• Miss Melly

The Australian Government vs. Facebook

If you've been a mushroom & haven't noticed your Facebook feed missing any...well, news, here's the lowdown of what the fudge is going on.

There's a standoff between Scott Morrison (hereby referred to as ScoMo) and Josh Frydenberg (hereby referred to as Fryd's) and Mark Zuckerberg (hereby referred to as Zuck's) & Facebook (hereby referred to as Facie or FB). It appears it's come to a head this morning (read: Zuck's told Fryd's to fudge off).

In short, the Australian Government (with Rupert Murdoch playing a part), have proposed 'Media Bargaining' laws that would force companies like Facebook to pay for Australian news content. It's also referred to as the 'new media code'.

In real terms, the new media code is designed to ensure media companies are paid fairly for use of their content on socials (i.e. Facebook) and search engines (i.e. Google).

The laws would force the likes of Google and Facebook to negotiate deals with the likes of News Corp (Rupert Murdoch) & Seven West Media (Packer). Others are affected, but these are likely the most well-known examples.

The legislation passed the House of Representatives last night, and goes to Senate (& is likely to be approved) next week.

Now, if it's sounding like we only just had this fight with Google, that's because you're right. The same law affects both Google & Facebook.

At this stage, it looks like Google have come to a financial agreement with Seven West Media & Nine. Facebook? It doesn't appear they will follow suit.

I'm not here to get in to who is right and who is wrong (I will, however give my humble opinion later once I've clarified a few things). Right now, I'm giving you in layman's terms what the fudge is going on.

This morning, your feed will look different if you are in Australia. Because Zuck's & Facie have decided that this is their response to the proposed laws. Fryd's (Australian Treasurer) is saying that he had "constructive" talks with Zucks. This move appears that perhaps "constructive" wasn't the right word.

Here are a few examples of pages affected this morning that are NOT news content sites:

- Zak Kirkup (WA liberal leader contesting the state election next month)

- Bureau of Meterology

- Department of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES)

- Life of Riley (pro-vaccination cause).

I'll leave you with this thought - there's a reason I advocate not building your consumer base on borrowed land. Would you build a house on land you don't own?

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