The 2016 U.S. presidential election cause to take a closer look at the news that they find online. News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch's solution for the problem would be for Facebook and Google to start paying carriage fees for the news that appears on their websites.
Everyone is trying to find a solution to the problem of fake news. Murdoch's solution would just happen to put more cash in his pocket.
Media mogul Murdoch's solution for fake news seems like a stretch for Facebook and Google to start paying news organizations money for trusted content. He proposes a strategy used by cable companies to carry channels that snare consumers for the service.
Before presenting his suggestion, Murdoch says that the solutions for the fake news problem so far have been "inadequate, commercially, socially and journalistically." Then he goes on to present his solution that acknowledges the money spent by news organizations and the societal importance that they provide.
"The time has come to consider a different route. If Facebook wants to recognize 'trusted' publishers then it should pay those publishers a carriage fee similar to the model adopted by cable companies," said Murdoch in statement. "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. Carriage payments would have a minor impact on Facebook's profits but a major impact on the prospects for publishers and journalists."
It would be a way of ensuring that all content is coming from real news organizations but could create bias if some companies pay more than others.
Another problem with Murdoch's solution is that Facebook and Google are available worldwide. Paying for carriage fees in one part of the world will not solve the problem if they're not allowed to share the articles in another country.
Facebook wouldn't be open to this idea. It is currently revamping the way that it ranks content in its News Feed to promote more social interaction with friends and family. Publishers are scared that this may drive traffic away from their own posts that are used to bring attention to their brands.
This solution only solves the problem of established services losing footing on the social media website by essentially being paid to post links.
If the cable service is taken as an example of the situation, what occurs is that more popular channels command a larger portion of carrier fees. Murdoch who owns Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post would be able to rake in the cash. Those are just the companies owned by News Corp in the U.S. The more solutions that are put forward, the easier it will become to fix the fake news problem.