NZ media go after their biggest competition

Duncan Garner

Duncan Garner?s guests on the AM show were public relations and media consultant Trish Sherson and religious historian Peter Lineham. They were there to discuss Facebook live-streaming the Christchurch killer.

I would have preferred to hear a media debate on why we have to endure the most sickening and gratuitous stream of emotive drivel that is forcing us to abandon scheduled news programmes but, unfortunately, they didn?t cover that.

The upside to this segment of the show was that they brought to our attention the loss of advertising dollars to New Zealand media that is scooped up by Facebook and they also revealed that our media interest in Facebook might have more do with money than public well-being. Trish said: quote.

I think that the live stream [Facebook] should be suspended globally until they can prove that it is safe. It is like any major product recall around the world.

I am very pleased to see the action from advertisers ? I think the action [withdrawing advertising revenue] is the only thing this company cares about is the money.?

These companies are major global media companies. They compete with all of our NZ media companies and they suck advertising dollars out of NZ.

They are now the biggest media players in the world. They grew in audience to then turn it onto advertising so they have the high balls.

Um, and I think it would be a very easy thing, actually, for this company [Facebook], if they really gave a shit, to say ?we are suspending live video while we? until we can prove that we can manage it safely?.? End of quote.

TV3 AM Show

No prizes for guessing what millions of Facebook users think about it being described as a faulty platform. Bit of a stretch there, Trish, along with your inference that the NZ media has the moral high ground because it gives a sh*t. Politics and money, Trish, politics and money.

But of course New Zealand media want to shut Facebook down. Both Trish and Duncan were clearly delighted about Facebook?s revenue stream being dented because of the possibility of advertising dollars coming back their way.

Shutting down live streaming now is purely academic because this horse has already bolted.

The following is a transcript from the AM Show discussion.


?Yes, but consider this. I mean the reason that we find Facebook interesting is precisely because it?s an open forum where we can share with our friends and we can exchange data and media. So, the? the live streaming is almost characteristic of the media.?


?No, no.?


 ?No, I disagree.?

Transcription ends.

Duncan and Trish simply refuse to acknowledge Facebook’s winning strategy, which Peter identifies, and it is that its members live stream their own lives and watch their friends as well. It’s called sharing and it’s a bit like doing it on live telly.

Transcription resumes.


?We create the problem because we created a platform where we can say things to the whole world. That?s unfortunately??


?But you still have live filters, surely??


 ?I think this is the point. And you know? and I know everyone will argue this? where Facebook is coming from, and they have been a pain in the back side for governments around the world.

So, the home secretary in Britain has been in a pitched battle with them for years around this stuff. So here is my point: you have ah content which is utterly objectionable on any? in any measure. It is amazing that it can go live. And it? it just? it is? is beyond belief that this is streaming out for 17 minutes and that it wasn?t Facebook who called the authorities in New Zealand. Think about the? the um the ability of Facebook to watch their algorithm and watch the data traffic on their feed.?


?They know.?


?They know. And put that with the fact that, and this is what I found absolutely abhorrent, that people were liking this content as it went out live.?

Transcription ends.

But it is a bit rich, Duncan, to nod your head and argue about protecting the public from violent footage when your own TV3 has a surfeit of gratuitous violence ? in my opinion much of it far more detailed and objectionable than the Christchurch killer?s video. The real point of difference that can’t be ignored though, is that the killer?s footage was real.

To some the killer’s footage may not have appeared real. This is because we have become immune to violence and can’t always decipher what is fake; which might be why the killer?s post on Facebook got up-ticked. People did not realise they were witnessing real murders.

Then we come to the issue of censorship. Trish refers to the other countries battling with Facebook. I am aware of North Korea being one, but that doesn’t suit her argument so Trish talks about the UK struggling to shut down damaging Facebook pages but not all UK censorship is valid. Child pornography is an obvious one but deleting Tommy Robinson’s Facebook page was quite different. This was censorship at its very worst.

Let’s sort out the censorship that we want without being hijacked by special interest groups and before we introduce a knee jerk intervention. Censorship is not as straightforward as Trish thinks.