“I think the internet is at a real crossroads right now.” - Jonah Peretti
Onstage at SXSW 2019, Buzzfeed co-founder and CEO Jonah Peretti addressed key topics in modern digital media ranging from the current misinformation crisis, the monetization of digital media, financial relationships between digital media companies and big tech, and more.
During his Featured Session, Peretti begins by acknowledging bad actors in the social media landscape and making a call to action that the industry needs to produce more "good content," and reach larger audiences, so there isn’t room for misinformation to thrive. Peretti also addressed the slowly improving profit-sharing model of Facebook. The social media platform has increased the percentage of profits that are paid out to digital media platforms in compensation for their content which is widely shared.
Peretti indicates that the growth of this profit-sharing model will be key for digital media companies, many of which have shifted from periods of venture capital funded expansion to more traditional profit-based business models. While the conversation takes place during a watershed moment when the financial relationship between media companies and the social media platforms that benefit from their content is still in flux, Peretti strikes an optimistic tone about the future of media.
“My call to arms for everyone is spread joy and truth. It’s what the internet needs right now. It’s what the world needs. We can do it together...If we all work together, we are going to be able to build the internet that we want.”
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Jonah Peretti - Photo by Melodi Ramirez