Murdoch: Facebook should pay ‘trusted’ news publishers carriage fee

Rupert Murdoch attends the WSJ. Magazine 2017 Innovator Awards at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. (AP)
Updated 22 January 2018
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Murdoch: Facebook should pay ‘trusted’ news publishers carriage fee

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch on Monday called on Facebook to pay “trusted” news publishers a carriage fee, similar to the model used by cable companies, amid efforts by the social media company to fight misinformation on its platform.
“Facebook and Google have popularized scurrilous news sources through algorithms that are profitable for these platforms but inherently unreliable,” Murdoch, who controls the Wall Street Journal as executive chairman of News Corp, said in a statement.
Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday his company would fight misinformation and sensationalism on its platform by using member surveys to identify “trustworthy” outlets.
“There has been much discussion about subscription models but I have yet to see a proposal that truly recognizes the investment in and the social value of professional journalism,” Murdoch said.
The quality of news on Facebook has been called into question after alleged Russian operatives and spammers spread false reports on the site, including during the 2016 US election campaign.


Algerian blogger accused of espionage sentenced to 10 years in prison

Updated 25 May 2018
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Algerian blogger accused of espionage sentenced to 10 years in prison

  • An Algerian blogger arrested last year over social media posts has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on espionage and other charges
  • Charges against the blogger, Merzoug Touati, included “incitement for taking up arms against the state”

ALGIERS: An Algerian blogger arrested last year over social media posts has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on espionage and other charges, a human rights activist said on Friday.
Charges against the blogger, Merzoug Touati, included “incitement for taking up arms against the state” and “encouraging crowd gathering,” said Said Salhi, a member of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights.
They also included espionage “with foreign agents, in particular from Israel, with the goal of tarnishing Algeria’s diplomatic position,” Salhi said.
Touati was arrested in January 2017 after he published a Facebook message and a video on YouTube on accounts that were later deleted.
One post called for protests against a 2017 finance law, while the video included an interview with an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman who denied accusations by the Algerian authorities that Israel was behind anti-government protests in Algeria at the time.
Amnesty International said it had reviewed court documents that list the posts as evidence against Touati and that it had found “no incitement to violence or advocacy of hatred.”
“Rather, his posts were covered by freedom of expression in relation to his work as a citizen-journalist,” the rights group said in a statement.
Touati was sentenced on Thursday by a court in Bejaia, east of the capital Algiers.
He has 10 days to appeal the verdict, according to Algerian law.