Facing an onslaught of negative headlines and critical press coverage, Facebook has begun paying UK paper the Daily Telegraph to run admiring stories about the “positive impact” the social media giant can have on people’s lives.
The partnership has seen the Telegraph run 26 stories defending Facebook over the last month, dismissing “technofears” about the company, while dealing with issues of key importance, including terrorist content, online safety and cyberbullying, Business Insider reported.
The Daily Telegraph has published dozens of stories "brought to you by Facebook" over the last month — putting a positive spin on crises facing Facebook including hate speech, terrorism, cyberbullying, and child screen-time. https://t.co/7GeYwlnPZu pic.twitter.com/EpMNfVqf5n
— Rob Price (@robaeprice) April 3, 2019
The series is called “Being human in the information age” and is overseen by Telegraph Spark, the paper’s sponsored content unit. The stories are labeled “Brought to you by Facebook” but, aside from that, they are indistinguishable from a regular news story.
Newspapers publishing sponsored content is not totally unusual and is an “increasingly popular method of monetization” for many publications, Business Insider writes – but at a time when lack of public trust and concerns over “fake news” are plaguing Facebook, paying newspapers to spread positive content about it might backfire.'
Read more: Facebook paying UK newspaper the Telegraph to publish glowing coverage amid scandals – report