Google and Facebook respond differently to the proposed Australian media laws; Google strikes deals while Facebook blocks the Australians

Things have not been smooth for a while since Australia proposed some laws that would require tech giants like Google and Facebook to pay the Australian media outlets and news resources for providing them with the news content that they publish on their platforms. While the Australian Parliament is still debating over these drafted laws, the House of Representatives passed the laws just a day ago, and now the Senate is going to consider them too. The government is not ready to back down from its legislative agenda, and the two tech firms in talk have demonstrated different behavior to these laws.

Since day one, both Google and Facebook have shown an aversion to these proposals, but recently, Facebook has taken a more drastic step. The social network has blocked the Australian people from sharing or even viewing news on Facebook.

An important point to note here is that Facebook has not banned Australian publishers to post or publish news on the platform. However, the links to the news content they publish will not be available to view or share for Australians.

Not only this, but the Australian users have been barred from sharing any international news content on Facebook too.

So, it's like, Australian news agencies and publishers can publish the news on Facebook if they want, but their own Australian audience will not be able to view or share that news content, or any international news too. Any foreigner living outside Australia will also not be able to share or view the news that these Australian publishers publish on Facebook!

It seems that Facebook is trying to ‘punish’ Australians policy makers for their proposed laws. As per Facebook’s regional managing director William Easton, the company was left with no other choice but to take this drastic measure. Facebook believes that the Australian government is trying to destroy its relationship with the news agencies through these laws.

Facebook’s decision has not been taken well as the Australian Communications minister Paul Fletcher said that by this action, Facebook is confirming to the Australian audience that the news content published on the platform does not come from creditable sources and there is no fact-checking as such!

On the other hand, although Google has threatened to stop its search engine services in Australia, however, the company’s model does not really allow it to ignore Australian news and media agencies as easily as Facebook has done. So, Google is currently striking pay deals for journalism with media and news outlets like Seven West Media, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., and Rival Nine Entertainment, etc.

Facebook’s decision is being taken as irrational because it not only makes the company appear weak and arrogant, but it also shows that Facebook has failed to take care of matters like privacy, disinformation, and data protection.

Photo: AP
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