Let’s start with basic facts:
The facts suggest Facebook is a monopoly. Monopolies are not new to the US or the world. One of the most famous was created when J.P. Morgan bought Andrew Carnegie’s steel company to create U.S. Steel which controlled 70% of steel production. There have been other historical US monopolies: sugar, tobacco, oil and telephone. But there has never been any monopoly like Facebook and like all monopolies, Facebook cannot help itself from engaging in predatory practices.
A recent article reported how Facebook targets vulnerable teens. Facebook conducted research to target emotionally vulnerable and insecure youth. The Atlantic Magazine in May 2017 lays out how tech giants use audience sentiment, cross-referenced browsing history, likes, and searches to target advertising suggestions. Just think about it…Facebook controls the
Now think about Facebook which controls the platform, the data, and then exactly like a more sophisticated and personalized big brother Facebook pushes content on vulnerable teens. Facebook’s goal is not sinister. It just wants to sell more advertising. Facebook is NOT a bad company, instead, it is a company that has learned how to leverage the shifts in culture, manage a treasure trove of user data, and optimize profits.
This article is NOT about teens and what big bad Facebook is doing. Instead, it is about how local media companies in their present configurations cannot compete with Facebook. Facebook has mastered targeted one-to-one adverting as evidenced by how they are to target vulnerable teens. Sun Tzu sages advice holds true today, “Choose your battlefields wisely.” Local media companies need to recognize they are fighting on the wrong battlefield. Instead of fighting Facebook digitally, local media companies need to fight where Facebook cannot go…in-store, personal, community-based advertising.
Facebook is for Facebook and world domination. Local media companies need to stand for local communities. They can and need to fight back – IF – they are willing to change. Change requires seeing that if they continue on their current path they will be out of business, their local communities will lose their independent news, and the binding identity of local will be lost in cyber nonsense ville.