Facebook faces a global backlash over its bid to bully Australia

Facebook faces a global backlash over its bid to bully Australia
Elected officials and media publishers in the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and the United States on Thursday rejected Facebook’s actions, suggesting they were anti-competitive and underscored the need for one Regulatory crack.

This is one of the dumbest, but deeply disturbing corporate steps of our lifetimes,” jurist Julian Knight, who chairs the Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee in Britain’s parliament, told Broad Sky News.

In a statement shared with CNN Business, Knight said UK legalists would use pending legislation aimed at regulating social media companies to promote “reliable news sources” such as Facebook.

“This action – this punk boy action – that [Facebook has] He said that in Australia I will ignite the desire to go ahead among legislators from all over the world. ”

David Sicileen, a Democratic Congressman from Rhode Island who chaired the House Entrepreneur Subcommittee, echoed that sentiment. He added that “if it is not already clear,” Facebook’s actions in Australia show that the company is “not compatible with democracy.”

“Threatening to bring an entire country to its knees. Agreeing to the terms of Facebook is the ultimate entry of monopoly power,” Post On Twitter ()TWTR).
Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbault said on Twitter That “Facebook’s actions are very irresponsible and have endangered the safety of Australians.” “We will continue to push for fair legislation between the news media and the web giants,” he said.

The publishers seized the opportunity to fire shots on the platform, which dominates Google as well as the digital advertising business. In Germany, the Federation of German Newspaper Publishers (BDZV) called on governments to restrict Facebook’s influence.

“It’s high time that governments around the world limit the market power of gatekeeper platforms,” ​​said BDMV general manager Dietmar Wolfe. “The fact that a platform only closes pages to create political pressure is where the problem with American network monopolies lies on the Internet,” Wolff said.

The backlash on Wednesday decided by Facebook to prevent Australians from finding or sharing news from local and international outlets on its platform, intensifying the fight with the government over a new law that would allow tech companies news for content posted to them. Will force publishers to pay. Platform. Sharing news links with Australian publishers is also prohibited outside the country.

Facebook ()American Plan) And Google ()GOOGL) There have been quarrels over the years with publishers over how they display their content. Media companies, which have run out of billions of dollars in advertising revenue for online platforms, argue that tech giants should pay them to show their content. Defenders of the platforms say that they drive huge audiences on news websites at no expense.
Lawmakers, meanwhile, are already taking steps to curb the power of social media platforms in favor of news organizations. For example, new copyright laws in the European Union put Google ahead French news publishers agree to pay For their content, in a deal that can be replicated elsewhere.
The Facebook move came after months of a tussle with the Australian government over the proposed legislation called the news media Bargaining Code. The company believes that it gives the government too much power to decide the price that platforms pay for news and which publishers receive remuneration. Facebook also argues that the proposed law ignores the value Its services bring in publishers.
Along with blocking news content, the extent of Facebook’s influence was clarified Unknowingly Freeze accounts of fire and emergency services, domestic violence donations, and government health agencies. Facebook is restoring pages it did not intend to block.
“This is a depiction of an extraordinary power that a private company offers in a public space,” said Rasam Nielsen, director of Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. He told CNN Business, “Many governments and politicians around the world are concerned about this and want more direct political and regulatory oversight.

Nielsen said, “I think it’s quite problematic that Facebook took this one-sided decision without warning or transition, but it’s a privately-held company and they’re doing what they believe Is in their selfishness. ”

Britain’s News Media Association president Henry Fure Walker said Facebook’s actions suggest that regulators need to coordinate globally between tech giants and news publishers to “create a truly level playing field.”

CEO of Newsquest, Britain’s largest local newspaper publisher, said that Facebook is “a classic example of monopoly power threatening the schoolyard, trying to defend its dominant position.”

Dominate entry?

Both Facebook and Google have launched news payment programs in recent years, as authorities around the world consider new laws to uphold them. For example, Facebook created Facebook News, a part of the app featuring curated news where selected publishers are paid to participate.

To overtake Australia’s new law, Google adopted a very different approach to Facebook. In recent times, search engines have announced partnerships with some of the country’s largest media organizations, including Robert Murdoch News Corp ()NWS) And Seven West Media.

Google has entered into agreements with more than 500 publications worldwide since launching the news showcase, a product that gives publishers control over how their content is presented on the platform. News Corp said in a statement that it would contribute content to its publication’s news showcase, including the Wall Street Journal and The Times, in exchange for a “significant payment” from Google.

But that doesn’t mean the fight with Big Tech is over. News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said earlier this month that “new terms of business” would be introduced “in Australia but the debate is now widespread around the world.”

“There is no serious digital regulator anywhere in the world that is not investigating the vagueness of algorithms, the integrity of personal data, the social value of professional journalism, and the faceless digital advertising market,” he said.

Professor Charlie Beckett, director of POLICE, a media think tank at the London School of Economics, said the danger with the arrangement between tech companies and big publishers is that they come at the expense of smaller organizations that do not have a clot of dialogue.



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