“Journalist”: Oh Yeah? Well We Don’t Need Meta Anyway! So There!

Another so-called “journalist” is throwing yet another temper tantrum at Meta, saying that she doesn’t need Meta anyway.

The constant temper tantrums of Canada’s self-described “journalists” are continuing. Gone are the days of large media outlets producing professional content. That’s been since replaced with large media companies constantly pumping out opinion online pieces, propaganda, and hit pieces with the sole purpose of serving their corporate interests.

Among the examples of terrible journalism from the large media outlets is Big Lie 1.0 which falsely stated that the platforms are scraping and republishing whole articles without permission, slapping ads on them, and making money off of it. In short, the platforms were falsely accused of “stealing” news articles. The outlets, of course, never provided a single shred of evidence for the simple reason that they didn’t have any evidence to back up these wild claims. So, it was just a blatant defamation campaign.

To further bury the credibility of those original claims, the large media outlets then rolled out Big Lie 2.0. This was in response to the platforms saying that they would simply block news links if they are required to pay ridiculous license fees for the privilege of hosting those links in the first place (news links typically posted by the large media companies in the first place). The large media outlets essentially pumped out hit pieces accusing platforms of “censoring” them – undermining the “stealing” claims in the process. Some went to the extreme of pushing nonsense claims of calling it a news “throttle” (even though the term makes absolutely no sense whatsoever).

This also devolved into media outlets saying that Meta would never block news links as it is all just a big fancy bluff. This despite the mountains of evidence and Meta themselves explaining that they don’t depend on news links to sustain their business models in the first place. None of that mattered to the large media companies who were too busy getting high on their own talking point supply, though.

Unsurprisingly, Meta dropped news links on their platforms just as they had said all along that they would do. The large media companies then proceeded to say that the actions are intolerable and convinced themselves that all of Canada was behind them on this fight. So, they launched three successive “boycotts” of Meta. One by one, they all failed when few people even turned up. The failed boycotts only served to completely humiliate the large media companies given that you would think that they have a lot of influence on people in the first place. In that case, that didn’t happen.

The large media companies also suggested that Meta wouldn’t last a week without news links. They theorized that users would leave the platforms in droves and their business would collapse because people would have nothing to talk about without news links to stir conversation (yeah, they were that ignorant of what is talked about on social media). Well, news links were dropped on August 1st and the block is still going strong.

The media desperately looked for any evidence they were right on anything in all of this. As it turned out, Facebook’s traffic remained unchanged, user engagement on the media companies Facebook pages collapsed, Meta’s earnings continued to rise while newspapers began shutting down. Ultimately, those claims by the media companies also got shot down in a pretty decisive manner – leading some of those pushing for this law to start to admit that they might have made a teensy tiny mistake in all of this.

With Google seemingly on the verge of taking the same actions, the Canadian government grew increasingly desperate with their position on the situation. So, the government ultimately folded to Google, handing Google everything they wanted to avert the potential disaster of Google also dropping news links across the board as well. This infuriated backers of the Online News Act as their shakedown dreams slipped through their fingers as a result.

The Canadian government then went back to Meta and started begging Meta for their return. They struck a diplomatic tone by saying how their door was “always open”, but that diplomatic talk lasted all of two days. Shortly after being all diplomatic in tone, the government then went on to demand the CRTC regulate Meta under the Online News Act – abandoning their diplomatic tone in the process.

On the part of those backing the Online News Act, it was incompetence all the way down. Today, we learned that some journalists have now taken up the idea that Meta was just a bunch of poopy heads and that the news outlets didn’t need Meta in the first place anyway. In yet another unprofessional piece, a self described “journalist” tried to be cute by writing a letter style hit piece where she seemingly vented out the usual nonsense talking points. It is further evidence of just how high these people are on their own talking point supply:

But that doesn’t mean you should be able to do anything you want. We live in a democracy, ya know, and our elected government gets to make the rules. I’ll just say it: You think you’re above it all. So you’re leaving.

Really? After all we’ve been through together?

Oh, Meta, you have so much wealth, so many friends. You know how hot you look when you share them?

You act like you have all the answers, but you don’t. Without me, people will be free to lie all over you about what’s up with global warming. You’re weird, Meta, but you still do live on Planet Earth with the rest of us, right?

People are already asking, “Why can’t I find you on Meta? Where have you gone?” I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, Meta, but you don’t come out of this looking too good. When readers try to pass my articles around, this off-putting message pops up on you that blames Canada for what you have done. Why you gotta spread rumours like that?

The only thing that’s coming out of this is just how out of touch journalists are with reality. The wild claims are that without news links, Meta would be completely overrun with disinformation. There was never any evidence to suggest that this would happen. There is, however, plenty of evidence that without news links, users would hardly notice a difference since most users use Facebook to communicate with family and friends as well as share memes and funny video’s more than anything else. Besides, we’ve had Facebook have no news links since August. Wouldn’t you think there would be evidence by now of misinformation clogging up the platform if that theory had a grain of truth to it?

Further, when this “journalist” says that Meta doesn’t look good, she likely means among those backing the Online News Act. After all, the fact that their petty boycotts all failed tells you everything you need to know about how Facebook looks in the eyes of the public – and that’s with a collective shrug and an “oh well” response as users just continue using the platforms as business as usual.

The “journalist” then went on to falsely state that link taxes is just a form of regulation on the platforms (it’s not). She goes on to say how journalists didn’t need Meta anyway:

I know there are some who think it was misguided of Canada to regulate you. You thought we news sites would all just freak out like we’d been hit by a thousand bot attacks if you up and left. But I, for one, have learned that I can live without you. I’ll keep on producing news, and readers will find me everywhere but with you. They’ll see me in their email inboxes, on Apple News, and, dare I say it, on Google.

I’ve got options, you know. I’ll cosy up to every high-calibre social media company out there. I’ll find new friends who actually respect me and don’t make me feel like I’m “too much” or bummin’ them out…“I will survive!”

Well, in that case, if you believe you have options and you don’t need Meta, debate over! If large media company journalists are happy to live without Meta, then there is nothing further to discuss. Have a happy life then. Given your pattern of behavior throughout this entire debate, I doubt most people on Facebook will even miss you.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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