Mark Zuckerberg has finally come out and admitted what we all know. He has admitted that yes folks, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is a media company.

Zuckerberg has long claimed that Facebook is merely a provider of digital solutions. Now, he has admitted that yes Facebook is a media company in a Facebook post on December 22, 2016. Actually the admission came in a video that also featured Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Now Even Zuckerberg is Spreading Fake News on Facebook

Zuckerberg’s use of the video proves the contention that Facebook is media. The video itself looks disturbingly like fake news; Zuckerberg and Sandberg joke around and pretend to have a tongue in cheek conversation.

Yet the whole thing seems staged and quite professional. It looks as if there is a professional camera person in the room, and Sandberg looks as if she is wearing professionally-applied makeup. The two also claim to be doing a year-end wrap up session then admit they’ve never done such a thing before.

Sheryl Sandberg hanging out with Mark Zuckerberg.

It is obvious that Zuckerberg and Sandberg went to some trouble to make the revelation look impromptu. There are some obvious reasons they would do that. One concerns the law, media or press is specifically granted the right to freedom of the press in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

This is why newspapers are among the few monopolies allowed in the United States. In most US cities there is only daily newspaper, which created a business that was formerly a very lucrative monopoly. Zuckerberg and his attorney might be hoping to avoid anti-trust laws by claiming to be media.

Another obvious reason is to get around censorship of content. If Facebook and its subsidiary WhatsApp are media; government cannot regulate the information they transmit because they are protected by freedom of the press. It’s a pretty sneaky admission, and one that’s sure to face challenges in courts and vicious attacks in the court of public opinion.

The Largest Media in Human History

Facebook is not only media, it is the largest media in history with 1.788 billion – nearly two billion – users in third quarter 2016, according to our friends at Statista. Another Facebook product; WhatsApp had one billion users in February, giving Zuckerberg’s media a potential audience of 2.788 billion people or around a third of the globe’s population.

That means Facebook has more viewers than any newspaper, TV network, or movie studio in human history. It is the most successful media solution, ever which is a great investment.

This raises a host of ethical, political and legal problems which Zuckerberg seems to be aware of. Recent complaints about fake news and the power of Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) in the United States have shown a spotlight on social media and enraged some segments of public opinion.

His admission that Facebook is media the first attempt to answer these questions but it will not be the last. Zuckerberg will need to define Facebook’s role if he wants his company to survive in a rapidly change landscape.

Now that Facebook is media Zuckerberg faces the dilemma of whether government and public will give it the freedom that other media organizations have. If they do not the days of a very impressive and profitable company might be numbered.

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