A New Australian Law Is the Wrong Answer to Big Tech

Google and Facebook are too powerful, but monetization won’t solve the core problems

Owen Williams
OneZero
Published in
5 min readFeb 10, 2021

--

Image: Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images

The Australian government is currently on track to pass a law that would require the largest online platforms to pay local media whenever they publish material from an article on their sites, or even link out to a news story. It’s the latest sign that the nation is willing to go to war with the platform behemoths in defense of its media industry, regardless of the cost.

The proposed regulation, called the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, would require social media platforms to negotiate with local media in order to use their content. For instance, whenever Google publishes headlines and summaries on Google News, Google would have to pay a small sum to the newspapers or magazines listed.

Platforms would also have to pay whenever users interact with that content, or when they simply link to a news article.

There is merit in forcing powerful platforms like Google and Facebook to the negotiating table over their treatment of the media. The journalism…

--

--

Owen Williams
OneZero

Fascinated by how code and design is shaping the world. I write about the why behind tech news. Design Manager in Tech. https://twitter.com/ow