In a statement, Murdoch suggested that Facebook pay a TV-style “carriage fee” to publishers it trusts.
“If Facebook wants to recognize ‘trusted’ publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies,” he stated. “The publishers are obviously enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not being adequately rewarded for those services. Carriage payments would have a minor impact on Facebook’s profits but a major impact on the prospects for publishers and journalists.”
He also said that Facebook and Google have “popularized scurrilous news sources through algorithms that are profitable for these platforms but inherently unreliable,” adding that the “remedial measures that both companies have so far proposed are inadequate, commercially, socially and journalistically.”
His statement comes as Facebook attempts to make amends for the proliferation of fake news and Russian propaganda on the platform that had a major impact on the 2016 presidential election in the US.
Earlier this year, Facebook said that it would start to prioritize posts from family and friends on a user’s newsfeed over content from brands and news outlets. Last week, Facebook said that it will begin asking users to rate the trustworthiness of news outlets in order to prevent the spread of misinformation and sensationalism on the platform.