Facebook has had its powerful position in the global media landscape debated from time to time. However, whenever such discussions are held, one important party is always missing – Mark Zuckerberg himself.
Why is Mark Zuckerberg, an individual who is now more powerful than most state leaders, always silent in such matters?
In one of the latest confrontations Zuckerberg and his Facebook have had to deal with, Aftenpost sought to stop Facebook from censoring a photo taken from the documentary, The Terror of war.
This they did successfully, but the victory was symbolic in nature. It represented what so many other people would like Facebook to see but they don’t. The image was not showing nudity, but the terrors of wall.
The other part involved pushing Facebook to engage in a discussion about its powerful position in the global distribution of news and content. This was a successful objective as well, and perhaps the best part is that the debate was international.
But the most notable characteristic of this issue is the lack of participation from Facebook. Of course, they issue statements on certain issues, and these are always read by news men and women.
However, that cannot be considered as real participation. In some places, like Scandinavia, Facebook has gone to the extent of hiring a PR firm to handle media queries.
The other mission involved getting Mark Zuckerberg, the man himself, to personally jump into the debate and address the issues raised. This has for now been a futile endeavour.
But the silence was to be expected. Facebook does not consider itself to be a media company but a mere technological platform. But that is merely a case of appearances. In the actual sense, it is not a natural player as could have been seen from its blocking of the Terror of War.
Most people in the world consider Facebook to be the internet itself. There are currently over 1 billion people that actively use the social media platform on a daily basis.
Whenever such people visit other websites, they usually use Facebook to do so. Although not all Media companies publish content to Facebook, readers use the platform to share and interact with it. This then renders Facebook a media company, or at least a major gateway for all media companies to their readers.
Facebook may be considered a friend and foe to the people as far as its power in the global media scene goes. There is need for it to engage in this debate, but this will only happen if Mark wants it.