoting their content there at all.”
Snopes: Media Firm “Providr” Allegedly Owes Money to Several Angry Facebook Publishers. “This story is part of our continuing series Misinfluencers Inc., which highlights the myriad ways in which celebrities and high-profile social media accounts are used and misused to disseminate questionable information. This report follows our original reporting on the company Providr, which created viral content for celebrities and high-follower Facebook pages to share in return for a fraction of the ad revenue generated by those pages. Our previous reporting highlighted how Providr skirted Facebook’s rules to gain an advantage in this economy.”
Techdirt: Top German Publisher Says: ‘You Wouldn’t Steal A Pound Of Butter… So We Need A Snippet Tax’. “Last week, Mike provided a virtuoso excoriation of the European publishers’ shameless demand to be given even more copyright control over tiny snippets of news stories as part of the awful EU copyright directive. As that post pointed out, the publishers’ ‘mythbuster’ did nothing of the sort, but it did indicate a growing panic among the industry as more critical attention is brought to bear on the ridiculous ‘snippet tax’ — Article 11 of the proposed new EU copyright law — which has already failed twice elsewhere.” Why do we keep going through this over and over again? SNIPPET TAXES DON’T WORK.