After Australia’s first Internet-based news bill, the social media giant blocked the country’s media, angering local authorities and the legislature.
With the move “self-defense”, Facebook has suddenly blocked Australian media to deal with potential troubles caused by this targeted bill. However, Facebook’s actions have attracted more accusations from the public about Internet monopoly.
On February 18, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Finance Minister Josh Fredenberg and the mainstream media all released statements condemning Facebook’s “abuse of power”, while affirming the process. Legislature will not be affected.
Also on the same day, Google and News Corp of news magnate Rupert Murdoch reached an agreement to distribute news with a term of 3 years. The parties to the transaction did not disclose the specific amount in the contract, but this is a “significant” number as called by News Corp.
The law protects the traditional media
On the evening of February 17 local time, the Australian House of Representatives passed the “Mandatory Code of Negotiation on Digital Platforms and Information Communication”. According to the Australian press, the bill will be voted on by the Senate next week and will take effect soon after.
The bill, initiated by the Australian Department of Finance, aims to redistribute profits in the Internet economy, forcing platform companies such as Facebook and Google to act as news distributors to pay organizations. news agency.
Australian Finance Minister Josh Fredenberg once stated, the bill “will ensure that the media receive fair economic remuneration for the content they produce, thereby protecting the Australian press in serving the public interest ”. This is also the first related bill in the world.
Facebook immediately launched “retaliation” after knowing the results of the vote in the Australian House of Representatives. The official pages of all local and international media operating in the country on the Facebook platform were banned from the night of February 17. Users in Australia cannot share or browse any of the news content.
On February 18, many Australian officials, including Prime Minister Morrison, condemned Facebook. “Facebook has ‘unlinked’ Australia,” said Mr Morrison. “These actions demonstrated the anxiety of many countries,” he said. The tech giants say they are bigger than the government. “The Australian Prime Minister said Facebook’s move will not prevent the government from legislating digital content.
On the same day, the Australian Finance Minister disclosed information about meeting with Mark Zuckerberg over the weekend to discuss the content of the new regulations, the Facebook CEO did not issue any warning regarding news off. Condemning “Facebook’s behavior is unnecessary,” Australia’s Communications Minister, Paul Fletcher, said that the social media giant should “consider very carefully what this means for reputation and status. now available”.
As a result of the Facebook ban, non-media Australian government accounts were also blocked, including the Weather Bureau, the Department of Health and the City Council. Soon after, Facebook pages of many government agencies were restored, but all local media were still “in the dark”, including the international media.
Profits were threatened, Facebook jumped into “self-defense”
In the wave of antitrust on the global Internet, it can be said that Facebook is the biggest bearer. The company will receive $ 84.2 billion in advertising revenue by 2020, from markets distributed in many countries around the world. In addition to Australia, government agencies such as the European Union are also looking at regulating the profits of Internet companies from the local market.
Since 2021, Facebook’s performance on the Nasdaq is inferior to the actual market. As of Feb. 17, the Nasdaq has risen 8.4%, while Facebook’s stock price is continuously volatile and trading sideways in a W-shape. time after time, with a cumulative increase of just 0.15%.
Although the Australian bill initially posed a threat to Facebook and Google, Google has made a lot of positive moves to reach a profit sharing agreement with the news media. William Easton, Facebook’s head of operations in Australia and New Zealand, says the two companies have different media relations.
In fact, Facebook is facing many risks and it is difficult to protect itself. After this scandal, Facebook will likely continue to suffer more uncontrollable consequences in the near future.
What has Facebook contributed to the press?
Facebook is being fiercely criticized for its decision to “quit playing” in Australia. Anyway, now is the time to look back and evaluate the press support programs of this social network, including Instant Articles and Facebook News.