If you are in business and someone is sending traffic and potential customers to you it is advisable to quietly say thank you and not rock the boat.
Facebook Australia sends millions of clicks to Australian newspapers and the newspapers do not have to pay for this service. So why are they demanding that Facebook pay them?
Newspaper readership has been declining over many years* and with it advertising revenue. Nothing sinister about that, television is in the same position. Many outlets now exist for advertisers including the digital media.
So if you have competition what can you do? Perhaps in this case the Australian media has embarked on an elimination strategy. Get rid of the competition and advertising will flow back to the traditional media.
The question is how. The traditional media in Australia is very cosy with the Government so get them to do the heavy lifting.
Proposed laws are under way in Australia to make Google and Facebook (why only these two) pay many millions of dollars to traditional media who presently get the traffic for free.
How much they pay will be determined by the Government.
Facebook and Google are different business models. Facebook has pushed back and said "we are not going to pay" and removed links to the traditional media. Which should have pleased the traditional media as a competitor has been eliminated, but no the media is now calling foul, saying Facebook is undemocratic and a bully. Such comment also emanates from the Government. It seems the traditional media is only interested in free money.
The Australian Government is pushing ahead with the law; maybe they are the bully.
*Editor's note: The Chronicle's readership, and that of the New Zealand Herald, has been increasing.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is regularly being praised for the strict control of the New Zealand border to protect New Zealanders in the global Covid-19 pandemic.
In the US, newly sworn-in President Joe Biden immediately took steps to cut down border control, while promising to do more to protect US citizens from the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Some of Biden's actions were to cut down on border control at the southern border, where people from all over the world constantly attempt to illegally sneak across the border.
At the same time, Biden promised a path to citizenship, not just legal residency, to those who enter the US illegally. He thus offered a huge carrot to anybody who can get into the US illegally.
This is not going to help protect US citizens from the global Covid-19 pandemic, or from unemployment for that matter, but Biden is still getting praised for it. Go figure. [Abridged]
K A BENFELL