Brown’s contacts today are demanding Facebook take more direct responsibility for content it features, like the torturing of a Chicago man broadcast on Facebook Live recently. The perpetrators were arrested, but governments are growing increasingly angry over such outrages, while the outrages themselves are becoming ever-more profitable.
Maintaining its freedom to publish is essential to Facebook’s growth, but so is maintaining good relations with government. That dance has just begun.
Seeking a Center
The mid-roll ads and the hiring of Brown are defensive moves. They cost money without delivering much revenue. They are necessary for Facebook to show it takes its responsibilities as an outlet for powerful video seriously.
In 2017, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is taking responsibility for the world’s media, its political views, and even the stock market itself, as our Josh Enomoto notes. What’s good for general Facebook is good for the U.S. of A.
What investors want to know is that Facebook continues to innovate, as with a new video chat feature on Facebook Messenger that brings up to 50 people together. They’re looking in the wrong direction.
In the last decade, Facebook has gone from being a raw startup to a core holding in the stock market, from the outskirts to the center of power. Zuckerberg himself reportedly has political ambitions and the company’s latest moves seem an attempt to find a new political center, in both American and global politics, that he and FB can occupy.
Finding that center, defining it, is essential to Facebook’s continued growth. Facebook has become the king of all media, and uneasy hangs the crown.
Dana Blankenhorn is a financial and technology journalist. His latest novel is Bridget O’Flynn vs. Something Big & Ugly. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.