Melbourne Business School Events and Information Sessions Virtual Talking Data Series: Friend or Foe? Social Media and the Sharing of News

Virtual Talking Data Series: Friend or Foe? Social Media and the Sharing of News

Wednesday, 31 August 2022
10.30 AM - 12.00 PM

National governments have long staked an interest in the persistence of local news media.

In particular, policymakers are concerned about the role of content aggregators, such as news aggregators, social media and search engines, as a gateway to news websites.

The content aggregators feature links to news stories on other sites. In 2021, the Australian government proposed a bill that required technology platforms, such as Google and Facebook, to pay a news site whenever they linked to its news stories.

In response to the proposed bill, Facebook prohibited Australian users from sharing news content for 8 days. To illuminate how social media generates traffic for news sites, we study this natural experiment using difference-in-differences estimation. We provide evidence that news sites lost incremental revenue and online views, whereby the top 20 publishers suffer from greater short- and medium-term losses than smaller publishers. Our findings suggest that intermediary websites facilitate rather than restrict monetization and access to news content. We would like to acknowledge and Thank SimilarWeb who kindly sponsored the data for this project. 


About our speakers

Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management and Professor of Marketing at MIT Sloan

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Founder - Bring Digital Performance


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Assistant Professor, Marketing @ Melbourne Business School