Social media giants Facebook and Twitter are being called out for limiting the availability of content to their audience.

The big media companies aren't private fiefdoms. The big media companies are owned by their stockholders and they are accountable to those stockholders. The stockholders invested to get a return on that investment, not to get a result in the next election. Doing anything other than getting the best return on the dollar for the owners is a violation of the fiduciary responsibility of management.

If you own a mutual fund, have a 401K, or you are in a pension plan, you probably own stock in one, some, or all of the major media companies. This isn't about the rich getting richer or some other class warfare political fight. Your retirement funds have been handed over and you will need them in the future.

The business model of media companies is to attract the largest possible audience with interesting content and then place advertising in front of that audience. The money generated by the advertising is used to grow the company and/or shared as a dividend with the stockholders.

When the management at media companies decide to limit their content for political reasons, they are harming their stockholders. If they decide to reduce their audience and therefore the revenue of the company, the stockholders are damaged.

The big media bosses aren't worried about the government. They know the real trouble is coming from shareholder lawsuits.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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