The concept of ‘social editor’

I like the concept of ‘social editor’, though think it has to be treated carefully:

In an earlier post for this blog, we argued that Facebook has crossed the line from being a mere host of user-created content to functioning as an editor of (professional) media content, at least for certain parts of its website, such as Trending Topics. However, it is also clear that Facebook is not an editor in a traditional sense, and certainly not in the sense that media law and policy are accustomed to. Facebook does not itself produce news, but it does aggregate news, it closes deals with media publishers for Instant Articles and even commissions content , for example for Facebook Live. Facebook establishes editorial and community guidelines – guidelines that apply to Facebook’s users, not to Facebook, as Facebook itself has no editorial mission. The social network plays a pivotal role in providing the edited recommendation service ‘Trending Topics’, with its ability to bring important issues to the attention of a wide range of users and to rank other topics into oblivion. Most importantly, social networks like Facebook organise the way in which the public debate around content takes place. It does so by collecting and integrating data from Facebook users into the recommendation process, by calculating popularity and shareability and by offering an entire architecture of tools for users to engage and share. This makes Facebook first and foremost a social editorthat exercises control not only over the selection and organisation of content, but also, and importantly, over the way we find, share and engage with that content.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.