Facebook announced on February 17 that it will ban Australian users from sharing or browsing news links on the platform. Facebook users in the country are likely to be forced to use other sites to read the news. This bold move was taken by the Australian government, which is trying to force Internet platforms (especially big advertising companies Facebook and Google) to pay the press directly for access to share the content of the press. It was in response to discussions about the proposed bill.
For Facebook, which was undecided, a total ban was a last resort. In a blog post, the company sought to minimize the real impact of the decision on revenue, emphasizing that such a move would hurt the interests of users in Australia and around the world. The company said that only 4% of the content in Australian user feeds was news, but did not provide other engagement indicators related to news consumption.
In a post, Facebook sought to distinguish itself from Google in how news content is shared by users on the platform. In Google’s search, the content is algorithmically curated by Google. “Google search is so intertwined with the news that the press doesn’t voluntarily provide content,” wrote William Easton, managing director of Facebook Australia. “On the other hand, media outlets choose to post news on Facebook themselves, which allows them to market their subscriptions to increase viewership and increase advertising revenue.”
Google has already begun a partnership with the press to advance payments so that news content can continue to be displayed in Australia. Despite previous threats to suspend service in the country, he first signed a deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Facebook’s move includes the unexpected impact on global users outside the country of not being able to share links to Australian-based press on the platform.
Australia’s legislation is an offensive example of how Internet platforms will continue to operate and that regional legislation can have a global impact. It’s clear that many countries are watching how the bill will affect them. While Google is looking to close private deals to maintain its service in the country, Facebook’s hard-line approach has forced it to calculate how it will operate in the future, each platform. Shows different approaches.