How The New York Times’ Mark Thompson Became the Latest Thorn in Facebook’s Side
Facebook has been taking fire from all sides lately, but few have been more outspoken and consistent of late than Mark Thompson, CEO of The New York Times.
As publishers have increasingly found their voice in criticizing Facebook out loud, few have been more vocal than Thompson, who carries a lot of weight as the leader of a storied journalistic institution. In June, Thompson gave a speech in which he described Facebook’s policy of labeling news as political ads as “a threat to democracy.” A few days later, he sparred with Facebook’s head of global news, Campbell Brown, during a panel discussion over the same issue, accusing Facebook of playing into the hands of enemies of high-quality journalism. (She shot back that the Times didn’t want to be transparent itself.) Then, speaking before marketers in Cannes, he returned to the same issue, calling Facebook “very difficult.”
The Times and other publishers have pulled spending from Facebook to avoid their articles being labeled as political. A Times spokesperson said, “We support Facebook’s efforts around transparency but have disagreed with how they’re approaching it. We’re now actively engaged with them to get to a solution that recognizes and distinguishes independent journalism like that of The New York Times.”