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  • Rupert Murdoch accuses Google, Facebook of overcharging advertisers

Rupert Murdoch renewed his attacks on Google and Facebook during News Corp’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, accusing the tech giants of trying to silence conservative voices and calling for “significant reform”.

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The Silicon Valley companies are favourite targets for Murdoch, 90, who for years has criticized Google for taking the publisher’s news articles without compensation and Facebook for failing to adequately reward publishers.

“For many years our company has been leading the global debate about Big Digital,” said Murdoch. “What we have seen in the past few weeks about the practices at Facebook and Google surely reinforces the need for significant reform.”

Murdoch accused Facebook’s employees of trying to silence conservative voices, and noted “a similar pattern of selectivity” in Google’s search results.


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But according to data from Facebook-owned analytics firm CrowdTangle, posts from conservative personalities such as Dan Bongino and Ben Shapiro routinely rank among the most popular on the platform.

Further, the media mogul cited a lawsuit, filed last year by 10 state attorney generals, accusing Google of monopolizing the digital ad 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 ad market manipulation,” said Murdoch. “Obviously, publishers have been materially damaged, but companies have also been overcharged for their advertising, and consumers have thus paid too much for products.”

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

“The idea falsely promoted by the platforms that algorithms are somehow objective and solely scientific is complete nonsense,” Murdoch said.

“Algorithms are subjective and they can be manipulated by people to kill competition, damage other people, publishers and businesses.”

Esther Solaja

posted 2021-11-18 09:24:09

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