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.