News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch takes swings at Google, Facebook

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Nov 17 (Businesshala) – Rupert Murdoch renewed his attacks on Google and Facebook during News Corp’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, accusing the tech giant of trying to silence conservative voices and calling for “significant reform”. charged up.

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Silicon Valley companies are favorite targets for 90-year-old Murdoch, who has for years criticized Facebook for taking publisher news articles without compensation and for failing to reward publishers adequately. The public outcry continued despite concessions from both companies to News Corp, which earlier this year agreed to pay for the publisher’s content in Australia.

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“For many years our company has been leading the global debate about Big Digital,” Murdoch said. “What we’ve seen about practices at Facebook and Google over the past few weeks certainly reinforces the need for significant improvement.”

Murdoch accused Facebook employees of trying to silence conservative voices, and noted “a similar pattern of selectivity” in Google’s search results. But according to data from Facebook-owned analytics firm CrowdTangle, posts from conservative figures like Dan Bongino and Ben Shapiro are regularly among the most popular on the platform.

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In addition, the media mogul cited a lawsuit filed last year by 10 state attorneys general accusing Google of monopolizing the digital advertising market and allegedly working with Facebook to manipulate online auctions. Where advertisers buy and sell ad space.

“Let us be very clear about the consequences of that digital advertising market manipulation,” Murdoch said. “Obviously, publishers have suffered materially, but companies have also been charged more for their advertising, and consumers have paid much more for the products.”

Representatives for Alphabet Inc.’s Google (GOOGL.O) and Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook (FB.O) could not immediately be reached for comment.

Murdoch called for algorithmic transparency – echoing debate in Congress in the wake of Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s revelations about the social network’s business practices.

“The idea has been falsely promoted by the platform that algorithms are in any way objective and purely scientific,” Murdoch stressed. “Algorithms are subjective and can be used by people to kill competition, harming other people, publishers and businesses.”

Murdoch also met with former US President Trump, who published an October 27 letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal, reiterating the false claim that the 2021 presidential election was rigged, in the service of American conservatives in the past. to proceed from.

“The past is the past and the nation is now competing to define the future,” Murdoch said.

Reporting by Don Chmilevsky in Los Angeles and Helen Koster in New York; Editing by Diane Craft

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