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Journalism and Facebook
By Dave Winer on Wednesday, May 04, 2011 at 4:07 PM.

Just read a piece by Scott Rosenberg warning that journalists shouldn't rush into Facebook. He's right, but imho his analogies don't quite capture the danger.  #

Here's the question in a nutshell. Suppose you had a story that uncovered an unsavory fact about Facebook. Would you feel comfortable publishing that on Facebook?  #

Now, what if Facebook made a deal with the Chinese government? Would you feel comfortable publishing a story unfavorable to China on Facebook? Would you be surprised if Facebook altered it, or took it down, or got you fired? What if China owned 10 percent of Facebook? #

What if it weren't Facebook, what if it were Exxon or BP running the network? Apple or Microsoft? Would you feel differently?  #

A picture named net.gifWould you be surprised if, in a few years, Facebook wasn't drawing from the talent pool of the US government, or the largest banks and corporations and other Silicon Valley firms? Of course they already are.  #

If Facebook lasts, and if it grows like most companies do, they will hire from the general talent pool from all sectors of government, academia and buisness. The kind of freedom you'll have on Facebook won't be anything special. It'll be a corporate-owned or controlled place like a shopping mall, or the Smithsonian. Subject to all the political pressures of large entities. I don't think that's a good environment for journalism, reading or writing. #

It's probably still early days for Facebook. But it's growing so fast, it won't last long. #

It would be much better for all of us if the web outside of Facebook thrived or at least held its ground. I don't think there's any question about that. And it would be great if you all helped it. #

Update: Ars Technica provides all the evidence you need.  #

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