Journalists Blame Mass Layoffs on Google and Facebook Duopoly

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives at the European Parliament, prior to his audition on the data privacy scandal on May 22, 2018 at the European Union headquarters in Brussels. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)
JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images

Following the announcement of mass layoffs at HuffPost and BuzzFeed amongst others this week, journalists blamed the Google and Facebook duopoly on digital advertising.

“What is happening to American journalism isn’t a mystery. Google and Facebook are eating this industry alive and taking down American democracy with it,” declared HuffPost senior reporter Zach Carter. “This isn’t happening because of market inefficiencies or consumer preferences or social value. It’s happening because two very large companies have taken the advertising revenue that journalism outlets rely on and replaced it with nothing.”

“You can have a free press or you can have Facebook. But you can’t have both,” he continued.

In another post on Twitter, New Yorker writer Jia Tolentino claimed, “These layoffs are fucking nauseating! And they’ll keep happening as long as Google & Facebook suck up 85% of the digital ad market!! It’s SICKENING how these companies rode their bullshit abt community & freedom of information to a duopoly that kills off exactly those things!”

The post was retweeted by HuffPost reporter Christoper Mathias.

Patrick Hruby, a sports journalist, added, “it would be awesome if America enforced antitrust laws, or even understood why it has antitrust laws in the first place.”

Siddhant Adlakha, a film critic who has written for Polygon, IGN, Observer, Mashable, and Village Voice, also blamed Google and Facebook for mass journalist layoffs.
“A day after the cuts at HuffPost, BuzzFeed News just had its own layoffs including the *entire* national security desk, who have done exemplary reporting for years,” Adlakha posted. “Because of Google and Facebook’s awful ad models, and so many other reasons, digital journalism is in severe danger.”

Washington Post reporter Paul Farhi and Deadline Hollywood technology editor Dawn Chmielewski also cited Google and Facebook as contributors to the downfall of digital news outlets.

This week, BuzzFeed reportedly cut 15 percent of its staff, while HuffPost laid off at least 15 employees, including members of its opinion editorial team.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington, or like his page at Facebook.


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