Facebook threatens to block news sharing in Australia

in great shape / The Facebook logo displayed on the smartphone screen and keyboard is seen in this photo photo taken on August 11, 2020 in Krakow, Poland. (Photo illustration by Jacob Porzycki / Nurpotra via Getty Image)

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Facebook has threatened to stop users and publishers in Australia from sharing news on its platform if the country goes ahead with a landmark proposal to force big technology to pay media groups to carry their technology Increases.

America’s social media platform said that if Australia’s publishers and people would stop hesitating to share local and international news on Facebook and Instagram, the draft law would come into force.

“It’s not our first choice – it’s our last. But this is the only way to avoid an outcome that defies logic and will hurt, not help, the long-term vivacity of Australia’s news and media sector, ”Facebook said in a statement.

Canberra indicated that it would not return. Australia’s Treasurer Josh Friedenberg said, “Australia enacts laws that advance our national interests. We do not respond to threats of coercion or heavy-handedness wherever we come from.”

Internet platforms have long faced criticism for shaking up the traditional news industry, with Facebook and Google now receiving the majority of online advertising spending.

Meanwhile, global regulators are already taking action with other governments, including Spain and France, similar to the Australian proposals, circling antitrust concerns and big technology over their ability to influence the election.

Canberra’s draft law, which could pass parliament by December, aims to force Google and Facebook to pay news publishers for content. It seeks to redress “fundamental imbalances in the bargaining power between digital platforms and news providers” by establishing a mandatory system of arbitration on payments.

The code includes a tough nondiscasion clause to prevent Facebook and Google from discriminating against Australian news providers, including breaches liable to fines of up to 10 per cent of the company’s Australian business.

Australia’s competition regulator chief executive Rod Sims told the Financial Times that Facebook and Google would have to remove all international news from their platforms, not just Australian news or fines.

He said that this would have a big impact on his services. “First of all, you have to think what would Google search be if there was no news?” Sims said. “I think Google search will be greatly reduced.”

Restraining access to all news on their platforms in Australia would be complex and frightening for both groups with legal risks.

“This means that we have to conduct a large scale of content globally to prevent Australians from appearing – we need all foreign newspapers, bloggers, YouTube citizen reporters, but sports reporting, shun discussions of global health issues Gotta do, “tweets about current events, and literally endless other types of content from all sources around the world,” Google said in a blog post last week.

“Australia recognizes that Facebook benefits the most in its relationships with publishers when in fact it is true,” the social media company said Monday in the US. It said that news was a negligible source of revenue and that users accounted for only “a fraction” of what they saw on its platform, while it gave media groups billions of clicks.

Facebook did not reveal how it would prevent the sharing of news content on its platform in Australia, saying it would soon “provide specific details” of how it plans to do so.

Jason Kint, chief executive officer of Digital Content Next, a trade association for online contractors, said Facebook’s statement “negated the value of current and credible news for most user-generated content”.

He said that Facebook hoped to draw a red line and prepare for war in Australia.

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