About Facebook, media and democracy
Last weekend I was in Perugia for the International Journalism Festival. Having just published a long article on the topic of algorithm transparency it was almost compulsory for me to attend a conference with Andy Mitchell, director of the News Feed at Facebook. This interview followed the Keynote Speech by Facebook’s director of News Feed Andy Mitchell. You can see the full event here:
I tried to ask to mr Mitchell (minute 45:45) what he thinks about the ethical role of Facebook as the main news source (especially for my generation). I found the answer void and repetitive, in a nutshell: “you should use Facebook a complimentary news source”. Getting this answer after 45 minutes of slides on how many people read news on Facebook and how amazing the News Feed is was pretty irritating. After the conference I asked mr Mitchell to have an interview but he had to catch a plane.
Luckily, though, I was able to meet George Brock (Professor of Journalism at the City University in London), who amazingly pointed out what is the moral problem Mitchell was avoiding (minute 50:04). The following day we had a coffe and an interview that you find here.
UPDATE: This conference gave birth to a discussion and here’s some more material:
- A blog post by George Brock: http://georgebrock.net/andy-mitchell-and-facebooks-weird-state-of-denial-about-news/
- Another post by Jay Rosen, professor of Journalism in New York (in which I’m quoted): http://pressthink.org/2015/04/its-not-that-we-control-newsfeed-you-control-newsfeed-facebook-please-stop-with-this/
(Sottotitoli in italiano), grazie a Mauro Cerracchio per le riprese