When facebook removed all news in Australia, the media has a one sided voice to blame Facebook, they even invited someone who cried in a video and said facebook removed the info they needed, but is it a fair comment?
Let’s look at the timeline first:
First there were traditional media, then there was facebook. Facebook did not have any content, it’s just info shared by everyone. Facebook was popular so the traditional media wanted to use this platform to expand their influence. Those media needed facebook so they prepared the paperwork to become registered accounts. Once they were on this popular platform, they received the traffic from facebook and caught the young people’s attention.
What happened next, the traditional media were not satisfied with just the traffic, they wanted facebook to pay them. They lobbied the government to legislate to do so. The government passed the legislation, so facebook had to delete all news in Australia.
A few things should be clarified to see the full picture:
Are the traditional media victims of facebook? Facebook never invited them to join facebook. The media joined and used facebook. if the media groups are not happy with facebook, they can choose to quit. Get out, that’s it! They can’t enjoy the traffic and demand more money from facebook. What is more ridiculous?
Are they facebook posts biased? Yes, very, but so as the mdia. Which news goes to the front page, which one is called breaking news are all biased, so the subjectivity is an ongoing issue and not a facebook problem. The media should be blamed for it first, not facebook.
Who is resonsible for this issue? The government legislated first, so if facebook keeps allowing those content posted in facebook, it will take the risk to breach the Australian law. Has facebook done anything wrong? No, it’s simply a very resposible company that does not want to be in trouble.
Why everyone seems blaming facebook? It’s because most media resources are on the opposite side of facebook, they are struggling to survive at the age of the internet, so they won’t miss a chance to say all bad things of facebook. Most media hide that fact the real reason facebook removed all news is the Australian government has legislated to ask facebook to do so.
Should the government do that? Abosolutely not! The government should be impartial among different economic groups. However, the two parties of this issue are Australian based traditional media that gives the government lots of money and US based social media company that does not give Australian government a damn, so the Australian government chose to support the Australian media group. Is there anything wrong? Probably not as it’s politics.
Why did Google changed the mind and paid the media? Google has its news subscription service whereas facebook doesn’t. They have different strategies.
What will change? Nothing for me. I just won’t read news anymore, there is no news in Australia anyway. People like me who never buy a paper will not buy a peper because of the change of the law, but I do miss some well written internationl news from BBC but unfortunately it’s not availble for me to read on facebook.