Pay for news or face a digital tax: A warning to Google and Facebook, from down under

What's New in Publishing 26 Aug 2020 07:00

Have you used Google lately and been greeted by a yellow warning saying that the way Australians search on Google is under threat?

Image: Shutterstock

To understand why these messages are appearing, Media Files interviewed former chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Professor Allan Fels, and CEO of the Public Interest Journalism Initiative (PIJI), Anna Draffin (full recording below, recorded from home due to the pandemic).

Theme music: Susie Wilkins

This episode of Media Files is about world-first laws to be introduced later this year that will force Google and Facebook to pay for news on their sites to help fund public interest journalism.

The yellow warning messages by Google (which also appear on its sister site, YouTube) aim to garner public support for a campaign to pressure the federal government to dump revenue-sharing laws planned for later this year.

In a similar vein, Facebook’s Australian and New Zealand director of public policy, Mia Garlick, argued in the Sydney Morning Herald before the draft laws were released, that Facebook already provided top value to media outlets with

Facebook contends news is just a fraction of the information on its platform and the mandatory code is unnecessary.

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Australian Competition and Consumer CommissionGoogleAnna DraffinFacebookFels
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