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Mark Zuckerberg softens Facebook's 'not a media company' stance to 'not a traditional media company'


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

December 30, 2016 | 3 min read

Facebook is a media company, just not a traditional media company, claims the social network's founder Mark Zuckerberg who previously maintained a firm stance that it is a technology platform only responsible for the delivery of content.


Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg in August claimed that Facebook is a "tech company, not a media company," using the distinction that it does not produce content, but rather deliver it, as a differentiator.

However, the company's role has come into question countless times as experts debate whether its control of the data wellspring is a form of editorial control - this especially exacerbated during the run-up to the US election where members of its now-axed trending team were accused of enacting biases.

The epidemic of fake news also became ever more apparent in the absence of its trending team to curate and share truthful news stories - Facebook's solution to this was to enable fact checking from third parties including users to make up for any fake news floated by is algorithmic curation.

In the wake of these developments, Zuckerberg appears to have admitted that Facebook is a new type of media company.

The Guardian reports that Zuckerberg said to chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg in an annual company summary: “Facebook is a new kind of platform. It’s not a traditional technology company. It’s not a traditional media company. You know, we build technology and we feel responsible for how it’s used.

“We don’t write the news that people read on the platform. But at the same time we also know that we do a lot more than just distribute news, and we’re an important part of the public discourse.”

The statement represents a major softening of the company's stance towards being branded a media company and hints that it is prepped to embrace more of an active role in the content posted on its network.

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