The column I read builds up to a very specific point. Facebook, and other large companies, have two choices right now: take full responsibility for the content on their networks or operate more along the lines of broadband providers, providing licensing to other media companies who are responsible for their own content.
If Mark Penn had started with that point, I wouldn’t have entirely known what he was talking about. However, he took the time to go through Facebook’s current issues and how they started. Facebook moved away from just being a place for people to connect, to being a media organization, distributing real and fake news.
Penn then went even farther back to explain legislation that has regulated media ownership in the past. I felt like he really provided pertinent media history that the general public wouldn’t know before claiming that the internet should be treated no differently than radio and TV stations in terms of licensing.
“If the major platforms continue to try to serve as full-blown news distributors without accepting the full responsibilities of publishers, Congress should intervene to preserve information diversity and accountability in our marketplace of ideas.”
Overall, I think Penn took a rather complex topic, and did his best to educate his readers on the history and context behind it before making his claims. I really appreciate the time and research that could have potentially gone into writing this. I oftentimes get frustrated reading certain articles because I’m not knowledgeable about a certain subject matter or the newest headlines, but this article provided me with context enough for me to understand his claims.