Australia is in Talks With Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Over 'Outrageous' Decision To Block News Conte

by WarriorForum.com Administrator
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A new article on Forbes reports that Australia is engaged in talks with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the country's Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said in an interview on Friday, as the social media platform faces widespread anger over its decision to ban all news content in Australia in response to new legislation that would force the company to pay news publishers.



In an interview with the Nine Network, Frydenberg said he and Zuckerberg have been messaging each other, and he wants to see "if there's a pathway forward." On planned discussions, the treasurer said he plans to "hear Mark [Zuckerberg] out," adding, "if he puts some ideas to us and they're reasonable, then I will talk."

Fryndenberg called Facebook banning all news content in Australia "outrageous" and said that he made it clear to the platform he was disappointed by the lack of an "advance notice of what they were doing." He added that the Australian government would push forward with its proposed legislation. This is how Fryndenberg summed up events when asked on Thursday:

"I think subtlety is not their schtick if you like. It was pretty bad what we saw yesterday."
Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd argued the proposed legislation would entrench the power of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp monopoly on Australian media:

"The problem with the government's current response to the challenges of the digital media marketing code is that it seeks to solve one problem ... by enhancing the power of the existing monopoly - that's Murdoch."
This all follows Wednesday's events, when Facebook announced that it would block users in Australia from accessing news, citing the proposed legislation. The platform didn't exactly cover itself in glory when it followed through. The Facebook pages of several Australian governments, health agencies, and non-profits got blocked - just days before the country was due to start its vaccine roll-out with thousands of people relying on the platform to gain access to important information and advice during the pandemic.
#‘outrageous’ #australia #block #conte #decision #facebook’s #mark #news #talks #zuckerberg
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Stanley
    This thing has been an outrageous mess ... but, much as I'm tempted to pile on against FB, I would argue Australia's govt has looked equally bad if not worse. FB's news shut down was a product of an Australian link tax law that stipulated that, whenever anyone who posted any link to a newspaper site on Facebook, Facebook would have to pay (even if the paper posted the link itself). Links have been free for 25 years. Yes, Google/FB have insane market power that presents plenty of issues, but for this one specifically, would also note that (outside of ads, obviously), no one really pays to link. The online market has just evolved in that manner. Further, if company's *were* required to pay to link, why should newspapers be the sole beneficiary? Shouldn't everyone be paid? IMO there's an honest debate to be had around whether big tech companies ought to be taxed in order to to subsidize newspapers, but this law / ordeal was far from honest/straightforward
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    The problem was solved today.


    However, I think Zuckerberg overplayed his hand on this one. What he did could be called 'extortion' very easily as the bill has not been passed. The govt looked dumb - but Zuck comes across as a bully with no concern for the welfare of its users.

    In recent months social media giants have increasingly flexed their muscle and have gotten by with it. I'll be surprised if there aren't quite a few comments about the 'overreach' of Facebook in this story. ...or maybe people are so hooked on FB they won't see anything wrong with exerting pressure like this.



    The callousness of this move by Facebook - during a pandemic - during rollout of vaccines, etc...is likely deliberate. May not have been smart, though, for the long term. We'll see how the public reacts.
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    • Profile picture of the author WF- Enzo
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      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      Zuck comes across as a bully with no concern for the welfare of its users.
      Essentially how they exert "dominance" as the "top" social platform or what.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Stanley
    I get the need for FB as a distributor of vital information, but also get their reluctance to submit to legislation that would've forced to pay The Australian for The Australian posting links to its own content on FB. Like most people sense, news orgs need FB (for traffic/users) more than the other way around, which sets up a big power imbalance. Zuck also comes across as a "i'll do anything to preserve my incumbency/core business", which further damages them in the court of public opinion. Like Kay said, tbd how the public reacts ..
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