2 min readWhat’s up with Big Tech and Australia?

Australia wants Facebook and Google to pay for news, but Big Tech is pushing back. Who will win this battle?

Australia has joined France and other governments in pushing Google, Facebook, and other Big Tech companies to pay for content published and shared on their platforms. In retaliation, France has banned the sharing of news coming from Australian media outlets while Google has threatened to make its search engine unavailable in the country.

The new law passed in Australia will create a committee tasked to make binding decisions on the price of news reports will be create. This move is meant to create a new revenue stream for news outfits which they can alloted into newsgathering.

Editor’s Note: If you followed this news story online in the past few days, you will notice several things. First is that Facebook and Google has become so huge they can now make demands on the government. In short, just by threatening to withhold their services, these companies can influence policy.

Second is this: news outlets will still need to negotiate for compensation. This means that not all media outlets can expect payment for their news reports. If Big Tech companies can handpick news organizations they will compensate, this gives than an alibi to censor information from organizations that offer alternative insights. Moreover, this means that journalism is no longer independent as news outlets must adhere to the “editorial policy” of Big Tech. Will smaller social media networks be required to pay for news articles? If this is the case, will they be able to take in the high cost of news publication in their platforms? Will Google and Facebook become the sole source of news in Australia?

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