Australia: In Australia, the war between the government and the American tech company Facebook has been over for a long time now.
The Parliament of Australia has passed a new law according to which international companies like Facebook and Google will have to pay media companies for their news in order to show news on their platforms. For the first time in the world, a country has made such a law.
The government says that under the new law, now media companies will get money for the content that they have made.
Earlier, there was a fierce debate in the country that companies like Facebook and Google are attacking the income of media companies by serving their content for free.
Last week, Facebook said that it would no longer show news content for users in Australia. But after talks with the government, Facebook has now agreed to enter into agreements with the Australian media companies and invest in them.
In such a situation, the question is, who won this great war between Australia and Facebook and what will be its effect on the world?
Stephen Scheeler, former head of Facebook in Australia, is clear on the issue of victory and defeat.
In a conversation with BBC Radio 4, Scheeler admitted that “I would say that Facebook has already conceded defeat here. I think there is no doubt that there was strong global opposition to this. And I think It is that Facebook has probably realized that governments worldwide are taking a harder course than they expected. “
The Australian government was getting the support of other governments in the world which wanted Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to take a step back in this matter.
A big tech company of the world, which has also come in the eyes of the regulators themselves, was also in support of the government on this issue. About a month ago, Microsoft openly expressed its support for the new law.
Microsoft president Brad Smith writes, “These laws will address the economic imbalance between technology and journalism by mandating agreements between tech gatekeepers (giant tech companies) and independent news organizations.”
Critics can say that it is no surprise that Microsoft has endorsed a law that would affect two of its biggest rivals.
Because when Google was threatening that it would stop its services in Australia, Microsoft had told the Australian Prime Minister that it was ready to fill the ‘shortage due to Google’s departure’ with the help of its search engine Bing.
With this, Microsoft had said that it is ready to contribute to the news industry as well. But a company spokesperson has said that Microsoft’s stance has always been on theoretical grounds.
At the same time, Facebook has said that it is in a comfortable position after the reforms made in the law. Facebook believes that after these reforms, the Australian Government will not be in a position to decide the terms of agreements between Facebook and private companies.
“This has given us the ability to enter into trade agreements on terms that make sense, and that’s what we wanted,” said a Facebook official.
Now Facebook has agreed to enter into agreements with newspaper printing companies in Australia. But should other governments of the world take inspiration from this matter? The case of Australia is an example of how tech companies can be forced to make financial payments to news companies.
What do you know?
Tech consultant Benedict Evans, who was a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, disagrees. Evans has been a critical critic of Australian law.
Evans says that this is a badly made law that has unrealistic elements. There was a demand in this that Google should give 14 days notice before making any changes in the search algorithm, which is constantly changed.
He says that Google quickly laid down arms in front of this law. But “Facebook stood by its principle. It also made things worse when it stopped everything except stopping the news. Australia had made a law that was not physically possible to be followed and has now said that since This work has been successful, so we are not applying it to anyone. “
He believes that the principle of recovery from tech companies will extend from here to provide financial assistance to the newspapers.
He says, “The challenge, in this case, is that you are assuming that it is not tax, not subsidy. You are assuming that it is a trade agreement. While it is not.”
Tough steps needed
In this case, it is likely that Facebook and Google will enter into agreements with companies worldwide for news.
But the problem is that instead of benefiting the already struggling regional news companies, big companies will benefit, including big companies like Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. And this will not affect Facebook and Google’s dominance in the field of online advertising.
In such a situation, the question arises, what is the solution?
Skylar, who has commanded Facebook in Australia, says that it is time to take big steps and divide tech companies into pieces.
He says, “I am now beginning to believe that the scale, size and impact of these platforms, especially on our mind, on the mind and on every activity we do as a citizen and customer, is very much. Leaving them in the hands of some people, highly controlled companies such as Facebook, is like a disaster. “
However, Facebook has lost the Public Relations War in Australia. But he has not suffered any widespread damage.
But by demonstrating power irresponsibly, Facebook has slightly increased the chances of disintegrating the empire created by Mark Zuckerberg.