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Big Tech has thrown down its first big salvo against the federal governments’ proposed News Media Bargaining Code!
This morning, Facebook took a heavy handed approach in response to the Australian governments’ proposed law (The News Media Bargaining Code) that would force them, and other big tech companies like Google to pay a substantial amount for showing news headlines and images.
As of this morning, Facebook has removed all news related articles from any and all AU news outlets. The net was cast very wide, affecting a large number of smaller media pages, as well as the major players targeted by Facebook. Even parody news pages such as The Betoota Advocate were affected (thankfully, many these ones have been remedied).
Facebook’s position is that Emergency Information from News platforms will still be displayed, although how this information will rank in the Facebook feed algorithm in the future remains to be seen.
Google has threatened to remove Google Search from Australia if the new code is enacted.
The Murdoch Media claims that tech companies are taking advantage of their Intellectual Property, and that some of the large amounts of money the tech giants are making should be redirected to them.
While it's no question that traditional media has taken a massive hit with the an increasingly large number of people preferring to use social media over traditional media, like Newspapers. Should the 'new media' companies be forced to pay for content, or should we let dinosaurs die?
In reality, it’s a bit more complex that that, as the major news companies have designed their products to be easily searched (on google) and shared (Facebook), so they are complicit in providing the data they want to shared in search and on social media.
Taking advantage of Facebook and Googles’ technology to share their content and then complaining about that very fact is a bit on the nose, in my opinion.
It would seem that the federal government would also stand to gain in this arrangement, as the ABC's content that is consumed via Facebook and Google would fall under the proposed act.
I've heard a wide range of metaphors of describing this situation, but none have really hit the mark for me. I, however, don't think that a federal government should be intervening in the free market to prop up a dinosaur. Journalism is alive and well, and will continue to exist in an ever evolving form. It's always been on the bleeding edge, always will be. Adapt or die!
Facebook’s user base has been on the decline in the last few years, and I hope it continues to do so, as alternative services (such as The Snowy List!) can provided more community focused local content and discussion.
Peace and Love ✌️ ❤️
The Snowy List
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