A new Australian media law requires companies such as Google and Facebook to pay for news reports. Facebook refuses and removes all links to news reports from Australian media from the platform in protest.
The News Media Bargaining Code (NMBC) requires social media to pay money for news provision. At the moment, a lot of content is shared free of charge via Facebook and according to the Australian government that must be different. Social media platform Facebook just does not want to spend a lot of time.
No more news on Facebook in Australia: https://t.co/MP1OkJH1BO
We just need more journalistic news on social media, to #desinformation counter.https: //t.co/NJdGHFrFXg
– Richard Wouters (@RichardWouters) February 17, 2021
Facebook for subscriptions
The measure also applies to media company Google, but they responded slightly differently to Facebook. The company reached an agreement with publisher NewsCorp to enforce the law. NewsCorp is a media group managed by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Facebook does not see a similar collaboration. The social media platform claims that news websites share articles to sell more subscriptions. The platform thinks it is ridiculous that it has to pay every time a newspaper publishes its own story on Facebook.
– Willem S. (@ stoppelenburg54) February 18, 2021
With this new law, the Australian government is trying to break the dominance of Google and Facebook. Both are responsible for 81 percent of the news in Australia. The new law ensures that the news provision is paid for. In addition, the government wants more openness about the algorithms for news platforms.
Facebook is boycotting the media law and is currently blocking all news links on the platform. That means that no news story from Australian media can be shared by Australian users. Publishers are also no longer allowed to post articles on their own page.
Facebook’s protest also means that reports from the national weather service, rescue services and pages of politicians are currently blocked. Facebook does, however, release reports from the Australian fire brigade and police. The company would not want to block government pages.
Thursday extra debate on curfew and emergency law
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