News Corp. CEO urges creation of ‘algorithm review board,’ slams Silicon Valley giants


News Corp. CEO Robert Thompson on Thursday urged the creation of an “algorithm review board” while slamming Silicon Valley giants for a lack of transparency over the process around what determines the content their consumers see.

During a quarterly earnings call for News Corp., Thompson took aim at Facebook, Google and Amazon while leveling charges of “algorithm abuse.”

“The sheer amount of personal data collected by Facebook, Google and Amazon means that governments are rightly considering the establishment of an algorithm review board, which, if properly conceived, would provide the necessary transparency for individuals, clients and competitors concerned about algorithmic abuse,” Thomson told investors.


“These algorithms are already potent but they are destined to be much more formidable, and their abundant potential to skew news and skew our customers needs to be better understood and monitored,” he continued.

News Corp. submitted an official complaint to Australia’s competition regulator last week regarding Apple, Google and Facebook having too much market power over what content is seen and where.

“Digital platforms impose restrictive contract terms and engage in aggressive mergers and acquisitions in order to neutralize emerging competition and extend their market power,” News Corp., which is the largest media company in Australia, said in the submission.

Thompson also said News Corp. and “other publishers” are already engaged in direct talks with Facebook, which has been under heavy scrutiny in recent months over member privacy and data collection.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg last month faced two days of grilling on Capitol Hill after more than 85 million users were affected by a Cambridge Analytica data breach on the social media platform.

“We and other publishers are also in discussion with Facebook, which certainly professes concern about virtue and veracity,” Thompson said.

“We are confident that a renewed focus on provenance and on integrity will benefit our mastheads, our journalism and our advertising clients, who are learning more each day about the potential dangers of digital,” he added.

News Corp. was founded by Rupert Murdoch and includes media holdings such as The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company and publisher Harper Collins. 

Tags Facebook Google Mark Zuckerberg News Corp. Silicon Valley Social media

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