Facebook Papers due to launch on Monday

According to the Associated Press on Monday, US time, (Tuesday AEDT), it will begin the roll out of the stories from 17 US media outlets based on the papers obtained by Facebook book whistleblower Frances Haugen.

From the AP: Journalists from a variety of newsrooms, large and small, worked together to gain access to thousands of pages of internal company documents obtained by Frances Haugen, the former Facebook product manager-turned-whistleblower.

To set aside the core issue of what exactly Facebook is or isn’t doing, it is interesting how a level of coordination is needed to get past the endless noise and confusion generated online.

The effort brings to mind the recent Pandora Papers, the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers  – or going back further, the Pentagon Papers, all represent a coordinated journalistic effort to tackle sprawling international stories: global corruption, the Vietnam War.

The distribution and combined reporting, also brings to mind the Cablegate releases of Wikileaks and the Snowden leaks. As important as the investigative reporting on Facebook is, it will struggle to make a difference if no one hears it. In this regard, part of the story of the Facebook Papers, as well as the Pandora ones, is the mechanics of getting the message out in a time of noisy and seemingly endless information overload.

In that case, I remember when the editorial boards of 350 American newspapers published opinion pieces defending free media during the presidency of Donald Trump.

The fact that newsrooms do this today again, on the issue of Facebook, speaks volumes about the ambient noise level democracy lives in today.

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