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Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corporation, reacts during a panel discussion at the B20 meeting of company CEOs in Sydney, July 17, 2014. The B20 was set up in 2010 to give policy recommendations on behalf of the international business community to the G20 member countries.

  • Rupert Murdoch makes a fair point that Facebook would do right by the media industry by paying for content like cable companies do.
  • Facebook doesn’t have much incentive to listen.
  • The company is already reticent about being seen as a media company and is moving away from the news business.
  • Media companies don’t have a ton of leverage over Facebook or Google.
  • Plus the technological challenges involved in either getting paid or choking off Facebook are significant.

The newsrooms at the ‘old media’ Wall Street Journal and ‘digital native’ BuzzFeed may not see eye-to-eye on much, but suddenly their bosses have lots to bond over.

That’s because, in one way or another, both News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch and BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti believe that Facebook and Google aren’t giving news organizations a fair deal. They want them to pay up for news stories shared on the platforms.

In each case, however, it’s not clear whether any single news organization has serious leverage against the duopoly, or, as Business Insider’s Nathan McAlone noted, the technical wherewithal to actually pull or block all of their content from either platform.

Still, it’s not crazy to think that Facebook, in particular, could and probably should pay publishers to distribute their content. But who says they care enough or see what’s in it for them?

Why should Facebook listen to Rupert Murdoch?

Murdoch doesn’t make any explicit threats in his fiery note. It’s easy to see why. What threat could he make? Could he pull down the New York Post’s Facebook page tomorrow? Would people notice or care?

This isn’t like MTV going dark on a cable system in the 1990s, which would inevitably lead to fans calling their cable switchboard to complain.

More importantly, Murdoch couldn’t stop people from posting New York Post articles to Facebook, Read More Here