Facebook is paying for positive press in the UK Daily Telegraph by purchasing sponsored stories to be featured in the newspaper.
The social media giant has paid for a series of positive stories to be featured about the company according to Business Insider to help the company gain positive coverage due to its often negative and controversial image.
Some of the stories the paper will publish defends the company on issues including hate speech, cyberbullying and terrorism. The company has received criticism for allowing live video streams to be published on some of these controversial topics with the latest live video headache occurring for the company after the Christchurch shooting video went live on the social site.
So far the Telegraph’s Spark, it’s sponsored content unit, has published 26 stories that have appeared in print and online.
A major theme of the stories is how Facebook is fighting to protect your data, which would probably be a better fit to run on The Onion website than a traditional hard news outlet.
If Facebook actually cared about its user’s data and made more effort to provide more controls to users concerning how their personal information is collected and used, they wouldn’t need to run a paid for public relations campaign. However, no amount of articles in a newspaper will change its negative public image. Only changing the company’s behavior will do that and the odds of that happening are very slim.
Dr. Chad Whittle holds a doctoral degree in mass communication and is the host of “A Whittle Bit of Commentary.” Subscribe today to his podcast on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Google Play. Read his weekly column at ChadWhittle.com and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.