Zuckerberg the Gatewatcher

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Early in 2013, CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that the Facebook was being re-designed to resemble a “personalised newspaper”. Mr Zuckerberg claimed the news feed enables Facebook users to publish and view”whatever you want…and with any audience you want.”

Turning the news feed into a personalised newspaper has essentially enabled Facebook to act as what Axel Burns describes as News gatewatchers. Burns argues that gatewatchers such as Facebook can “Point their users to useful reports in conventional news publications as well as to first-hand materials from official or unofficial sources or to insightful commentary and analysis; in other words, they watch the output gates of other sources, and further publicise the material published there. “

While the concept of a personalised newspaper initially appears to give Facebook users greater autonomy over the news they consume, the fact remains that Facebook still maintains a level of control over what appears on its users news feed. In this sense Facebook, and more specifically Mark Zuckerberg can be considered a modern news gatekeeper, much the same way that Rupert Murdoch is a gatekeeper of the Industrial news media industry.

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4 thoughts on “Zuckerberg the Gatewatcher

  1. I like this idea of Facebook being a personalized newsletter as the idea behind it is rather accurate. A portion of the content on Facebook is sometimes my initial point of sourcing a new story.
    Though I can see some serious issues with this for a lot of people because if it is the only a narrow view of what is essentially going on. Even for myself, if I only source my news from Facebook, I would not have a rounded view of everything that is going on in the world. We need diversity, different views and perspectives and if we are taking that which is ‘shared’ or ‘liked’ but only the people we are friends with, there is the potential that we will not get this. It is also going to be very subjective and this means opinions and views and not always facts and figures.

    What do you think? Do you source a lot from news from Facebook? Do you search for news on any other platform?

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    1. I personally get a fair bit of information from my Facebook feed. Not always what I want to see but I do find it useful. The best source of personalised content in my opinion is to get involved in Reddit.

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      1. Good to see another Reddit user in DIGC. I am interested to hear what you think the best source of news is on reddit. Personally I find r/australia to be a little too political, and r/worldnews is too broad. So what do you use?

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      2. I quite like r/Australia for news. It is fairly political but I tend to find most news sources within Australia are fairly politically inclined.. SMH, Canberra times etc. As a huge Aussie rules fan I get pretty involved with r/afl lol but pretty much any topic there is a subreddit for. Do you have any recommendations?!

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