The Wall Street Journal has taken the LinkedIn ‘share‘ button off of their articles. Which, as you’ll see below, shouldn’t be much of a surprise as Robert Thomson was the manager of the Wall Street Journal and is now the CEO of NewsCorp (the company headed by Rupert Murdoch and retaining many assets including the WSJ & New York Post, among others.)
Here’s an excerpt from the address Robert Thomson gave at the 2015 Lowry Institute Media Award Dinner. (FULL SPEECH)
“For the distributionists do indeed have powerful distribution channels, Google and Facebook, and pretenders like LinkedIn, which is spam central. None of them actually create content, and they certainly have little intention of paying for it, but they do redistribute the content created by others – they would argue that such redistribution is a natural extension of their role as social networks. I would argue that much of the redistribution is an unnatural act. But there are broader issues that are still unfolding for media companies, who are themselves struggling to profit from their news and other content, while the distributionists are helping themselves to that content, coopting and corralling audiences and consciously devaluing brands. The supposed idealism of these companies is in stark contrast to their actual behavior. That Google’s newly conceived parent company is to be called Alphabet has itself created a range of delicious permutations: A is for Avarice, B is for Bowdlerize, through to K for Kleptocracy, P for Piracy and Z for Zealotry.
It should be reassuring for news organisations that the distributors have suddenly started to realize that the quality of content is important, particularly as they try to build walled gardens – though it should be noted that the Chinese discovered that even a Great Wall didn’t work. The spammers at LinkedIn discovered that CVs are only burnished occasionally and anyone who tweaks their CV a few times a week is probably not worth hiring. Anyway, they now see themselves as a news distributor, and news organizations who cozy up too closely to them are guilty of techno trendiness. It is patently important to be aware of the trends but a grievous sin to be too trendy.”
What do you think about the WSJ pulling the share button?