News Corp’s Facebook Scare Campaign

This morning I ran a quick experiment. I searched through News.com.au’s site for stories that mention Facebook in the title to see what percentage of those stories had a negative slant. My theory is that large media companies such as News are scared about the amount of traffic Facebook is getting, as it’s decreasing their own readership thereby affecting the revenue they can generate from advertising. So they are running Facebook scare campaigns.

News Corp, of course, has even more reason that other media companies to be hatin’ on the Facebook, because they own MySpace, Facebook’s biggest competitor.

So – on with the results.

NEGATIVE STORIES

Facebook pedophiles stalk TV star, 11

Police probe students’ Facebook hate group

Spook’s wife in strife over Facebook post

Pupil’s Facebook slur against teacher

Facebook affair behind murder, suicide

Teacher dies after nude Facebook photos

Facebook used to organise Auburn racial riot – police

Nicole Kidman bullied on Facebook

Teenager fired from job via Facebook

Fake police Facebook page fools users

Premier Bligh writes to Facebook boss

Facebook removes kill-a-prostitute page

Teen’s death posted on Facebook first

Parents use Facebook to trap paedophile

Facebook deal forces computer clean-up

Rail bash teen’s mates turn to Facebook

Smiling in a bikini on Facebook costs Canadian woman her insurance

POSITIVE STORIES

Facebook extended to iPhone, iPod Touch

Pure Digital Sensia radio goes on Facebook, Twitter

Orangutan photographer a Facebook hit

Thief nabbed by Facebook detectives

So… out of twenty-one stories, there are FOUR positive stories (19%) and SEVENTEEN negative stories (81%).

The question is – does this show a bias in coverage?

Discuss.

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5 thoughts on “News Corp’s Facebook Scare Campaign

  1. Mandi says:

    Cameron I’d be interested in the ratio of negative to positive stories regardless of Facebook as a headline. And if you search beyond the headline, it seems to be a popular source for images and commentary in many other stories as well. The death knock has been replaced by the Facebook stalk, voxpops on the street are replaced by tweets and I’m sure the “shared most on Facebook/Twitter” lists on various sites is regularly trawled for an idea of what will become the top news stories. No doubt that News launch not so thinly veiled attacks on anything they see as a threat, but I don’t think Facebook will become their public enemy number one anytime soon

  2. Costus says:

    Well you need to know what the ratio is on other similar sites and/or on the net in general to know whether theirs is slanted or not?

  3. James With says:

    It certainly does, so what’s changed, they’ve always shown bias, and so does every other large conglomerate media organization… I guess the main thing here is that we have Cameron Reilly… making sure this information is not overlooked! Cheers CR… keep up the great work!

  4. Cameron says:

    Mandi, good point about the general negative/positive ratio. I do think, though, that Facebook is attracting a certain amount of attacks, now that it is the #1 internet destination in the USA and soon to be #1 around the world.

  5. Aaron says:

    Perhaps a comparative search of positive/negative articles on MySpace would also help aid the bias investigation. Does MySpace receive a positive slant or not Cameron? Otherwise keep up the good work!

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