Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Facebook and the Cost of Monopoly – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

Facebook and the Cost of Monopoly – Stratechery by Ben Thompson: "The problem is that Facebook isn’t simply a social network: the service is a three-sided market — users, content providers, and advertisers — and while the basis of Facebook’s dominance is in the network effects that come from connecting all of those users, said dominance has seeped to those other sides.

 Content providers are an obvious example: Facebook passed Google as the top traffic driver back in 2015, and as of last fall drove over 40% of traffic for the average site, even after an algorithm change that reduced publisher reach.

So is that a monopoly when it comes to the content provider market? I would argue yes, thanks to the monopoly framework above.

 Note that once again we are in a situation where there is not a clear price: no content provider pays Facebook to post a link (although they can obviously make said link into an advertisement). However, Facebook does, at least indirectly, make money from that content: the more users find said content engaging, the more time they will spend on Facebook, which means the more ads they will see." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, 12 January 2017

UK fails to gag press over ID of ex-spy at centre of Trump dossier claims

UK fails to gag press over ID of ex-spy at centre of Trump dossier claims | Ars Technica UK: "The D-notice first came into play in 1912, two years before World War I broke out, when Whitehall mandarins decided that an organisation should be created that addressed matters of national interest. Members of the press were included on the advisory panel, and they remain so to do this day.

However, the makeup has changed a little: the likes of Google representatives have sat on the committee, for example. Though, the US ad giant withdrew its voluntary support in light of Edward Snowden's damning disclosures about the NSA.

Historically, publishers and editors have largely responded in kind to the frightfully polite requests from the MoD. Members of the committee have long argued that it doesn't amount to censorship from the British government, instead insisting that they are simply exercising restraint with stories that may, on reflection, damage national security. But Vallance and his predecessors can only gently nudge the press to consider the sensitive material they have in their possession before publishing it." 'via Blog this'