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Why Social Media Matters: How Facebook Is Killing The News

While other platforms offer more choices and more options, Facebook is a powerful social media platform that reaches much wider groups than any other. But it’s also an important source of news for many–particularly in areas where the media does not have a presence. If we can get ahold of and engage with the news in a way that makes you think, you may end up finding the content that matters even more.

The news is always changing, and that is what is great about the news. I just think I should say that. I think we probably all agree. But the truth is, the news has changed. We use social media sites, but there is so much more to it. I find Facebook to be one of the most useful sites I have. I use it to keep in touch with friends when I go on vacation. There are so many different ways of consuming news, that it makes me think. It helps keep me from getting sidetracked. It’s a great place to research anything. And if there is a topic that I just get so deeply into, it makes me happy to post all that information in a place that is much broader than just my friends. I’ve found some interesting pieces–some of my favorite things–that I wanted put in those comments in various ways, but just didn’t think of.

The way Facebook and other platforms handle what we post is very important. It’s all very well, if your main priority is to be the first to report about a story, maybe you should be more sensitive to the comments. But just about every report that we make on your site, comments are made by users. But of course there is no way of knowing who you are and what they’re saying. The most important thing is to know that they’re there. We spend lots of time trying to understand what people are saying so we can understand which stories are of most interest and what news organizations are using the platform. But most important, the comments can be a place to interact with other people and find out information you may not have found–not just as an advocate for your own personal cause, but to help you find out what the news is about. Most news organizations will be posting stories that involve the comments and they are very interesting reads.

The most important thing for us is not to alienate anyone. You have all the freedom in the world to write whatever you choose. We are there to provide the readers with the things that are of most interest to them, and we will not police comments or any of that sort. It’s our job to be sensitive about that. There is an element of it–it’s not perfect. Not every view is of interest to everyone. But the important thing is the people who are using the platform to connect and make friends, it is that which we want to reach and it is that which is going to be there. Of course it will always be there, as long as there are a sufficient number of people with these particular motivations to get their news there, whether or not it’s all right for them to express it in such a way. The way we get that out there is through what we do. We just think, as journalists, as news producers, just like you, if you’re posting something that you find interesting, whether it comes from a place where the news media doesn’t have an effect or not, it’s OK to post it. And we’ll do what we can to try to understand it as best we can and post that. But we also understand that many people are just using it for very personal reasons–whether it be a friend or family member or an interest they have, the most important thing is that there is a way to engage and find those things. It’s not the least of our concerns but it is one of our core concerns. And that’s it.