Facebook: friend or foe?

Google is attacked as a parasite on news sites, yet the true threat could be the social network giant Facebook. Is Rupert Murdoch directing his ire at the wrong target?Here’s a sentence that Robert Thomson, the editor of the Wall Street Journal, has not said: “Facebook argues they drive traffic to sites, but the whole Facebook sensibility is inimical to traditional brand loyalty … Facebook encourages promiscuity [in viewing different news sites] – and shamelessly so – and therefore a significant proportion of their users don’t necessarily associate that content with the creator.”And here’s something Rupert Murdoch has never said: “We are going to stop people like Facebook or whoever from taking stories for nothing … There is a law of copyright and they recognise it … Some sites have tapped into a river of gold [by aggregating content] … They take [news content] for nothing. They have got this very clever business model.”

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