New York Times CEO Mark Thompson on Facebook’s role as a media entity:
The phone company is not held directly responsible for the content of the conversations that happen on the telephone network. But that’s a transparent, regulated environment. Facebook is not transparent. We don’t understand, and there’s no requirement on Facebook to disclose, how its algorithm works. Most people believe Facebook is to some extent responsible for its content. The idea of them making choices of what goes on their platforms is obviously susceptible to abuse. It’s probable that these platforms are going to exist in some middle tier, which is with more responsibilities than a platform but without all of the responsibilities that The New York Times would have.
I think responsibility is an interesting word to use here. Facebook should definitely be responsible to some degree for paid content and ads, but organic seems muddier.