Facebook News Chief Campbell Brown to Media: “Work wit Facebook or Die”

A senior Facebook executive has privately admitted Mark Zuckerberg “doesn’t care” about publishers and warned that if they did not work with the social media giant, “I’ll be holding your hands with your dying business like in a ­hospice”. A senior Facebook executive told Australian media companies that if they didn’t cooperate with the social network, their businesses would die. Brown who was hired last year after to help Facebook “smooth over its strained ties to the news media.” But Facebook executives said they were hiring Ms. Brown for her understanding of the news industry as a onetime White House correspondent, co-anchor of “Weekend Today” and primary substitute anchor of “Nightly News” at NBC News, and prime-time anchor on CNN, which she left in 2010. Some commentators noted Ms. Brown’s ties to the Republican donor Betsy DeVos, Mr. Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Education. Ms. DeVos’s family foundation funds The 74, an education-focused journalism site co-founded and led by Ms. Brown. During the four-hour meeting, Brown also talked about the company’s decision to priorities personal posts from family and friends over journalistic content within the news feed. The move has hit some publishers who rely heavily on referrals from Facebook hard. “We are not interested in talking to you about your traffic and referrals anymore. That is the old world and there is no going back – Mark wouldn’t agree to this,” said Brown. In a statement issued on Monday, Brown said: “These quotes are simply not accurate and don’t reflect the discussion we had in the meeting. We know there’s much more to do, but our goal at Facebook – what the team works on every day with publishers and reporters around the world – is to help journalism succeed and thrive, both on our platform and off.”
This wouldn’t be the first time that Brown, a former CNN news anchor, has used blunt language in stark contrast with the mealy-mouthed corporate messaging Facebook typically delivers.nIn March, she told the audience at a conference in London that threatening to sue the Guardian ahead of its Cambridge Analytica exposé on data harvesting was “not our wisest move”. “Right now we are watching massive transformation take place in the news business – both in the way people consume news and in the way reporters disseminate news. Facebook is a major part of this transformation,” she said on her Facebook page at the time.

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