On the 18th of February 2021, Facebook looked very different in the land down under. Facebook banning all news in response to Australia’s new “Media bargaining code”.
So what is Australia’s new “Media bargaining code”?
Traditionally, Facebook and Google are free to use platforms where users provide free content, in return for reach across the big tech network.
Facebook and Google monetise their business’ by allowing users to pay for ads, further distributing their organic content.
Australian news outlets have been discussing a new code with the Australian government, which would force Facebook and Google to pay traditional media outlets for the organic content they produce.
I.e. The Australian Government wants the big tech companies to pay their users….flipping their business model on its head.
What are Google and Facebook doing about it?
Understandably Facebook and Google weren’t happy about the media bargaining code, with Facebook threatening to ban all Australian news off its platform and Google threatening to leave Australia all together. Both of which the Australian government thought were bluffs.
Turns out, Facebook wasn’t bluffing and is not prepared to pay Australian media companies, removing them off its platform all together.
Google on the other hand have agreed to provide a new service called Google News Showcase, committing $1.38 billion over 3 years to support the news industry world wide.
Google News Showcase will pay publishers a negotiated fee and curate their journalism for online readers.
The Australian Governments reply?
Prime minister Scott Morrison spoke saying “Facebook’s actions to unfriend Australia today, cutting off essential information services on health and emergency services, were as arrogant as they were disappointing,”
Furthermore, the Australian government is looking to go ahead with its new proposed media code, legislating it through the senate as early as next week.