Uma história a que ninguém está dando muita atenção, talvez porque atinja a direita. O Facebook está sendo acusado de manipular sua coluna de “trends”, de modo a esconder notícias da extrema direita.

E quando envolver algo que prejudique o próprio Facebook? Ou quando for algo que contrarie interesses do Vale do Silício ou do governo dos EUA?

AMY GOODMAN: Bob McChesney, I also want to ask you about Facebook. On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with top conservative media activists, including Glenn Beck; Dana Perino, the former Bush spokesperson; and Tucker Carlson. The meeting took place a week after Facebook was accused of suppressing news stories on political grounds. Former Facebook workers told the website Gizmodo they routinely suppress news stories of interest to conservative readers by keeping them out of the trending stories section on the sidebar.

ROBERT McCHESNEY: Well, it’s a real problem, in the sense that the issue here is the one that’s not being talked about, the elephant in the room, the two-ton elephant, which is Facebook is a monopoly, and they have monopolistic power, as do a number of these digital giants that are the largest companies now, in terms of market value, in the world economy. And so, what Facebook does, or Google or Amazon, has immense influence over how people see the world and understand the world. And so, the concerns are legitimate, if you feel you’re getting the raw end of the stick. But really, the real question is: Should we have a private monopoly that has so much political influence and political power? I think democratic theory is unequivocal on this point: no. This is really antithetical to anything remotely close to a free press and a free society.

Then, the other issue is, if you’re going to have this private monopoly, no matter how lovely you think the people are who run it or how much you trust them, how benevolent you might think they are, in our society, and most others, what you get is, the people or the squeaky wheel that gets their attention, that causes them to react, are powerful people. So it’s going to naturally gravitate to suiting the interests of those who can arrange a private meeting, who have big backers, who are politically and economically influential. I don’t think Facebook is holding meetings with homeless representatives to make sure their side of the story gets covered, or peace activists to make sure their side of the story gets covered. I doubt the boycott and divestment folks, that you talked about at the newscast here, across the country, with regard to Palestine and Israel, are getting their audience with Facebook, either. You know, it’s really slanted very heavily towards benefiting those in power, when you have a private monopoly that basically has uncontrollable power.

Na mesma entrevista, eles ainda discutem a compra da Time Warner Cable pela Charter. Agora os EUA vão ter duas empresas de cabo – Charter e Comcast – que controlam dois terços do mercado de internet por fios.

Robert McChesney: Facebook’s Monopoly & Surveillance Antithetical to Free Press and a Free Society via @democracynow


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