Apple vs. Facebook: NPR plays it down the middle

Apple and Facebook are both NPR sponsors, and the story gives both sides equal time. That’s not necessarily good for Facebook.

Two soundbites rom Bobby Allyn’s “Why Is Facebook Launching An All-Out War On Apple’s Upcoming iPhone Update?” posted Friday:

Tim Cook: At a moment of rampant disinformation, and conspiracy theories juiced by algorithms, we can no longer turn a blind eye to a theory of technology that says all engagement is good engagement.

Mark Zuckerberg: I find [the] argument — that if you’re not paying, that somehow we can’t care about you — to be extremely glib and not at all aligned with the truth.

Cue the 3:55-minute segment:

My take: Sometimes equal time works.


  1. David Emery said:
    The only thing Zuck cares about is my data…. The Big Lie that targeted advertising is essential and consumers want it needs to be rejected, by both consumers and by legislators.

    February 26, 2021
  2. Jerry Doyle said:
    I see less wrong in giving people a “choice” than with giving them “no choice.” That is the basis which reasoning proceeds or a proposition for supporting a conclusion is derived. It is the essence of personal freedom to choose.

    February 26, 2021
  3. Gregg Thurman said:
    Zuck is correct. If all apps had to adopt pay for play it would benefit Apple. What he didn’t mention was that iOS only has about 22% share of the smartphone market.

    Of course that share entails the most well heeled, most liable to buy portion of smartphone users, and that if Facebook lost access to those customers it’s loss of revenue would be greater than 22%.

    February 26, 2021
  4. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    I think what’s missing in the analysis of all this is the ultimate supremacy of the average Facebook user’s attitude. They generally want “all in” on the connectivity. That’s the sway of the damn operation to begin with.

    Most won’t care about being tracked.

    Ol’ Zuck shouldn’t sweat it so much.

    February 26, 2021
    • Kirk DeBernardi said:
      It’s called FOMO.

      (to the unaware — Fear Of Missing Out)

      February 26, 2021
  5. Rodney Avilla said:
    “and the story gives both sides equal time.”

    Kind of a surprise for NPR. Giving both sides equal time has not been their strong point.

    February 26, 2021
  6. Steven Philips said:
    I think Kirk’s right – for the moment. Even though Apple is seen as the specific antagonist I think Zuk’s real fear is that it sets a more general mental trend and that even though many will keep sharing everything, many will at least begin limiting. A trend away from the Facebook model. They survive based on the idea that there’s a Zuker born every minute. 🙂

    February 26, 2021
  7. Thomas Larkin said:
    We Apple users would really just like to have the choice to pay a bit more for a higher level of security and privacy. We want to know who is accessing information on our devices. That’s just consumer choice. And Facebook feels it should be entitled to take that consumer choice away? Certainly in a rational world that argument should fail.

    I also concur with Kirk’s comment above that Mr. Zuck shouldn’t sweat it so much, because I’m fairly certain a lot of people will elect to allow information sharing rather than give up Facebook. In a sense, this will be a good test of the power of Facebook’s brand.

    February 26, 2021
  8. Joe Murphy said:
    @ Rodney Avilla: “and the story gives both sides equal time.”

    I call it – covering their …
    I doubt if they’ve ever had a sponsor on each side of the fence.

    February 26, 2021
  9. Fred Stein said:
    Zuck’s Arguments are “glib”.

    They have NOT been diligent about ensuring the safe use of the data they sell. More importantly, he knows this and and does NOT “care” – using his words.

    Since most users will NOT opt for privacy, his small business are NOT harmed. He knows this and deliberately plays on his vulnerable customers, like the one quoted.

    The internet is NOT going increasing to paid subs. Video and other content streaming are moving from more expensive subscriptions elsewhere, to lower cost options on the internet. Non-paid internet services are exploding.

    February 26, 2021

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