Facebook has emerged as a new kind of media platform: Zuckerburg

The admission by Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook does "a lot more than just distribute the news" is being widely interpreted as a turning point for the platform, which has previously insisted that it is not a media company.

On Wednesday Zuckerberg hosted a Facebook live video chat with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO, girding their conversation about the year's summary and talking about things to look forward to in 2017. "Facebook is a new kind of platform; it's not a traditional technology company, it's not a traditional media company".

Unlike earlier instances where Zuckerberg underplayed the severity of the fake news problem and shunned the title of a media company, the Facebook CEO appeared to have modified his original stance in the chat. Now, it would seem that the tech billionaire is finally changing his tune and admits that Facebook is a media company, just not one in a traditional sense. You know, we build technology and we feel responsible for how it's used. On the other hand, Facebook doesn't really create much of the content that gets shared on its platform. He's right to say "it's not a traditional media company", of course, but there is a responsibility as a distributor of media that goes along with the awesome power of informing such a massive audience.

That's a very different stance than in the past.

Mark Zuckerberg is still trying to explain what his company does. Also, similar views were aired by Sandberg who said that the company is a tech-focused company which builds tools instead of stories.

If you look at how we've defined ourselves internally for 12 years now, it has been a technology company. Both also briefly glossed over the controversy of fake news that ran rampant on the site during the elections, which according to pundits, spelled a win for Trump by some measure. But Facebook has expanded its editorial role, and it's now impossible to ignore Facebook's journalistic role as a platform that amplifies fake news-something that almost a fourth of Americans say they've shared on Facebook.

Last week, Facebook noted that it will revamp its NewsFeed in an ongoing effort to eliminate flow of deceptions. It plans to make it easier to report a hoax and for fact-checking organizations to flag fake articles.

"Reflecting on 2016, this is just something that I am proud that people in this company take so seriously", Zuckerburg said on the issue of fake news.

  • Essie Rivera