Mike Hudack, director of product at Facebook, wrote a Facebook post on Thursday decrying the sorry state of contemporary media and journalism. "It's hard to tell who's to blame. But someone should fix this shit," he writes. Journalists and others working in media were quick to point out that the bulk of blame falls on, well, Facebook.
Hudack's problem with media today seems to be its emphasis on the trivial – the catalyst for his post is Vox's "Sorry, Levi's: you can't clean your jeans by freezing them" post. His "rant" calls out CNN's transformation from Bernie Shaw journalism to "the network of kidnapped white girls," he calls newspapers "ghosts in a shell," and Sunday morning shows like Meet the Press "a joke." The Internet doesn't offer much in the way of salvation (Hudack's term), because "BuzzFeed's homepage is like CNN's but only more so." (CNN's uselessness is apparently such a universal truth for Hudack that it's now used to put down the likes of Buzzfeed.) There's a bit of hope from Vice, which does "occasional real reporting" when it's not busy being "salacious."
Hudack hoped Vox would bring something of quality, but they chose instead to write "stupid stories" like the aforementioned Levi's post. He finishes by asking who's to blame for the fact that said jeans article is the most read on Vox today.
@mhudack We should talk about your take on news. My perception is that Facebook is *the* major factor in almost every trend you identified.— Alexis C. Madrigal (@alexismadrigal) May 22, 2014
So why do stories about things like the best way to clean a pair of jeans get the most traffic these days? Because, as many on Twitter suggested, those are the kinds of stories people share on Facebook.