Facebook is blocking press content in Australia

Not wanting to share its income with the media, Facebook has just banned the journalistic content of its platforms in Australia.




Vincent Brosso BeaulieuVincent Brosso Beaulieu
Journalism

Why is this Facebook decision being followed on the other side of the planet in Canada? Because Australia is the first country that has attempted, through a bill, to force digital platforms such as Facebook and Google, which get the majority of digital ads in the world, to pay news media fees for the use of their press content. And because the Trudeau government especially wants to take inspiration from Australia to force Facebook and Google to do it in Canada as well. Ottawa wants to introduce a bill for this this year.

“Facebook’s decision in Australia to share the news is regrettable,” said the Office of the Federal Minister for Canadian Heritage, Stephen Gilbolt, in a written statement.

As of Thursday, there will be no more press content on Facebook in Australia. Australian media will be banned from the social network (they will be able to have a page, but will not be able to broadcast the content) and journalistic content from international media will not be viewed or shared by Australian Facebook followers. Facebook’s move comes as the Australian government is about to pass a law forcing Facebook and Google to negotiate property rights with news media to direct compensation for the use of journalistic content on their platform.

“ We face an unpleasant choice: trying to comply with a law that ignores the facts of the relationship [entre le réseau et les éditeurs]Or stop allowing media content on our services in Australia, Facebook said in a written statement. With a heavy heart we choose the second option. ”

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Facebook argues that the economic value that journalistic content brings to its platforms is “minimal.” “News accounts for less than 4% of the content people see [sur Facebook] The company says that it believes the Australian bill is “penalizing” it by requiring it to pay for content that it “didn’t take or ask for”. Facebook argues that it is the media that chooses to publish their content on Facebook.

Australian Finance Minister Josh Freidenberg said Facebook had not notified authorities of its decision. According to him, these “measures are unnecessary and authoritarian and will damage his reputation here in Australia.”

Banning press content on Facebook in Australia got off to a bad start in practice. to me guardian, Facebook simultaneously blocked content from some health ministries, hospitals, the Australian weather office, politicians, and… Facebook itself.

Google is the number one media outlet in Australia

Meanwhile, the other digital giant Google, the target of the Australian bill, announced on Wednesday that it had reached a revenue-sharing deal with Australia’s largest news group, News Corp, owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Details of the deal were not disclosed.

PHOTO JEFF CHIU, ARCHIVES ASSOCIED PRESS

Details of the Google deal were not disclosed.

« [Google] Now it has partnerships with over 500 publications around the world, which demonstrates the value this product can bring to our press partners and readers around the world. “We hope to announce more partnerships soon,” said Don Harrison, head of Google Global Partnerships, in a written statement.

In Canada, Justin Trudeau’s liberal government wants to introduce a bill on this topic in 2021. Conservative Senator Claude Karenian introduced a bill to that effect Wednesday. In Canada, Google estimates advertising revenue for press content on its search engine at $ 9 million annually. Facebook does not disclose this information. News Media Canada, an organization representing over 100 written news outlets (including Journalism), It is estimated that Facebook and Google should return $ 620 million in revenue annually to Canadian media. Researcher Jan Higgs Roy, a professor at the University of Kuala Lumpur, estimates this to be 280 million in 2020.

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With the Canadian Press Agency and the French News Agency

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