Murdoch Versus YouTube And Facebook -- It's So On!

As News Corp readies its programmatic platform, the onslaught against Facebook and Google has been never-ending. Every day or so for the past month there seems to be a new revelation from the Times or The Sunday Times castigating Facebook and Google as the home for extremist views, paedophilia, fake news, and ultimately, for ducking their responsibilities as online publishers.

These are just a few of the latest claims. And they have been made before that crazed gunman went the full hog and took a leaf out of a thriller novel, murdering an innocent passerby in real-time on Facebook Live. I can guarantee you that the stories will continue and will only be given more weight as politicians continue to put pressure on the tech giants to provide a safer place for people to browse and brands to advertise.

You can go back throughout March and April to find there has been a concerted campaign. Now, I don't mean campaign in that anything they are saying is fabricated to prove a point. No, there's clearly something there to be highlighted. Both tech giants, and others, have allowed a mass of user-generated social content to be hosted on their servers so people can communicate with one another -- and as they do that, billions of dollars can be made in advertising revenue. 

If the services were a free volunteer set-up that did not accept advertising, you could kind of forgive them for not being able to keep on top of all comments and posts. But, when you consider that this user-generated content is primarily there to provide advertising opportunities, then you have to place a high level of responsibility on the sites to put some of the billions of dollars of annual income into policing their services better. 

Politicians can say what they like, and they will continue to do so -- the real impact will always be the ongoing boycott of YouTube, which reads like a who's who in advertising.

if only there were another way. If only there were, let's imagine, a national newspaper publisher that could guarantee that brands would only advertise against quality journalism.

Oh, hang on -- just in time, News Corp is planning its own programmatic platform. It has made a key hire so it has someone to run it. We're not too sure when it's happening, but we're promised that it will be sometime this year.

All it needs now is a flood of interest from brands that have been put off Google, and maybe even Facebook, by claims in the press about their inability to provide safe harbours for their advertising. Oh, hang on -- as if by chance, that's exactly what's happening, thanks to a series of investigations by The Times and The Sunday Times that coincide with the ad industry's most noted executive, Sir Martin Sorrell, pointing out that brands should be doing a lot more with newspapers, digitally and in print. 

So we have a bunch of brands put off the ever-powerful digital platforms by a campaign in a newspaper that is planning to launch the safe programmatic platform it claims they all need. What a wonderful coincidence.

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