Top Brazilian paper to stop publishing on Facebook

By AFP
Published: February 9, 2018
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A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo is seen in this illustration photo May 13, 2015. 
PHOTO: REUTERS

A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo is seen in this illustration photo May 13, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

One of Brazil’s top newspapers, the Folha de S. Paulo, announced Thursday it would stop publishing on its Facebook page after the social network announced it would give personal content more visibly.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had announced the shift in the configuration of what the News Feed would allow last month, saying it would foster more “meaningful social interactions” for users.

But the Sao Paulo-based paper said the change would simply “promote the spread of fake news.”

“The disadvantages of Facebook as a way to send information to readers became more obvious following the social network’s decision to reduce the visibility of professional journalism on the pages of its users,” the newspaper said in a statement.

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The newspaper also said its proportion of readers accessing content via Facebook had dropped to 24 per cent in December from about 39 per cent in early 2017.

Facebook has been under fire for months for the proliferation of Russian-created “fake news” on the platform that may have affected the 2016 US presidential election.

The daily stressed it would maintain its Facebook page but not update it with new information. Readers would still be able to share articles from the paper on their personal accounts.

Brazilian media group Globo temporarily stopped publishing content on the leading social network in 2013, before reversing course the following year.

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Online media specialist Renato Cruz said Folha’s decision comes in a new media landscape, in which newspapers rely on digital subscriptions.

The measure will change the way in which readers access the newspaper’s content, he said but does not necessarily deal Facebook a blow.

“By focusing on personal content, the social network has strengthened its business strategy: if a company wants to gain visibility, it must pay, whether it is a media outlet or not,” Cruz said.

Founded in 1921, Folha is the country’s largest newspaper based in Brazil’s economic capital and boasts 5.95 million followers on Facebook.

Brazil is among the top five most active countries on Facebook, with more than 100 million users.

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