News Corp. Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch has a suggestion for how Facebook and Google can regain user trust: Pay publishers.
Murdoch on Monday called on the tech giants to pay established, “trusted” news publishers a carriage fee, similar to the model used by cable companies.
“The publishers are obviously enhancing the value and integrity of Facebook through their news and content but are not being adequately rewarded for those services,” Murdoch said in a statement.
The media executive said the sites — which millions of people visit daily to get their news — have popularized “scurrilous” news sources through algorithms that, while profitable, are “inherently unreliable.”
Murdoch’s suggestion comes on the heels of Facebook’s announcement on Jan. 19 that it will be asking its 2 billion users to rank the news outlets they trust most.
Facebook was blasted for carrying fake, bot-created stories in its News Feed during the last presidential campaign that could have influenced the outcome.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has apologized — and his recent announcement is part of a plan to fix what stories are fed to the social network’s users.
Zuckerberg wrote in a Jan. 19 blog post he is not “comfortable” deciding which news sources are the most trustworthy in a “world with so much division.”
So the company is conducting surveys to establish trust rankings.
“Broadly trusted” news outlets may have a huge boost in readership, while ones with poor ratings could see their Web traffic plunge.
Murdoch said he does not doubt Zuckerberg’s sincerity, but added “there is still a serious lack of transparency that should concern publishers and those wary of political bias at these powerful platforms.”
News Corp. is owner of The Post.