Just a mere 10 years ago Yahoo was the number one source of news on the net. (Even though at the time it gathered no news of its own.) Today (as you probably are aware) Facebook is the nets’ undisputed leader.
Just two generations ago CBS News Anchor and Managing Editor Walter Cronkite (pic) was known as “the most trusted man in America.” And as Cronkite said himself: “Certainly no words go out that I haven’t seen, and most of which I’ve written.”
I bring all this up because of this week’s controversy about Facebook’s news feed (and whether or not some conservative views were “blacklisted” from the “TRENDING” news module.) So why are editors important and why can’t we just have an algorithm do the choosing? As CNNMoney’s Brian Stelter reports: “Editors weed out spam, scams, hoaxes, and duplicative stories. But this week’s controversy reinforces the uncomfortable feeling that Facebook is a “black box.” But those of us who grew up thinking that journalists had a commitment to fairness and balance only have to look back to the days of Hearst and Pulitzer and their fight for click-thoroughs er, circulation.
So surfer beware as you waste your time on Facebook – don’t unquestionably believe any news you see there. Perhaps your time would be better served by streaming “The Social Network.”
(“A black box is a device, object, or system whose inner workings are unknown…” – Wikipedia)