February 25, 2021

Facebook in Australia

“The Australian parliament on Thursday passed a new law designed to force Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc to pay media companies for content used on their platforms… The legislation was watered down, however, at the last minute after a standoff between the government and Facebook culminated in the social media company blocking all news for Australian users [for 5 days].” Reuters

Facebook took particular issue with a baseball-style arbitration clause in Australia's new media code, which would see a government-appointed panel set the payout rate if the parties can't reach a deal… On Monday, the [Australian] government released four amendments to the media code. The amendments basically say that the new code, which is still expected to pass, may not apply to Facebook if it can broker enough deals with publishers… The government essentially gave Facebook more time to broker deals with publishers before the law takes effect.” Axios

See past issues

From the Right

The right is critical of Australia’s policy but also cautions against Facebook’s power over society.

From the Left

The left supports the intent behind Australia’s policy but criticizes its execution and Facebook’s response.

The left supports the intent behind Australia’s policy but criticizes its execution and Facebook’s response.

A libertarian's take

“This is all about the historically common disruption that new technologies cause in the marketplace. Newspapers are no longer the best at serving up advertising to consumers, so that market went elsewhere. After engines were invented, horses stopped being the most efficient way to travel. After electricity was invented, candles stopped being the most efficient artificial source of light…

“Newspapers and media outlets have no moral right to claim this money for themselves. The advertising industry money should go to where it's most effective. But because media outlets have been unable to replace the lost advertising, they've resorted to lobbying the government with claims that preserving newspapers is pivotal to the survival of democracy, riding on the current populist criticism of the size of tech companies.”
Scott Shackford, Reason

Get troll-free political news.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.