Media 'De-Friend' Facebook with Anti-Business Reporting

Despite the fact that both The New York Times and NBC Nightly News have Facebook pages, they don’t appear to be friends of the social networking juggernaut.


On May 26, the media reported on Facebook’s announcement that it is making its privacy controls more user-friendly. The new changes make it easier for users to determine who sees their information and to turn off features that share information with partner sites such as Pandora Music. However, the changes didn’t stop the Times or NBC Nightly News from painting Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg as corporate tyrants, forcing users to share every detail of their lives with the site.


“Ever since Facebook was founded in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, its chief executive, has pushed its users to share more information about themselves. Time and again, users have pushed back, complaining that some new feature or setting on the site violate their privacy,” begins the Times piece.


The Times continued to paint Zuckerberg as a bully who “did not apologize to users” and didn’t bother interviewing anyone who supported the new Facebook changes. Instead, it sought opinion from Marc Rotenberg, former Counsel for Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, and current executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. Rotenberg appreciated the changes but thought they didn’t go far enough.


“Mr. Rotenberg and other privacy advocates said the changes that Facebook announced Wednesday were generally positive ones, but they hoped for further changes and for more oversight from Congress and regulators.”


Not to be confined to the print media, Tom Costello of NBC Nightly News managed to interview two people for his report, and both happened to be anti-Facebook.


“They’re modifying the way we shop for information and shop for products, and they’re targeting us with advertising,” said the second anonymous interviewee.


At the very least, Costello is consistent with attacking businesses and the Times is stalwart in promoting government regulation. One would think that out of 500 million Facebook users, NBC Nightly News, whose Facebook page has 3,024 fans, and The Times, whose Facebook page has over 600,000 fans, could have found at least one person who supported the changes.

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