This article was published on April 5, 2016

Why you’re now a political reporter for Facebook

Why you’re now a political reporter for Facebook

You might kind of know it already, but as well as providing the eyeballs for the advertisers that pay in order to make Facebook a free platform for users, you’re also contributing the content it needs to offer some of its services.

And now, along with powering the Facebook platform itself (just think what’d happen if we all, say, just didn’t post today?), you’re now going to be on-hand as roving reporters for the US election.

Thanks in no small part to Trump supporter Joel Menken, who captured the moment when his candidate nearly got taken out by a member of the crowd (if only?), Facebook has launched a handy ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos – Election 2016’ service for journalists.

(Raw language) Attempted attack on @realdonaldtrump today in #vandaliaohio

A video posted by @joelmenken on

Viral videos are no longer just that accidental chance event, like when Charlie Bit Me, they’re a serious business, explained by its launch partner Storyful:

As Menken’s video shows, user-generated content often drives the news cycle. With this in mind, Facebook and Instagram are today launching FB Politicswire. The service will feature videos, images, and stories about politics in America, all sourced and verified by Storyful politics team. This content will also appear inside Signal, Facebook’s free newsgathering platform.

Storyful is a professional viral video procurement service that seeks out, verifies the legitimacy of and ultimately monetizes that video you caught while you should have been listening to the person you want to be the next President.

Storyful explains that they’ve been helping journalists use your best bits in the news for six years, now the FB Politicswire will help your shaky camera clip of the US election make the primetime spot.

Don’t fuck it up.

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