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TORONTO, ONTARIO 1960'S TORONTO STAR NEWSPAPER DELIVERY BICYCLE plate by Jerry "Woody" https://flic.kr/p/5uYXR1 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

How Can Linking to an Article be Immoral When the Media Source Itself Does the Posting, Part 2: A Day in the Life of the Toronto Star on Facebook

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault, who says his top legislative priority is to “get money from web giants”, has discussed creating a new mandated licence for social media linking to news articles. Guilbeault calls the practice “immoral” and envisions using the Copyright Board of Canada to create a tariff for linking to news articles accompanied by new government powers to levy penalties for failure to comply. Last week, I looked at a single Toronto Star article to see its engagement on Facebook. Using the CrowdTangle Chrome extension, I found that virtually all public engagement with the article came from a Facebook post that the Toronto Star posted itself.

Today’s post expands on that approach by examining a larger group of articles all taken from single day. This post looks at 36 original articles posted to the Star’s website on the morning of October 14, 2020. The day was selected at random and while most Facebook posts take place within the first 24 hours, I waited five days before examining the social media engagement with the articles to give time for potential posts and shares. The Star’s website changes throughout the day, so recreating the day’s paper is difficult. Instead, I endeavoured to include all new Toronto Star-originated articles that had been posted over the prior 20 hours (thereby including articles posted on both October 13th and the morning of the 14th). Articles from wire news services (which is the majority of foreign news stories, sports stories, and some national stories) were excluded as they are licensed by the Star and can be found from many sources online.

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October 21, 2020 1 comment News
Like us on Facebook sign at a shop, Winschoten (2019) 01.jpg by Donald Trung Quoc Don (Chữ Hán: 徵國單) - Wikimedia Commons - © CC BY-SA 4.0 International.(Want to use this image?)Original publication 📤: --Donald Trung 『徵國單』 (No Fake News 💬) (WikiProject Numismatics 💴) (Articles 📚) 21:42, 1 May 2019 (UTC) / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

How Can Linking to an Article be Immoral When the Media Source Itself Does the Posting?

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has called the practice of linking to news articles on social media sites such as Facebook “immoral” and indicated that he plans to establish a new mandated licensing requirement that would be overseen by the Copyright Board of Canada and backed by the threat of government penalties for failure to comply. Guilbeault’s plan, which is part of his “get money from web giants” legislative priority, could result in Facebook blocking all sharing of news articles in Canada, which would harm Canadian media organizations, the broader public, and contribute to increased profile for questionable or misleading sources of news.

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October 15, 2020 5 comments News