News Corp. Warns Facebook to Avoid ‘Political’ Changes

Murdoch’s News Corp. Warns Facebook to Avoid ‘Political’ Changes

By Gerry Smith January 12, 2018, 2:10 PM PST

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., publisher of the Wall Street Journal and New York Post, will keep an eye on Facebook Inc.’s news-feed changes “for any signs that the weighting of news sites is politically motivated.”

In a statement Friday, the publisher said it welcomed changes “that reward quality and confront clickbait,” but said it was too soon to say how the revisions would affect publishers. “We intend to monitor the impact closely,” the company said, adding it will continue pressing Facebook to encourage users to subscribe to its newspapers through the social-media platform.

News Corp. Chief Executive Officer Robert Thomson has been an outspoken critic of tech giants like Facebook and Google in recent years, arguing that the companies have failed to stop the spread of misinformation and provide a safe place for advertisers. News Corp. also recently launched a digital advertising network with its publishing properties, wooing marketers looking for alternatives after finding their digital ads showing up next to controversial online content, especially on YouTube.

On Thursday, Facebook said it would change its algorithm to show users more posts from friends and family and fewer from publishers. The move may hurt the online reach of many media outlets that rely on the social media giant to reach bigger audiences. Facebook didn’t say whether the changes would affect publishers that espouse political views.


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