Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to start filtering out fake news on the social media network, which has prompted Rupert Murdoch to call for reputable news outlets to receive a carriage fee for their work.

By Joe McDonough


Posted on January 23, 2018

News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch says Facebook should be charged a carriage fee for the privilege of circulating articles produced by “trusted” news sources.

The media mogul — who controls mastheads like the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, The Sun, and The Australian — responded to Facebook’s policy change announcement, which includes a crack down on fake news, by saying that if CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to distribute reputable content on the social media network, then he should have to pay for it.

“If Facebook wants to recognise ‘trusted’ publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies,” Murdoch said in a statement on Monday.

“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.

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.”

On Friday, Zuckerberg said Facebook would begin prioritising news services based on how “trustworthy” they are, and that will be determined by user feedback on the site. The number of news stories users will see on their feed will also be slashed by 20%, as it focuses on disseminating quality rather than quality.

“Facebook and Google have popularised scurrilous news sources through algorithms that are profitable for these platforms but inherently unreliable,” Murdoch continued.

“There has been much discussion about subscription models but I have yet to see a proposal that truly recognises the investment in and the social value of professional journalism.

“We will closely follow the latest shift in Facebook’s strategy, and I have no doubt that Mark Zuckerberg is a sincere person, but there is still a serious lack of transparency that should concern publishers and those wary of political bias at these powerful platforms.”