How Facebook and Google are looting the media economy

They're not just monopolists — they're letting fraudsters run rampant

People reading the Albany News.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images, SergeyVasutin/iStock, -slav-/iStock)

The media business is in the toilet. Despite the relatively strong economy, thousands of journalists are being laid off every year — and the alternative press has been especially devastated, as Alex Pareene writes in a brilliant article for The New Republic. The "rude media" — alt-weeklies, blogs, and websites like the late Gawker and Deadspin, who directed acidic skepticism towards wealthy, powerful people like Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Cosby when stuffy traditional press would not — is all but dead.

The culprits are familiar, by this point: On the one hand the internet, which basically destroyed local classified ads and thus hundreds of local papers, and on the other Facebook and Google (plus Amazon to a lesser extent), who have between them monopolized an ever-growing share of the online ad market.

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