COMMENT: Will Google & Facebook Be Left With News Slops & Fake News
Both Facebook and Google are currently flexing their bullying muscles with local Facebook CEO yesterday firing a shot over the bows of media organisations claiming to remove all news content from its platform.
My message to Will Easton the CEO of Facebook Australia is go ahead and do it because what you will be left with, is news and information slops from so called influencers and organisations who struggle to get traction in mainstream news media and spruik fake news and stories that will never make it in mainstream news media.
Australians are smart, and they will work out very quickly how to find the news organisations that can deliver content other than via Google, Facebook or Instagram in the same way that they did before the emergence of the big social media platforms.
Facebook, Instagram and Google have been stealing content to build their own multibillion-dollar businesses for years and it’s taken Australia, to say enough is a enough leading to executives such as Easton and Google Australia’s managing director Melanie Silva to squeal like stuck pigs at the prospect of having to put their hands in their pockets and actually pay for something.
Social media cleansing according to the gospel of Google and Facebook are a high risk to society and the next generation of Australians.
Easton and Silva are lackies to their US puppet masters who believe that their thinking and way of life today is the way forward today.
It’s not and the quicker the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission comes to the support of local media organisations who have been chopped up and their businesses damaged by the likes of Google and Facebook the better it will before the media industry in Australia.
Earlier today Treasurer Josh Frydenberg declared he will not be intimidated by scare tactics from Facebook and Google and is pushing the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission to implement their world-first regulation in Australia.
Mr Frydenberg told The Australian that the government would push ahead with its plans to force the tech giants to pay media companies fairly for news, despite Facebook’s.
Google & Facebook believe that stealing content to drive revenue to their sites and applications is okay.
What they have failed to understand is that are alternatives to Google & Facebook news.
Nine Media and News Corp along with a multitude of news organisations in Australia have one thing that Google and Facebook do not have.
Skilled editors & journalists who have the contacts and relationships to break the stories that consumers want to read.
Consumers on the other hand will go back to getting their hourly news fix from these organisations if the content is relevant to their needs.
10 years ago, 4Square Media got out of print but instead of relying on social media, Google and Facebook to deliver an audience, we identified people and organisations who attracted consumers who wanted good fresh relevant and above all informative on consumer technology.
Today we are profitable growing and hiring additional staff.
We lined up our content creation and news capabilities with organisations such as Virgin Australia, Qantas, JB Hi Fi and The Good Guys who had large audiences of consumers who spent money and wanted information on technology and appliances.
We developed digital interactive magazines with no need for involvement of Google or Facebook, and I am confident that Australian media organisations can grow without having to rely on Facebook or Google.
The threat by Facebook follows moves by Australia’s competition watchdog to force these US and very wealthy tech Companies to compensate Australian media outlets for the use of their content — a move that would set a worldwide precedent and one that Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said would establish a “more level playing field”.
Eaton bleated that “Assuming this draft code becomes law, we will reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram,”.
The Facebook CEO is no more than a gloried salesman, a spruiker who offers up private information to brands to get advertising, he has also relied on content taken from media organisations to build traffic without any compensation for the content they have basically stolen.
“This is not our first choice — it is our last. But it is the only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic and will hurt, not help, the long-term vibrancy of Australia’s news and media sector.” the Australian Treasurer said.
Easton claimed Facebook objected most strongly to the “perplexing” argument that Facebook should “pay news organisations for content” while ignoring “the financial value we bring publishers”.
“News represents a fraction of what people see in their News Feed and is not a significant source of revenue for us.”
If news is not a big money-spinner for the platform, why is Eaton banging on as if the news organisations will be hurt by the move.
Really, consumers wanting financial news will still go to the Australian or Financial Review those wanting gossip and Crime the Daily Telegraph or overseas personality sites and those into fake news and unqualified stories Facebook and Google.
Facebook is not the only one taking an aggressive approach Google in Australia, which saw the trillion-dollar firm add warnings to its search page and pop-up messages on YouTube about the proposed law, claiming its free services would be put “at risk” in the country. This irritated a lot of people qwho support the news organisations who want to emply more people and invest in newsw gathering.
Maybe there is an opening for Microsoft to cut a revenue share deal with news organisations cutting out Facebook and Google while delivering content via their Bing search engine. The content could also be fed via LinkedIn, Teams and Office 365 on a request basis.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the Facebook and Google campaign contained “misinformation” as Google would not be required “to charge Australians for the use of its free services” under the draft law, or “share any additional user data”.
“The proposed draft code will allow Australian news businesses to negotiate for fair payment for their journalists. said.
“This will address a significant bargaining power imbalance between Australian news media businesses and Google and Facebook.”
Both companies had become “unavoidable trading partners” for Australian media organisations but did not share the revenue generated from using content created and funded by the publishers, they simply stole content and pocketed the money.
Why is the Australian Government taking this action?
The ACCC said that “news provides broad benefits to society beyond those individuals who consume it, but Australian news businesses risked being “undermined” by unfair commercial arrangements with online platforms and could be forced out of business.
Many Australian media outlets have already been forced to close during 2020, including 10 Daily, BuzzFeed Australia, eight magazines from Bauer Media, and 36 regional and community News Corp newspapers.
What needs to happen and happen quickly is for the Australian Government to come down hard on Google and Facebook and the CEO’s of these USA Companies forced to negotate or simple get out of the news business.