The newspapers reported as a "great victory" of the Australians the fact that Facebook will now pay the Australian newspapers a few billion dollars, in exchange for the free use of their contents in order to enrich their social network.
And the world looks kindly on similar agreements that (it is said) are about to take place in France and Germany, proposing them as a model for a "better web". Indeed, it is expected that even Google will adapt to the model, together with Twitter and all the other major social networks such as Linkedin, in order to make it a standard, perhaps with a global tariff.
Well, I don't think there's anything to celebrate. In fact, it's bad news.
What exactly happens? It happens that newspapers struggle with advertising, which is absorbed by the greats of the internet (Facebook, Google, Linkedin, Twitter, etc) while the greats offer newspaper content on their social networks, hiding, however, the advertising that newspapers do on respective online sites.
The solution chosen is to ensure that social media pay a certain amount to the newspapers in a single installment. And it's the wrong solution. Let's see why.
Imagine that an online newspaper lives on its own advertisements. How many advertisers does it have? Let's say, for convenience, 100. All the same.
It happens now that one of these hundred, a certain Pelati Beppe, puts the dead mice in the cans of peeled tomatoes to save on tomatoes. At this point the newspaper has a choice:
- if he gives the news, Pelati Beppe withdraws the advertising from him, and the newspaper loses 1% of revenues.
- if it DOESN'T give the news but the other newspapers give it, maybe it doesn't lose 1% of advertising, but it could lose readers, which impacts ALL advertising.
Moral of the story: he will give the news and you will know of the misdeeds of Pelati Beppe.
Now let's assume that the newspaper has four customers: Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter. For simplicity, in equal parts. The customers are still 100, but now they advertise on social networks. Newspapers work with reflected light.
Now suppose Google is doing some shit, like selling your medical data to a group of organ traffickers.
At this point the newspaper has two choices.
- if he breaks the news, he loses 25% of advertising revenue. For the editor-in-chief, the director and the reporter, it's safe firing.
- if it DOESN'T give the news but other newspapers give it… no, all the newspapers are now in the same condition. Nobody will give it.
25% less revenue is a catastrophe for any newspaper and any board of directors. There is no need for Murdoch to give the order, control will take place 10 levels lower than Murdoch. Murdoch won't even know that the editor-in-chief, the editor and the editor are taking away the news that Google doesn't like to see, for fear that Google will call Murdoch shouting “what the fuck are your employees doing? Do you want to lose 25% of the income "?
In practice, in this way you have transformed social networks into the only, and practically an oligopoly, customers of every newspaper on the planet.
Years ago the Colombian government experimented with a curious way of keeping the newspapers under control. The government carried out conspicuous journalistic campaigns, paying them a lot, as a "progressive advertising" model. The amount of money it invested was such that newspapers, in order not to upset the best customer, censored criticism of the government. Then that government fell for other reasons: they called the method "nose ring".
It's not easy for newspapers to gag. But they gladly have a nice ring on their nose. For money.
Being the big advertisers is one of the ways you put a nose ring on the press. You have not silenced or censored them: they will do it themselves. In order not to lose the Great Client. The Great Advertiser.
With this logic of the Social-Newspaper agreement, social networks become the Big Client of EVERY newspaper on the planet, that is, they have a nose ring put on.
Censorship takes place at different levels under the CDA: the newspaper's commercial office, which manages advertising and relations with social media, in meetings with the director and the editor-in-chief, warns everyone to NEVER bother Big Customer Tizio, Big Customer Caio, Big Customer Sempronio . The CDA will never know anything, because it is at least 5 layers above, in a large commercial group of newy & media even 10 layers above. LOro see the money coming and are pleased.
Here is what we are achieving with those agreements: social networks become “The Great Customer you need to speak well of”. The press does not have a gag, but it does have a nose ring.
With this method, journalism is transformed into the Google News Content Office on a global level. I don't know how long it will be before Google starts saying which content it likes and which it doesn't, or how long it will be before the ass-lickers figure out for themselves what Google likes.
But it will happen: the tongue of the ass licker specializes in this, after millions of years of evolution. They know how to lick where the customer likes best.
In practice, you have sold the press, on a global scale, to large social networks.
Congratulations, pile of idiots. Celebrate stocazzo.
And I want to see them, your financial masters, when they realize they are not in control of their own newspapers, which now serve another boss. What a pile of idiots.
Never had the world created such a stupid ruling class. And never had he paid her so much, to get so little in return.
To quote Orwell,
“Do you want to know what the future will be like, Winston Smith? Is simple. Imagine a boot crushing a face. Forever. ”(1984, the torture room).