Australia to make Facebook, Google pay for news


524 points | by nreece 11 days ago


  • ipsum2 11 days ago

    People in this thread seem to believe that this is only relevant to Google News. This is actually for all of Google, including Search. According to

    > Mr Sims said if Google took a similar approach to its actions in Spain when it was asked to pay for news on its Google News tab, it would be irrelevant because the code covered news content in Google's primary function, search.

    So it seems like the ultimatum is: pay Australia media companies ~$1b or don't list any news media (including international news) on Google Search for Australian users. Interesting dilemma.

    • pjc50 11 days ago

      Well, this is easy: remove the news. Also deals with all accusations of bias at the same time.

      > pay Australia media companies ~$1b

      This is Rupert Murdoch, isn't it.

      • Mandatum 11 days ago

        Murdoch is the Australian Bezos - except he has way more political clout in a larger area of the world, and has been running his empire for 30+ years. Bezos is building those relationships with his expansions, and he's obviously got more cash to fund them - but Murdoch's empire shouldn't be underestimated.

        • monkeynotes 10 days ago

          His organization also has significant clout in the US and UK where he owns big media corporations. He's long influenced British politics, and through Fox US politics. This bill looks to be sponsored, and crafted by Murdoch.

          • ehsankia 10 days ago

            At least Bezos provides us with an arguably useful service. What the hell has Murdoch provided the people other than FUD?

            • afterburner 10 days ago

              Weird way of putting it. People in North America who pay attention to politics have known about Murdoch for decades because of Fox News, before they bounced Bezos' name around nearly as freely.

            • montjoy 10 days ago

              It’s right there in the article.

              > Media companies including News Corp Australia, a unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NWSA.O), lobbied hard for the government to force the U.S. companies to the negotiating table amid a long decline in advertising revenue.

              • ardy42 10 days ago

                > Well, this is easy: remove the news. Also deals with all accusations of bias at the same time.

                Not so easy, since if you do that, you've just given an opening to a competitor that people will start using when they want to search for a news article.

                • falcolas 10 days ago

                  A competitor who would be equally obliged to pay rent for the news. That’s a pretty big regulatory hurdle for a startup to cross.

                  • boring_twenties 10 days ago

                    Unless I've grossly misunderstood, it seems that the bill would apply only to Google and Facebook right now.

                    • pankajdoharey 10 days ago

                      Would this payment also apply to a news startup which shows links from other news agencies and shows up on google. Is google obliged to pay this news site under the law? If so I just found my new internet startup and paying client.

                      • chillfox 10 days ago

                        There’s some language in there so that they only have to pay large news corporations that hire professional journalists.

                      • ardy42 10 days ago

                        > A competitor who would be equally obliged to pay rent for the news. That’s a pretty big regulatory hurdle for a startup to cross.

                        Maybe, but Google's interest is in maintaining its search monopoly, not creating opportunities for its destruction in fits of pique.

                        I'm also skeptical about how much of a hurdle this would actually be, since businesses typically have to pay suppliers (e.g. by licensing content). These rules probably only seems like a big thing because SV tech businesses have been weirdly allowed to opt out of paying in situations like this for a long time. It's not like the necessity of paying royalties prevented Netflix from taking off.

                        • dodobirdlord 10 days ago

                          > fits of pique

                          "Fits of pique" like being extorted for $1 billion dollars per year? That's something like 4% of their global profit that they're being asked to fork over for the privilege of continuing to provide a just one search functionality in a small and isolated market. They'll just disable news searches in Australia lol.

                      • csallen 10 days ago

                        I don't see any reason why Google itself couldn't simply spin off a competitor. They wouldn't have to own it. They could simply provide know-how, discounts on infrastructure, investment, and/or acquire the company at a later date.

                        Seems cheaper and more fruitful than simply forking over $1B. Then again, the risk to doing so might be scarier than a billion-dollar fine, especially if you factor in that the move (if discovered) would piss off legislators.

                        • dodobirdlord 10 days ago

                          $1 billion / year is a lot of money. They'll just not serve news results for Australian-origin searches. Most searches are not for news, and news searches are not product searches and probably don't draw much ad money. People can use Bing for their news until the government wises up and adds Microsoft to their list of applicable companies (currently just Facebook and Google), at which point I'm sure Microsoft will also disable news search results in Australia.

                      • monkeynotes 10 days ago

                        Cheaper to pay $1bn to Murdoch than loose all the ad revenue from Australia.

                        • ehsankia 10 days ago

                          That's assuming that they won't coming back begging once they realize that they need Google much more than Google needs them. Ad revenue from news sites from Australia is a slice of a slice for Google. For the news company, it's probably 90% of their traffic.

                          • libertine 10 days ago

                            Uh-oh... if all news sites had a drop of 90% of traffic pretty sure the monopoly bells would start ringing!

                            If this is being done on purpose to make a case, it's a goddamn genius move - next level chess.

                            Google could be in a tight spot.

                            • Nasrudith 10 days ago

                              I don't get it - isn't that giving them exactly what they claim to want?

                              "You say we are unfairly dominating? Fine we'll leave and let competitors take our place." Not competing at all in a market (barring reciprocial cartel territory divisuon) is the exact opposite of anti-competive behavior. They aren't even existing there to harm them!

                              At worst it would be monosopy and again they provided the remedy, reducing their "buying share" of the market to 0%.

                              It is essentially the ultimate calling of a bluff by not sticking around to be their scapegoat.

                              • ehsankia 10 days ago

                                I'm not an expert, but I'm not sure if that applies here. Google isn't in the business of making news, and isn't competing with these news companies directly. If you get 90% of the traffic to your portfolio from my blog, does that make me a monopoly too?

                                • kmeisthax 10 days ago

                                  Is it ordinarily the case for competition law in Australia to require someone with monopoly power to do business with someone when their prices increase dramatically?

                              • kortilla 10 days ago

                                Once a protection racket works, it doesn’t tend to discourage others.

                              • kelvin0 10 days ago

                                Yes. One giant extorting another giant.

                                • nwsm 10 days ago

                                  Many people google topics to find news articles. That traffic may be worth $1B to Google.

                                  • majani 10 days ago

                                    Not really. There's never been a lot of search ads on news search terms and news carries with it headaches that Google might be relieved to be rid of. Most likely scenario is that Google just deletes news from Australian searches, and Australians just find another aggregator for their news, which will probably be another large American platform that doesn't pay publishers

                                    • wutbrodo 10 days ago

                                      > There's never been a lot of search ads on news search terms

                                      The searches don't need to convert themselves in order to be valuable; if they affect user behavior enough, they'll affect it for commercial queries too. Ie, if someone switches to Bing because they never get good results on Google, they'll probably just switch to Bing period, instead of jumping back to Google for their commercial queries.

                                      • dodobirdlord 10 days ago

                                        It's $1 billion / year, and it's just news searches in Australia. Some database queries will figure out whether it's more profitable to pay up or to disable news searching in Australia, and I'd bet it's gonna be disabling news searches.

                                        • wutbrodo 7 days ago

                                          It's very possible that the math works out to be , but I disagree that the value of "disabling news searches in Australia" is tightly captured in a database. It's going to require some non-trivial modeling of the effect of removing news on the habits of Australian searchers, and how that may affect commercial queries: it's a very non-trivial part of most people's usage of Google.

                                          Some relevant things to consider:

                                          1) The Australian market provides Google about ~$5B/yr in revenue, so a 20% revenue loss would be required

                                          2) The global PR impact of disabling news searches, even in a local market

                                          3) The future costs of setting the precedent of giving in to rent-seeking mafia tactics from a specific government; if they think it's likely to embolden other governments to do the same thing, it may be worth drawing a bright line despite the revenue costs

                                    • throwaheyy 9 days ago

                                      There is no way news searches are worth $40 per potential customer. Assuming every single person in Australia searched for news on Google.

                                    • onetimemanytime 11 days ago

                                      No love lost between Google and newspapers. Money is gonna from their ads to Google. So have readers.

                                    • dannyw 11 days ago

                                      Actually the law seems to ban Google from “discriminating” based on this mandatory agreement entirely, including banning them from algorithimically burying their results.

                                      Aka: show and pay News Corp or GTFO out of Australia. Sad.

                                      • captainbland 11 days ago

                                        Honestly if Google and Facebook de-listed News Corp that'd probably hurt News Corp more than the tech giants. Their print publications are already circling the drain internationally. I think they should call their bluff.

                                        • alfiedotwtf 10 days ago

                                          Delisting News Corp would also have the benefit of raising the collective IQ

                                        • sesutton 11 days ago

                                          So this is just a very roundabout way of subsidizing Australian news media without having to call it that.

                                          • throwaway2474 11 days ago

                                            It’s likely an attempt by the libs to buy favour with the Murdoch press, who have traditionally had a lot of control over election outcomes.

                                            • asddubs 11 days ago

                                              has appeasement honestly ever worked?

                                              • pjc50 11 days ago

                                                That was more or less how New Labour got elected in the UK in the late 90s.

                                                • throwaway2474 11 days ago

                                                  What do you mean? News Corp definitely has a sizeable influence over elections, or at least they have had in the past. So it works in that sense.

                                                  • asddubs 11 days ago

                                                    yeah but that's not really how rupert murdoch media make their decisions, is it?

                                                    • chillfox 10 days ago

                                                      Well, Murdoch always support the liberals/conservatives but if he doesn’t get what he wants then he starts enthusiastically encouraging a good stabbing/knifing (rolling the prime mister).

                                                  • stephen_g 10 days ago

                                                    It’s not appeasement - the Liberal National Party and the Murdoch press have more of a ‘symbiotic relationship’.

                                                • chillfox 10 days ago

                                                  Yes, you could consider it a tax (or rabbit) on large digital platforms to support commercial news corporations.

                                                  • eastendguy 11 days ago

                                                    Subsidizing? I would call it stop freeloading... Quality news has a cost.

                                                    • DigitalSea 11 days ago

                                                      >Quality news has a cost

                                                      Have you seen what Murdoch-owned media publish these days? It's biased clickbait and gossip, there is nothing quality about News Corp content. Look at the front-page of and you'll see what alleged News Corp quality news looks like.

                                                      There are much better news sources out there not crying about Google (and writing quality investigative journalism) like;,,,,,

                                                      • golemiprague 10 days ago

                                                        How the Guardian is an alternative to someone who consume Murdoch media? The Guardian is a far left leaning paper while people who read wants something more towards the centre or even right.

                                                        • bobthechef 11 days ago

                                                          Hardly unique to Murdoch-owned media. Perhaps you're allow your own political biases narrow your perception.

                                                          • DigitalSea 11 days ago

                                                            We weren't discussing the uniqueness of low-quality content or clickbait, nor were we even discussing politics. We are discussing the introduction of changes which will largely benefit News Corp who owns 70% of newspaper circulation, Rupert Murdoch isn't even Australian. It boggles my mind an American media mogul (with clear historically proven cases of political bias) cannot only have plenty of influence in the USA, but also here in Australia.

                                                            We talk about Google and Facebook being these influential corporate conglomerates (and they are), how bad monopolies are and all the while, News Corp continues to get favours from the Australian government, if it's not millions in no strings attached money, it's laws like these which should not even exist in their current form. And the kicker here is: News Corp doesn't even pay tax in Australia. Thanks to some clever accounting (which others are also guilty of), they pay no tax on their profits and they are expecting us to feel sorry for them? Shouldn't the fact they don't even pay tax be good enough.

                                                            There are a lot of clickbait/low-quality news sites, but the ones not owned by Rupert Murdoch or big media companies aren't complaining to the Australian government about how unfair it is Google is linking to their news and providing free snippets. Things get even crazier when you realise that many news sites in Australia (especially News Corp) are already paywalled, many of the links from Google to the news stories results in a paywall notice asking you to pay. You essentially get a headline and an opening paragraph. Sometimes the headlines are clever, but they're not worth paying for. So, are they asking Facebook and Google to pay for the privilege of being able to link to their own site for free, which they are subsequently monetising through ads and subscriptions? None of this makes sense.

                                                            I agree that good quality journalism is worth paying for, which is why I personally have both a Crikey subscription as well as a Guardian subscription. I would never pay for the Courier Mail or Australian, the content is subpar and often republished news from other sources. Even former Fairfix news which Nine Entertainment purchased have gone downhill since the purchase.

                                                            • NamTaf 10 days ago

                                                              He may not be Aussie any more, but he was born here to a father involved in news media so it's not really a surprise to me that Australia is one of the places he has an iron fist over media. I mean, he ran media here from the 60s to the 80s before renouncing AU citizenship for US in order to make inroads there.

                                                              The state of news media in Australia is utterly dire and I cannot wait for Newscorp to collapse.

                                                              • caf 10 days ago

                                                                His Australian media properties have been losing money for years, long before the recent collapse of advertising revenues. He only runs them as a vanity project, because he enjoys the political power it gives him in his former homeland.

                                                              • rbg246 10 days ago

                                                                I'm in the same boat, I pay for the guardian, a couple of smaller newspapers and the Australia institute just trying to even out the balance a little bit since Murdoch and what I would now call the extreme right have over 90% of newspaper of newspaper circulation Australia. A really sad state of affairs, the Australian at least used to have some decent conservative articles with a considered opinion but now it's just rabid and unreadable trash.

                                                              • wokwokwok 10 days ago

                                                                Nope. You're just wrong. :)


                                                                The quality of these properties is categorically just worse than the independents, and there are a lot of them.

                                                                There's certainly some bias showing here, but it's not in the parent post.

                                                            • barney54 11 days ago

                                                              How is it freeloading? I don’t understand this point of view, but I want to understand your perspective.

                                                              • eastendguy 11 days ago

                                                                Reporter A spends 50 hours researching and writing about a topic. She publishes it on her own blog.

                                                                Now I scrape this text (as summary) and display it on my own "Latest news" blog and the original author does often not even get a click-through. I do not think that is fair towards the original author.

                                                                • dmortin 11 days ago

                                                                  If the reporter lives from ads on her blog then she needs traffic, because more traffic is more income.

                                                                  So bringig traffic to the blog is a big value, so she should pay for this service. But she doesn't, because search engines are free.

                                                                  News sites can block google and other bots any time on their sites with robots.txt, but they don't because they want the traffic for free, while they even demand money from those who bring the traffic.

                                                                  • La1n 10 days ago

                                                                    >News sites can block google and other bots any time on their sites with robots.txt, but they don't because they want the traffic for free, while they even demand money from those who bring the traffic.

                                                                    I was feeling different about this topic until you brought this up. I think this is a really good argument. Yes, google scrapes and gets value from what they scrape without paying, however you can block this as a publisher if you don't want this.

                                                                    • ketzu 10 days ago

                                                                      The problem these attempts try to adress is that it's not a real choice: doing that would likely end your business, while boycotting would have little effect on google/Facebook. So it's a power struggle where one side doesn't really have a choice, because the other side has all the power.

                                                                      • vageli 10 days ago

                                                                        > So it's a power struggle where one side doesn't really have a choice, because the other side has all the power.

                                                                        You do have a choice though. You can choose not to use google ads and stop performing SEO and drive business in alternative ways. Further, there are more search engines than just google. If your business model depends on google it may be time to rethink that strategy. Any competent marketing strategy would rely on diversified channels anyway.

                                                                    • eberkund 10 days ago

                                                                      The search engines also receive value in being an index or directory that people can use to lookup articles. The situation here is somewhat unique because Google is in a position to reap all of the benefit from this relationship by just scraping the content and displaying it directly to the user.

                                                                      A comparable scenario would be something like the phone book or yelp where these directories have value to users but they simply refer users to the businesses advertising in the directory.

                                                                    • vertis 11 days ago

                                                                      Same reporter "borrows" a photo/video editorially and doesn't pay the creator[0][1].

                                                                      [0]: [1]: (Note this guy eventually got paid by chasing)

                                                                      • diffeomorphism 10 days ago

                                                                        That would be copyright infringement and is already illegal. Not the topic of discussion.

                                                                        • CM30 10 days ago

                                                                          Isn't that pretty much all news works? After all, investigations are a rarity, and most stories in media outlets are basically sourced/paraphrased from elsewhere. If one site/network/paper finds something interesting like this, you bet anything that every other outlet will have their own story on the subject online in the next few minutes.

                                                                          To some degree it's also how aggregator sites like Reddit and Hacker News work. Maybe even with anti paywall methods, archivers, etc getting the story in plain text format.

                                                                          • eastendguy 11 days ago

                                                                            PS: Downvoting just because you disagree is not how a discussion is supposed to work :-(

                                                                            • mafuy 11 days ago

                                                                              I can't even downvote on this site, but I think it is because your post seems to say Google News copies news without a link to the source, which is not the case.

                                                                            • iso1631 11 days ago

                                                                              It seem blatent copyright infringement to me.

                                                                          • nailer 11 days ago

                                                                            The law prevents Google from removing their results. Ie the news companies are freeloading from Google.

                                                                            • tandr 10 days ago

                                                                              Does it prevent it from stop indexing these sites? Imagine it does display "latest news" snippets, but from 3 months ago...

                                                                              • eastendguy 11 days ago

                                                                                Google is a de-facto monopoly for search.

                                                                      • HALtheWise 10 days ago

                                                                        I'm just imagining, similarly to how some search results in the US have a "some search results removed for copyright infringement" footer, many search results in Australia having a "some search results removed for news content" footer. The interesting thing is that since this _explicitly_ only applies to Facebook and Google, any company repackaging Google or Bing search won't have this restriction, at least until they get big enough to be worth rewriting the law for.

                                                                        • sukilot 10 days ago

                                                                          Only Google and Facebook?

                                                                          • dodobirdlord 10 days ago

                                                                            1.30 The Government has announced that the code will apply to Facebook and Google. Accordingly, the Treasurer is expected to make an instrument specifying Facebook Inc. and Google LLC as designated digital platform corporations.

                                                                            Called out by name as the only two companies the law applies to.

                                                                        • quink 11 days ago

                                                                          Mr Sims here is ACCC chairman Rod Sims. The same who rammed through so many terrible decisions around the NBN, just as one example, including the POI decision which in one fell swoop eradicated all bits of ISP competition that had arisen in the ADSL2+ space. Funny thing for a "Competition and Consumer Commission" to do, yet here we are. Internode's blood is on his hands.

                                                                          • doctor_eval 11 days ago

                                                                            Well I agree re the PoI, but internode did pretty well, they got a $100M exit; lots of other ISPs and suppliers hit the wall. It was a nightmare decision to go from what, 7 POIs to over 200? Made no sense at all. Mind you the entire NBN from soup to nuts has been and remains a disaster.

                                                                            Sent from my faulty HFC NBN (gone down 4 times in the last 2 days)

                                                                          • rosege 11 days ago

                                                                            So does that mean having a hyper-link to a news article needs to be paid for? (Genuine question!)

                                                                            • ipsum2 11 days ago

                                                                              That's what I wondered too. From the article, it seems like they're only targeting Facebook and Google for now. To apply the law equally, it seems like it should affect all websites that link to or copy the meta description tag of a news site.

                                                                              • Jaruzel 11 days ago

                                                                                So those media-rich preview pop-ups for hyperlinks in almost all IM apps would be also affected, no?

                                                                                • zanny 10 days ago

                                                                                  This is what happens when you make a string of 10-30 characters someones property.

                                                                              • AnssiH 11 days ago

                                                                                I'd guess this only applies to snippets, not simple hyperlinks, so Google could get away by showing headlines only.

                                                                                However, that is just complete speculation as I haven't seen the actual law, and the article is behind paywall for me.

                                                                            • kiba 10 days ago

                                                                              Google: OK.

                                                                              Australian news media: No, come back!

                                                                              I don't see how their demand work out well for them.

                                                                              • ocdtrekkie 10 days ago

                                                                                There's a lot of countries moving this direction. The problem is, Google is more powerful than most countries these days. Google can afford to cut a country off and let them suffer until they relent.

                                                                                All of these countries need to unify on this requirement at the same time. Google can cut Australia off, but can they cut off Australia, France, and Spain off? What about Australia and the entire European Union?

                                                                                • kiba 10 days ago

                                                                                  I think the media companies are in the wrong. Google is providing a beneficial arrangement, and the media companies are demanding that google pays them.

                                                                                  • ocdtrekkie 10 days ago

                                                                                    Google has been bleeding the media dry. One of the graphs shown yesterday during the antitrust hearing was about how Google has shifted it's original business model of showing ads on third party sites (where they have to give most of the revenue to those sites, funding those sites) to a business model of showing ads predominantly on it's own sites, where it keeps all of the ad revenue.

                                                                                    Every single year, Google's ad business shifts more revenue from the "shares with third party sites" segment over to the "keeps all of it" segment. So while Google Search used to heavily fund news, every year, Google's cut gets bigger, and news orgs' cut gets smaller.

                                                                                    The second graph here is what was shown in the hearing, and shows the numbers pulled from Alphabet's reports: "Google Network Members" effectively refers to website owners like news publishers which display ads.

                                                                                    • kyboren 10 days ago

                                                                                      > Google has been bleeding the media dry.

                                                                                      I don't think that's a fair characterization. Would you say that Ford bled blacksmiths and carriage makers dry? Technology moves on. Newspapers are dying because their business model blows in the current infoscape. People spend most of their attention on things other than news, and news is the ultimate information commodity.

                                                                                      > Every single year, Google's ad business shifts more revenue from the "shares with third party sites" segment over to the "keeps all of it" segment.

                                                                                      The linked article shows that the "keeps all of it" portion has been growing faster than the "shares with third party sites" portion. I don't think it's fair to say that they shift revenue from one to the other.

                                                                                      > So while Google Search used to heavily fund news, every year, Google's cut gets bigger, and news orgs' cut gets smaller.

                                                                                      This is not shown by the data in the linked article. Clicks and CPC are slightly down for "shares with third party sites" but that does not say anything about news sites in particular.

                                                                                      • jefftk 10 days ago

                                                                                        > One of the graphs shown yesterday during the antitrust hearing was about how Google has shifted it's original business model of showing ads on third party sites (where they have to give most of the revenue to those sites, funding those sites) to a business model of showing ads predominantly on it's own sites, where it keeps all of the ad revenue.

                                                                                        Do you have a link to the graph? My understanding was that Google's original business model was "provide a search engine, and show ads on it", and showing ads on third-party sites is newer?

                                                                                        (Disclosure: I work at Google, speaking only for myself)

                                                                                        • ocdtrekkie 10 days ago

                                                                                          The graph is in the link above. The revenue shift is constantly moving away from sites where Google shares revenue with other sites, such as news publishers, and increasing on Google's own properties, which do not get shared with news publishers.

                                                                                          This explains why journalism is running out of money while Google is worth over a trillion. By lifting their content and keeping users (and ad views) directly on Google, Google profits at content producers' expense.

                                                                                          Re: "originally", I was probably wrong there. DoubleClick in 2008 was where Google absorbed this side of the ad business, I believe. But it was the side that was fundamental to journalism.

                                                                                          There was a time when Google could argue it's ad platforms was sponsoring the free web and all, but that's increasingly no longer the case.

                                                                                          • syshum 10 days ago

                                                                                            "journalism" is running out of money because there is no journalism anymore, it is activism, and propaganda disguised as "journalism"

                                                                                            They are losing money not because of Google, but because they are in a Twitter echo chamber feeding off each other and aliening large parts of their audience

                                                                                    • wernercd 10 days ago

                                                                                      So... if all countries at once said "Pay us for listing" at the same time... and google said "go stuff yourself" and de-listed globally...

                                                                                      How would that be different than 1 country at a time?

                                                                                      If Google refused to list news that they had to pay to list... across the board... Seems like it's simply making the process easier for Google as it'll be a one time fight.

                                                                                      • frockington1 10 days ago

                                                                                        Google will outlast the EU. Tensions have been high for years and Brexit seems to have less repercussions than initially thought. On top of that you have Germany strong arming France into giving weak nations billions. Its shaky from the weakest to the strongest countries.

                                                                                        • lhopki01 10 days ago

                                                                                          You think Germany is the one strong arming France into this? Germany has always been one of the countries most against fiscal transfers.

                                                                                          Brexit seems to have less repercussions than initially thought because it hasn't happened yet! The UK is still in the single market and the customs union till end end of the year.

                                                                                          • pgeorgi 10 days ago

                                                                                            > Brexit seems to have less repercussions than initially thought

                                                                                            There are still agreements. Let's see in 2021. The question if the UK requires quarantine of its tourists coming back from Spain will be overshadowed by the question if the tourists get there in the first place.

                                                                                            > you have Germany strong arming France into giving weak nations billions

                                                                                            Rather the other way around.

                                                                                      • beached_whale 10 days ago

                                                                                        Could they just not operate in Australia and give the proverbial middle finger to their government. Then just continue to link as they choose?

                                                                                        • cooljacob204 10 days ago

                                                                                          Yes and I hope they do. It's a bad law. If you have your news open and accessible on the internet without users having to authorize themselves then it's public information at that point.

                                                                                          Block it by a paywall. But they wouldn't do that because they would stop showing up in search engines. Google is providing a free service by directing traffic to these companies.

                                                                                          Reminds me of the LinkedIn case about bots crawling their website.

                                                                                          • thirdsun 7 days ago

                                                                                            They don't even need a paywall. If they don't want to be listed on Google they can always use robots.txt.

                                                                                            We've been through this in Germany. Publishers demanded to be paid for Google usage of results and news snippets. Google thankfully didn't give in to such a ridiculous demand and gave publishers the option to de-index them or keep listing them for free. Obviously all of them opted for the latter.

                                                                                          • ocdtrekkie 10 days ago

                                                                                            Australia is not the first country to pass a law like this. Spain and France have both done some version of this as well. There's going to be a point where enough countries stand up to them that they can't just withdraw without substantially hurting their own business long-term.

                                                                                            • syshum 10 days ago

                                                                                              I think the EU and Australia massively over estimate the amount of money their "news" links bring to google.

                                                                                              For google this will be a pure economics game, and when they passed the other laws Google looked at the numbers and noped out.

                                                                                              The same will be true for Australia.

                                                                                              I do not see the UK, US, or any of the emerging economies pulling this, so the EU and Australia will alone in this battle and the amount of money being demanded it seems to me most likely exceeds google profit, so they will just end the service to the nations, and blacklist the sites from search

                                                                                              Search will be fine because 3rd party sites will be indexed so it will be a 2 hope, and given the incestuous nature of "news" today where every story is written more or less than same on 100+ sites all over the globe I am sure people will find the news they are looking for just fine with out those sites in the index

                                                                                              The Eu and Australia are massively overplaying their hand

                                                                                              • frockington1 10 days ago

                                                                                                I haven't noticed any affect from Spain and France doing this. Recent earning shave been great. As long as they have the US they'll fine. And I don't see Asian ex-China and Eastern Europe pulling this any time soon

                                                                                                • Nasrudith 10 days ago

                                                                                                  And who would be daft enough to take a niche which involves paying to advertise for others?

                                                                                                  They can unite and tantrum all they want but it won't change the underlying reality any more than fervent demands for a "good people only" backdoor encryption won't exist.

                                                                                              • foobarian 10 days ago

                                                                                                Why is it not possible to just change their robots file and cut out Google that way. Then if they don't like it they can discuss terms, no law needed.

                                                                                                • dodobirdlord 10 days ago

                                                                                                  They could any time they wanted to, googlebot respects robots.txt prohibitions. They want google to direct traffic to their websites and they want google to pay for the privilege...

                                                                                                  • jimmydorry 9 days ago

                                                                                                    I feel like this is the weakest take on the argument.

                                                                                                    They want google to pay for re-hosting /lifting any content (previews, headlines, etc.). Linking is just caught in the crossfire, if it's even mentioned.

                                                                                                    If we are being honest, the majority of people read headlines and don't bother with more than the first paragraph or summary of the article. This is all displayed on Google properties where users don't even leave the Google infrastructure.

                                                                                                    Is Google providing a service? Definitely. Does online news depend on Google? Definitely. Is Google's relationship with them abusive? Definitely.

                                                                                                    • bryan_w 9 days ago

                                                                                                      > They want google to pay for re-hosting

                                                                                                      That's odd, usually companies pay Google to host their content via GCP

                                                                                                  • ipsum2 10 days ago

                                                                                                    That way they won't be able to profit off of Facebook and Google's successes :)

                                                                                                  • arkanciscan 10 days ago

                                                                                                    I feel like this is going to backfire. What if Google just dualists Australian media from search results because they don't want to pay royalties? What if they start charging the media companies to be included in search results in order to cover the cost?

                                                                                                    • peroporque 9 days ago

                                                                                                      So in the future, all news about Australian politics will only come from Russian and Chinese "news" websites...?

                                                                                                    • jerf 10 days ago

                                                                                                      Thank you to the several people who have posted a link to the bill itself. I'll add to the pile to make it easier to see:

                                                                                                      There's something interesting in there that nobody in this discussion has yet mentioned, nor does the original news article, section 52S:

                                                                                                          Subsection (2) applies if the registered news
                                                                                                          business corporation for the registered news
                                                                                                          business makes a request, in writing, to the
                                                                                                          responsible digital platform corporation for
                                                                                                          the digital platform service to do any of the
                                                                                                           (a) ensure that the registered news business
                                                                                                               corporation is provided with flexible
                                                                                                               content moderation tools that allow
                                                                                                               the registered news business corporation
                                                                                                               to remove or filter comments on the registered
                                                                                                               news business’ covered news content that:
                                                                                                            (i) are made using the digital platform service; and
                                                                                                            (ii) are made on a part of the digital platform
                                                                                                                 service that is set up and able to be edited
                                                                                                                 by the registered news business;
                                                                                                           (b) ensure that the registered news business
                                                                                                               corporation can disable the making of such
                                                                                                           (c) ensure that the registered news business
                                                                                                               corporation can block the making of such comments:
                                                                                                            (i) by particular persons; or
                                                                                                            (ii) in particular circumstances.
                                                                                                      If I am reading this correctly (a big if!), this gives the news corporations the right to exert complete control over all "comments" on their news articles on these "digital platform services", meaning that, for instance, Hacker News or Reddit, if covered by this law, would no longer be independent sites to discuss news, but would be forcibly placed under the control of the news site. (Not sure those sites would be covered, just using that as an example.)

                                                                                                      So if the newspaper leans X, they can shut down all the comments from people who lean the other way, or people who disagree with the article, or anything they like (possibly subject to other laws, but certainly no restrictions are placed here).

                                                                                                      That's... full of implications, to say the least.

                                                                                                      • profmonocle 10 days ago

                                                                                                        Unless I'm misreading, "and are made on a part of the digital platform service that is set up and able to be edited by the registered news business" suggests this only applies to the news agency's own social media pages. I.E. they wouldn't be able to censor comments on links to their content posted by third parties.

                                                                                                        • dragonwriter 10 days ago

                                                                                                          > suggests this only applies to the news agency's own social media pages

                                                                                                          1.88 seems to indicate that pretty clearly, providing this example:

                                                                                                          “In the case of a social media service such as Facebook, this rule deals with the situation where the news business has posted its covered news content on the news business’ own social media page. Comments on the news business’ articles posted by somebody else on another Facebook page are not covered by this law ”

                                                                                                          • jerf 10 days ago

                                                                                                            (For context, I'm not trying to be alarmist, merely observe something interesting that I acknowledge I may not fully understand that nobody else was talking about.)

                                                                                                            Even that is pretty amazing on its own terms, essentially carving out the new's site on those platforms. Interestingly, I don't see it taking away control from the host, either, so either of them ought to be able to censor. It would be interesting to see a vigorously anti-Facebook article get posted on Facebook, with Facebook nuking everyone supportive of the article and the news site nuking everyone arguing against it. (And both of the nuking the "where are all the comments?" comments.)

                                                                                                            Is there someone knowledgeable about Australian law that can explain how the "clarification" stands in relation to the actual law? In the US system, where AFAIK such clarifications would have low priority vs. the actual text of the law, I'd be nervous as a "digital platform provider" relying on the clarification to save me from the text of the law, which to my eyes do not contain that carveout, but under a different system these may be given higher priority.

                                                                                                            (& with all due respect to the many fine Internet Lawyers (TM) on HN, International Internet Lawyers (TM) even, I am asking for people who actually know. I can provide myself with all the knowledge-free speculation I need already.)

                                                                                                            • asdfaoeu 10 days ago

                                                                                                              It's worthwhile noting that the courts have been holding media companies responsible for the comments on their pages which I imagine at least some part of the motivation for this.


                                                                                                              • kevin_thibedeau 10 days ago

                                                                                                                Social media content isn't hosted on their property. If they can't comply with such laws they should delete these accounts rather than claim digital squatter's rights.

                                                                                                                • arrosenberg 10 days ago

                                                                                                                  Isn't Facebook arguing that they have become a public square though? If we accept that argument, then they can't have it both ways - a merchant who has set up a booth on the public common is not a squatter. While subject to the rules of the common, they still retain full control over their booth and wares.

                                                                                                                  • chillfox 10 days ago

                                                                                                                    Yes they are, but it’s not entirely up to them. The other side is arguing that they are just a publisher.

                                                                                                                    It remains to be seen where they end up.

                                                                                                              • sjy 10 days ago

                                                                                                                The text you quoted contains the carve-out: the comments must be “made on a part of the digital platform service that is set up and able to be edited by the registered news business.” If the text of a law is ambiguous or obscure, courts can consider extrinsic material, including the explanatory memorandum, in interpreting it:

                                                                                                            • pankajdoharey 10 days ago

                                                                                                              To be fair most news outlets get their news from news aggregators like Reuters. Hardly any news outlet does its own investigation/News search these days. So what stops Google to do the same and buy its news from a news aggregator instead of showing the Australian news site links and yet not leaving a space for competitors.

                                                                                                              • chillfox 10 days ago

                                                                                                                I think it was 1 or 2 years ago that one of the news sites were successfully sued for failing to remove hate speech in Facebook comments on a news story they shared. From memory, the judge basically said that if they can’t follow the law on Facebook then they shouldn’t be on it.

                                                                                                                • ryukafalz 10 days ago

                                                                                                                  I could also be misreading this, but that caveat seems to apply only to 2(a) and not 2(b) or 2(c). I haven't yet read the surrounding context so it's possible those are further restricted as well, but I don't think 2(a)(ii) applies to the other two sections at least.

                                                                                                                  • sjy 10 days ago

                                                                                                                    2(a)(ii) is picked up by (b) and (c) because they refer to “such comments,” ie. comments as defined in (a).

                                                                                                                    • ryukafalz 8 days ago

                                                                                                                      Ah! Yup, you're right - I misread then.

                                                                                                                • jasode 10 days ago

                                                                                                                  >, this gives the news corporations the right to exert complete control over all "comments" on their news articles on these "digital platform services", meaning that, for instance, Hacker News or Reddit, if covered by this law, would no longer be independent sites to discuss news, but would be forcibly placed under the control of the news site.

                                                                                                                  Using Google search, I don't know if I found the canonical draft but using this pdf[1] as the source, the excerpt says:

                                                                                                                  >Which digital platforms must participate in the code?

                                                                                                                  1.29 A digital platform must participate in the code if the Treasurer has made a determination specifying a designated digital platform corporation. The Treasurer may also specify one or more designated digital platform services. [Schedule 1, item 1, section 52C]

                                                                                                                  1.30 The Government has announced that the code will apply to Facebook and Google. Accordingly, the Treasurer is expected to make an instrument specifying Facebook Inc. and Google LLC as designated digital platform corporations.

                                                                                                                  1.31 ‘Digital platform’ is not defined in the Bill, but is intended to capture platforms that deliver a wide variety of services such as social media services, search engines and other digital content aggregators.

                                                                                                                  1.32 A ‘digital platform service’ is a service that is provided by the designated digital platform corporation, either by itself or together with one or more related corporations. A given digital platform will normally provide multiple digital services, such as messaging, search, content curation and other content sharing services.[Schedule 1, item 1, section 52B]


                                                                                                                  The way I as a layman read it is... "the law is targeted at giants like Google & Facebook and not Hacker News".

                                                                                                                  So, HN is spared not because it doesn't meet some strict criteria of what "digital platform is". Instead, HN won't be a target because it's too small to bother with.


                                                                                                                  • gundmc 10 days ago

                                                                                                                    It feels like a code smell (law smell?) to name specific corporations in the text of a law. It's the legislative equivalent of hardcoding.

                                                                                                                    • makomk 10 days ago

                                                                                                                      I believe the usual term is a "bill of attainder". The US has a long-standing constitutional prohibition on doing this, though apparently Australia does not.

                                                                                                                      • rswail 10 days ago

                                                                                                                        I think you'll find the US often has lists of corporations and people overseas that US corporations and persons are not allowed to work with/for. The US also has provisions designating companies as of national security importance and other areas.

                                                                                                                        This draft law allows the relevant government minister (in this case the Treasurer) to designate certain corporations as subject to this law. The corporations have access to the courts to challenge the designation and requirements of "natural justice" have been applied to ministerial actions by the courts.

                                                                                                                      • sjy 10 days ago

                                                                                                                        Facebook and Google aren’t hard-coded into the law. The law applies to “designated digital platform corporations.” The executive government can add or remove companies from the list at “runtime” (without passing a new bill), but the explanatory memorandum linked above says that initially only Facebook and Google will be designated.

                                                                                                                        • gundmc 8 days ago

                                                                                                                          Thanks for the clarification, I can see that now after rereading, that makes sense.

                                                                                                                      • jerf 10 days ago

                                                                                                                        Yes, I should clarify I was not intending to ring the alarm bell as if Hacker News is directly under attack. Most likely HN is completely not subject to Australian jurisdiction, and even if it was, there's no money to squeeze from HN anyhow. I just meant it as an exemplar of a type of site that could be affected.

                                                                                                                        • ShinTakuya 10 days ago

                                                                                                                          You're aware of Y Combinator, right? Plenty of money to squeeze from that (roughly $100bn)...

                                                                                                                          • jerf 10 days ago

                                                                                                                            First, Y Combinator has to be in Australia. I don't know if funding a company there would be enough; suspect not. I don't know whether they have funded an Australian company.

                                                                                                                            And I'm not going to look, because secondly, even if Australia did somehow get its hooks in to HN to some significant degree, and there was no escape, Y Combinator would simply shut down HN. It's nice enough of them to run it as it is, but expecting them to play by these rules to do it is unreasonable. If they were feeling particularly friendly they might spin it off or something. (Turning it into a subscription service is probably feasible at this point, for instance.) Unlike Google or Facebook, HN is not their core business, and shutting off at this point could even be a net gain for quite a few years. The rep gain that HN afforded them is mostly realized now.

                                                                                                                            There's no way for Australia to squeeze Y Combinator through HN.

                                                                                                                        • marcosdumay 9 days ago

                                                                                                                          > ‘Digital platform’ is not defined in the Bill

                                                                                                                          This part says that who the bill applies to will be defined later, by the Executive power.

                                                                                                                        • grecy 10 days ago

                                                                                                                          > if the newspaper leans X, they can shut down all the comments from people who lean the other way, or people who disagree with the article

                                                                                                                          And make no mistake about it - ALL the media in Australia owned by essentially one person, so there is a lot of leaning.

                                                                                                                          • lolinder 10 days ago

                                                                                                                            Section 1.89 in the Exposure Draft clarifies this, I think:

                                                                                                                            > 1.89 In the case of a social media service such as Facebook, this rule deals with the situation where the news business has posted its covered news content on the news business’ own social media page. Comments on the news business’ articles posted by somebody else on another Facebook page are not covered by this law.

                                                                                                                            If I read this right, they don't need a way to filter comments on a link to their article that someone else posts, just comments underneath one of their own posts. Still not great, but less intrusive than that text you quoted seemed to imply (I couldn't find in that exact wording in your link).

                                                                                                                            • chris1993 10 days ago

                                                                                                                              This is probably driven by a precedent set recently in Australia where media organisations were found to be legally responsible for any defamatory comments on their stories in Facebook.


                                                                                                                              • chris_wot 9 days ago

                                                                                                                                Actually, recently there was a court cases where a news organisation (News Ltd) was sued for defamation because of comments about an article posted to Facebook.

                                                                                                                                Which is nuts. And which this legislation is trying to, rather ham-handedly, fix. Also, it puts pressure on Facebook, which may actually be the secondary purpose.

                                                                                                                                • mmm_grayons 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                  At least for HN, because it's not taking money from Australians, I don't think it's a concern. YC can tell the Australians to get bent and there's nothing they can do. Reddit might be more of a concern because it tries to convince people to buy stuff.

                                                                                                                                  • sukilot 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                    It's talking about Twitter, where you post content and Twitter forces other people's comments (retweets/replies) onto the same page as it.

                                                                                                                                  • postingawayonhn 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                    I really hope they just block all the news sites from their platforms. Let's see how they like it when thier traffic dries up. From other reporting I've read the law does say they have to treat domestic and international news the same so it could cause an issue with that approach.

                                                                                                                                    • FeistyOtter 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                      There was actually a study about an impact a news aggregator has on news consumption. It turns out an impact is noticable but small: around 10-20% for different metrics:

                                                                                                                                      • PostThisTooFast 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                        That statement is meaningless. "Impact" is a neutral word, and then you give a metric that, again, doesn't specify what it is.

                                                                                                                                        So do you mean that a news aggregator's publishing of abstracts increased or decreased visits to the full story on the original site?

                                                                                                                                      • amlaxcw 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                        The real newspapers (or what is left of them) can still be found offline in stores, so Google is not required to find them online.

                                                                                                                                        I rarely google to find a serious publication. Perhaps it would be a good thing if Google stops indexing news sites.

                                                                                                                                        • mxxx 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                          Article states that they’ll be fined for doing that too.

                                                                                                                                          • Shivetya 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                            then just turn off the CC and don't serve them at all.

                                                                                                                                            • zentiggr 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                              We just found a legislative way to break the Google search monopoly - more countries pass this sort of "pay to play" barrier, and Google says no, and then there's space for competitors.

                                                                                                                                              • ZekeSulastin 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                Wouldn't the competitors then have to do the same thing though, thereby reducing the incentive to compete?

                                                                                                                                                • rydre 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                  It would bring up opportunity for alternative models for news instead of being tied to search/feed.

                                                                                                                                                  • vorpalhex 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                    There's nothing preventing the news from alternative models now. It just turns out employing a bunch of people to repost tweets isn't a profitable business and forcing other companies to pay them via the law doesn't work any better.

                                                                                                                                                • zanny 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                  I can't imagine the population of any country would be too happy when returns a "Service discontinued due to law blah blah blah" when they want to look up how to beat eggs.

                                                                                                                                            • smabie 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                              Yeah, honestly, that's what I hope they do. The amount of entitlement and this holier than thou attitude among the media is pretty annoying. Figure out how to make money like any other business. And if you can't, we'll then I guess you don't matter that much.

                                                                                                                                              This decision is crony capitalism at its worst.

                                                                                                                                              • cturner 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                An amusing angle on this situation. If you go back thirty or twenty years, it is hard to think of an industry better-positioned to capture the momentum of the internet than the news media.

                                                                                                                                                (1) They had teams of people producing regular fresh content, to a high quality.

                                                                                                                                                (2) They had existing subscriber bases, which could have been converted to other purposes (consider the online dating services offered by some of the UK newspapers.)

                                                                                                                                                (3) They had existing economies of scale from business lines which were not dependent on the internet, buffering them against dot com downturns and the like.

                                                                                                                                                (4) Several of them had other divisions producing other good content. e.g. motion picture rights.

                                                                                                                                                (5) They had international presence, and internal connectivity.

                                                                                                                                                (6) Many had existing consumer-connectivity through cable relationships.

                                                                                                                                                Yet. None created geek-friendly workplaces, they were too tied to their cash cows, and they have done badly.

                                                                                                                                                • simias 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                  I would 100% support this mindset if tech giants paid taxes where they make their money. I don't know what the situation is like in Australia but in Europe it's pretty insane. You can't abuse the system on one side and then argue the "efficient market hypothesis" on the other.

                                                                                                                                                  Google&friends are not making money and competing "like any other business".

                                                                                                                                                  • Aunche 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                    How does exploiting tax loopholes have anything to do with the success of news media? Arbitrary fines and taxes are one thing. Forcing Google and Facebook to help the news sets a completely new precedent.

                                                                                                                                                    • Cakez0r 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                      Countries are competing in a market for tax revenue too. If a country wants more tax revenue from a business, they can either close the legal loopholes that allow the business to reduce the amount of tax that they pay or make their tax laws more competitive with those of other countries.

                                                                                                                                                      • mordae 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                        OMG, this is golden. It's a race to the bottom. It ends up completely destroying states and replacing them with corporations.

                                                                                                                                                        • mark_l_watson 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                          I like your comment, not sure if you are joking though. A few decades ago when I started reading William Gibson’s cyber punk sci-fi, I often wondered if the corporate run enclaves in his stories would anticipate real events.

                                                                                                                                                          • zentiggr 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                            Neal Stephenson - "Snow Crash". Even the U.S. Government is reduced to a "franchulate".

                                                                                                                                                            • Cakez0r 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                              If the police are defunded, I'd bet that private security companies would fill the void and we'd be well on our way to "Stephensonion" being the next "Orwellian"!

                                                                                                                                                      • marcus_holmes 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                        > Google&friends are not making money and competing "like any other business".

                                                                                                                                                        I don't understand this. Can you explain, please?

                                                                                                                                                        • bencollier49 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                          Have a look at these. If you can afford to pay lawyers to set schemes up like this, then you are at a competitive advantage against businesses which pay regular tax.




                                                                                                                                                          Take the billions of dollars that you've saved from BEPS and use it to subsidize your local products, or run ads attacking the competition, or taking them to court, or hire salespeople, or build new content. Simple.

                                                                                                                                                          • jokethrowaway 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                            Several big-enough companies use tax loopholes to avoid paying taxes or lobby the government themselves.

                                                                                                                                                            This is not specific to big tech though, it's a single point of failure of having a centralised government that is easily corrupted by rich corporations.

                                                                                                                                                            • marcus_holmes 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                              sorry, again, I'm not following you. How does the ineffectiveness of tax regimes mean that Google and friends aren't competing like a normal business?

                                                                                                                                                              • thedevilslawyer 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                This reads like sealioning. You really can't see why an entity A that gives 1% in taxes is at an advantage in competing with an entity that gives say 20% in taxes?

                                                                                                                                                                • marcus_holmes 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                  but this behaviour (as said above) is not unique to tech. All sufficiently large, sufficiently multinational businesses effectively stop paying the full rate of tax

                                                                                                                                                          • mxxx 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                            Situation in Australia is that they pay zero.

                                                                                                                                                            • jp555 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                              look to the law MAKERS, not the law followers.

                                                                                                                                                              • qaq 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                Right and say BMW, VW etc are not doing the exact same thing? There is trade imbalance between US and say Germany if both sides introduce equivalent measures it will hurt EU more than it hurts US.

                                                                                                                                                                • joshuaissac 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                  BMW and VW are not doing the exact same thing. They pay taxes to the US IRS for their profits made in the US. The argument against Google and Facebook is based on their use of profit-shifting to avoid taxes on European profits.

                                                                                                                                                                  • nwellnhof 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                    > They pay taxes to the US IRS for their profits made in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                    That's plain wrong. Every company only pays income tax in its country of residence. The only difference is that there might be a sales tax for physical goods.

                                                                                                                                                                    • joshuaissac 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                      >Every company only pays income tax in its country of residence.

                                                                                                                                                                      That is not correct. Taxes are payable wherever the profits are made.

                                                                                                                                                                      It is usually the case that the country where the company is headquartered will have a far greater proportion of profits compared to revenue because a lot of the things that add value happen there, but in the case of large tech companies, this is taken to the extreme, where not just profits, but even revenue itself is shifted from where the business actually happens.

                                                                                                                                                                      For example, Google reported £1.6bn (US$2.1bn) in revenue and paid £44m ($58m) in corporation taxes (on profits of £231m ($303m) based on a 19% tax rate) in the UK for the 2019-20 financial year, but its actual UK revenue is estimated to be around £5.7b ($7.5b) for the same period.[1]

                                                                                                                                                                      Whereas car companies have consumers as their customers and have to pay sales tax, AdWords expenditure by businesses is considered a business expense and is not taxed (in the UK). If they played by the same rules, they would have paid around £1.14b ($1.5b; based on 20% VAT) in tax in 2019-20, instead of £44m.


                                                                                                                                                                      • nwellnhof 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                        > Taxes are payable wherever the profits are made.

                                                                                                                                                                        No, with regard to income tax that's simply wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                        That said, public companies typically have subsidiaries in other countries and these subsidiaries have to pay corporate income tax in their country of residence (but also regardless of where the profits are actually made). This is often used to avoid (or delay) tax payments, especially if the subsidiaries are in low-tax countries.

                                                                                                                                                                        But if the parent company Apple Inc. sold an iPhone in Germany, they wouldn't have to pay income tax in Germany, just like BMW AG doesn't have to pay income tax in the US.

                                                                                                                                                                    • protomyth 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                      I thought the foreign car companies in the US avoid a lot of taxes by paying a license fee for the cars back to their home country.

                                                                                                                                                                      • _trampeltier 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                        That's wrong. It's also well known, western companys pay no taxes for factorys in 3rd world countrys since ever. Even they produce real things in a country.

                                                                                                                                                                      • tonyedgecombe 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                        We heard that argument so often during the Brexit referendum. It turned out to be rubbish.

                                                                                                                                                                        • qaq 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                          Are you seriously comparing size of UK market with the size of US market?

                                                                                                                                                                          • tonyedgecombe 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                            US Sales represent 14.7% of BMW's exports, UK is 9.2%. It is cleary comparable.

                                                                                                                                                                    • akdor1154 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                      > And if you can't, we'll then I guess you don't matter that much.

                                                                                                                                                                      This is not true for the media. A functioning, critical, and trustworthy media is very important to society.

                                                                                                                                                                      Profit ≈ importance is just flat out wrong in general.

                                                                                                                                                                      (Not saying I agree with this govt intervention)

                                                                                                                                                                      • TomMarius 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                        I hear the media say this all around the world all the time, and they of course always mean themselves... But is it true? There are many and many independent reporters with their blogs and twitters (do we call that media?), independent news sites (that probably is media) that are not with the mainstream media on these legal requirements, and actually in my country the mainstream media is so corrupt a half of the population simply does not care about them and get their news from other sources, like blogs and twitter.

                                                                                                                                                                        • waheoo 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not sure you understand what media is in this country. Its all garbage.

                                                                                                                                                                          Even the "fair and unbiased" govt funded ABC is a total toothless joke.


                                                                                                                                                                    • dawnerd 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                      They’re kinda doing this to themselves with the paywalls or account login walls (medium comes to mind). I haven’t read a NYT article in months.

                                                                                                                                                                      • abraae 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                        Firefox containers are your friend.

                                                                                                                                                                        • dawnerd 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                          Not when they force login to read.

                                                                                                                                                                    • mmahemoff 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                      Typical mainstream coverage of a tech story that glosses over all the detail, leaving everyone in this thread to speculate about all the details, such as which results it applies to and how will they distribute the revenue.

                                                                                                                                                                      My 2p guess is it's all about snippets and any other displayed information which would stop the user proceeding to an external result. Some % of total revenue distributed to owners of the snippet content, though it would be hard to determine the breakdown even for a single result page.

                                                                                                                                                                      • lopis 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                        > how will they distribute the revenue

                                                                                                                                                                        There won't be any revenue. Ever since France implemented their version of the "meme tax", where a tax would be charged when websites would want to use news snippets, what search engines did was simply drop the snippets. Example:


                                                                                                                                                                        Google doesn't seem to do this. It's unclear to me if they are paying this fee or just don't care.

                                                                                                                                                                        • sjy 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                          The exposure draft doesn’t give Google/Facebook the right to opt out by “discriminating” against (ie. dropping) protected news sources. Refusing to comply with this could be punished with an infringement notice under Australian law.

                                                                                                                                                                          • Majromax 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                            > The exposure draft doesn’t give Google/Facebook the right to opt out by “discriminating” against (ie. dropping) protected news sources.

                                                                                                                                                                            It doesn't permit digital service corporations from discriminating against protected news sources on account of their participation in the system. It does seem to permit actions that affect all news sources equally.

                                                                                                                                                                            However, more frustrating and worrisome to me is that the exposure draft doesn't seem to define what conduct by Google/etc triggers these provisions. Some clauses apply to news content "made available" by the platform, but there's no definition in this bill of what "made available" means.

                                                                                                                                                                            That could be read to require some sort of hosting of the content (e.g., rehosting an article or using a long extract), or it could be read to include mere linking. That's a huge difference: Hacker News could be a 'digital platform service' under the latter definition, but not the former.

                                                                                                                                                                            • baybal2 10 days ago


                                                                                                                                                                              The text of the law does not seem to cover this option.

                                                                                                                                                                              > in comparison to other news content

                                                                                                                                                                              They can stop showing news as such.

                                                                                                                                                                              • Ajedi32 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                How will they determine what counts as "news"? Are there be significant penalties if whatever algorithm they come up with to decide what counts as "news" has any false negatives? If so, that might make "stop showing news" an unworkable approach.

                                                                                                                                                                                • baybal2 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I think the last line in the anti-discrimination section is there specifically to thwart that, but one can still easily imagine a lot of legal acrobatics to get out of that.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • ori_b 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                    >How will they determine what counts as "news"?

                                                                                                                                                                                    the same way that they decide who to pay.

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Ajedi32 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                      As previously stated above, that method is explicitly disallowed by the law:

                                                                                                                                                                                      > Responsible digital platform corporations may not discriminate between the news businesses participating in the code, or between participants and non-participants, because of their participation in the code.


                                                                                                                                                                                      • baybal2 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                        The hole here for them is to not accommodate non-participants

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ajedi32 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't get what you're trying to say. If Google stops showing news from participants, but show news from non-participants (due to false negatives causing their algorithm to fail to identify those sites as news), would that not be obvious discrimination according to the above quote?

                                                                                                                                                                                          • syshum 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                            the Grandparent is saying Google will simply stop showing all news from Australia, regardless of if the news organization is a participant or not.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thus they would not be in violation of the law as all Australia news sources would be blacklists, not just those participating

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Ajedi32 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                              That just comes back to my original comment then. How do you determine what counts as "all news"?

                                                                                                                                                                                              You can't just use the list of "businesses participating in the code" because that's considered discriminatory and illegal under the new law. And if you decide using any other method, you risk accidentally classifying one of the "businesses participating in the code" as "not news" and showing it in search results anyway, which is also illegal under this law.

                                                                                                                                                                                              The best solution I can think of would be to use the list of businesses participating in the code as a starting point, and then add other non-participants through some other method. But then you run into a similar problem: what happens if you accidentally classify a non-participant as "not news" and they see a surge of traffic because they're one of the only news organizations in Australia that shows up in Google search results? Wouldn't that also be considered discriminatory and illegal under the new law, since that organization wouldn't have shown up in the results if they were a participant?

                                                                                                                                                                                              • I'm fairly sure that Google already has algorithmic classification for "news" that's accurate enough for these purposes. If not, "is this a news article" is quite amenable to machine learning techniqes. All that's left is ensuring that registered news sources are definitely classified as news.

                                                                                                                                                                              • vertis 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                It seems likely to me that Google will fight that part of it in court. Paying for the content...battle lost. Being forced to surface the content, not so much.

                                                                                                                                                                                I mean, that's like the government saying that not only do you have to pay a toll when you use CityLink (okay, user pays) but it is mandatory to use that road as the only option, and that you must use it every day.

                                                                                                                                                                                I really don't see how that can stop Google from dropping news from the search results completely. Or coming to an arrangement with Fairfax, where they pay a tiny amount, and nothing to NewsCorp.

                                                                                                                                                                                • ankit219 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                  Google and FB both argued that they send traffic worth of 200M to these publishers? What if they start charging for clicks? Earlier the argument was that they were doing it for free and not getting anything out of it. Now, since they have to pay, its only fair that they charge for the services (ie the traffic through clicks) they provide too

                                                                                                                                                                                  • sjy 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                    I am sure they will fight to minimise their costs one way or another. Rather than challenging the validity of the law, another strategy might be to submit to the arbitral process and come up with a strong argument that, for the purposes of section 52ZP(2)(b), the "benefit (whether monetary or otherwise) of the registered news business’ covered news content to the digital platform service" is negligible, and for (2)(d), any "remuneration amount would place an undue burden on the commercial interests of the digital platform service."

                                                                                                                                                                                  • coldcode 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                    If this is true, how do you enforce it? Send goons to California to beat it out of them? If Google has no presence in Australia they can simply block the whole country. Or replace the home page with a "Your country is out of order" 404.

                                                                                                                                                                                    • sjy 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                      Google has a significant presence in Australia, including an office, many employees, data centres, and bank accounts for accepting payments from Australian customers. It would be very unusual for a company like Google to blatantly violate Australian laws and refuse to pay the fines, so it’s unclear how the Australian government would respond if that happened.

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Waterfall 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                        How do they have no encryption in Australia and yet Google still have offices there? Seems very strange to me, don't even know how it works.

                                                                                                                                                                                    • goseeastarwar 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                      What's the word for racketeering, but when the government does it?

                                                                                                                                                                                  • hetspookjee 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                    So I'd wager the approach was successful, though not necessarily the desired results. However, if the rest of the world followed suit, they can't host snippets anymore and they'll be forced to pay or give up that feature, no?

                                                                                                                                                                                    • filoleg 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                      Doubt it would happen, because if suddenly almost every news publication refuses to allow their news snippets to show up on Google, those publications that decide to go against the grain and personally allow their news snippets to show up on Google stand to gain a lot from it.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • octodog 10 days ago
                                                                                                                                                                                    • mxxx 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, can anyone explain to me how FB/G are actually accused of giving paid content away for free? All the Murdoch content is behind paywalls in Aus. Is it literally just headlines and the free 3 sentences or whatever a scraper/aggregator would display?

                                                                                                                                                                                      • kyleee 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                        Isn't that the perennial problem even with sites like HN? A significant amount of people derive value from reading headlines and short snippets of content?

                                                                                                                                                                                        • dazc 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                          Isn't this also a method pay-walled sites use to get subscribers? Otherwise, why not just block Google in robots.txt?

                                                                                                                                                                                          • onli 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                            They still want to be found. They just also want to be paid for the privilege of being listed on a search result page.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • paulie_a 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                              Google should just start putting a huge red box around pay walled articles. It would basically indicate "don't bother with this site"

                                                                                                                                                                                              • filoleg 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                As a user, i would actually love if Google had that feature natively. I assume there is a way to have that functionality already by using some browser extensions. But a native implementation by Google would be a killer feature imo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Nasrudith 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Implementing it would essentially require the browser knowing if you have logins/subscriptions. Taken further they could personalize searches to only include paywalled sites if you have a login as opposed to marking them as "don't bother".

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • paulie_a 9 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Google would only require 2 things. If a site has a paywallz and if the user whitelisted it. I have black listed most paywall sites manually on my Google feed. So they are obviously capable and already doing the latter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    And the blacklisting is easy. A click of the button and it's off my list

                                                                                                                                                                                          • AniseAbyss 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                            This is the best way to do it: just paywall your articles.

                                                                                                                                                                                            The internet made people believe everything is free. But free news is either propaganda or a disguised ad.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • himinlomax 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                              The problem is that they all have their own account management. I'd be ok with paying a subscription service that gave access to several sites and took care of distributing revenue per usage, but managing dozens of subscriptions is a hassle.

                                                                                                                                                                                              • tomatocracy 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                Pressreader offers something a bit like that.

                                                                                                                                                                                              • SifJar 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think that is a fair assessment, there is also free news that is openly ad-supported i.e. there are ads surrounding the news on the page, but the content itself is not advertising anything

                                                                                                                                                                                                • AniseAbyss 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Newspapers are actually not supported by ads, that was always merely a bonus. Most of their income came from subscriptions. Every serious journalist medium is going back to paywalls/subs. If people don't think its worth the money journalism should die but I think it will survive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • angry_octet 6 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Unfortunately this is completely false. Biggest contributor used to be real estate, but other advertising was a big contributor.

                                                                                                                                                                                              • bananaface 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                It's not that they're giving paid content away for free, it's that they're extracting copyrighted content and profiting from it (without compensating the copyright holder).

                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't know if it technically falls afoul of existing legislation but clearly the old laws aren't really up to the job of regulating that. They weren't designed for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • consp 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                  > It's not that they're giving paid content away for free, it's that they're extracting copyrighted content and profiting from it (without compensating the copyright holder).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wouldn't that imply that they simply have to pay to be displayed as it would be advertisement? Ergo they will get removed and not get any advertisement anymore as a result.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • ma2rten 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                              Didn't Spain try to do the same thing with Google News, which just ended up with them shutting down the product in Spain?


                                                                                                                                                                                              • squiggleblaz 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                The article says that European countries "tried and failed" to rein in the tech giants. Although I'm not sure if shutting down Google News is actually "tried and failed" so much as "tried and succeeded, but not according to first preference".

                                                                                                                                                                                                I mean, if you can't go to google news to get your news, maybe you do go directly to the website of some major news company (and get a monoculture).

                                                                                                                                                                                                • 0xfffafaCrash 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                  While it's not the selling point politically, I think those lobbying for things like this are very much happy with any monoculture that results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  With services like Google News, people can get exposed to news from various media outlets, but by killing it through lobbying for absurd regulatory burdens on aggregators the well known larger outlets can choke out access to their competition. This of course is hampered to some extent by the reality that many will just rely on other users posting on social media for news updates, and if that too is choked out through regulation on platforms, many will probably just skip the news or reduce their consumption in favor of other things like entertainment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • mark_l_watson 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I used to use Google News to find different articles from different companies whenever a news story interested me. It was good to get often very different points of view.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I now just spend a little time on Apple News+ to skim what is happening. While I am locking myself more into a mono culture just looking at US news, I decided that I needed to greatly decrease the amount of time I spent on the news every day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The world situation is what it is. I try to accept the world as-is, invest as little time as possible understanding the world and concentrate on my own productivity, fellowship with friends and family, and generally appreciating culture and nature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    News watching is an addiction that too many of my friends have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • donatzsky 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Don't remember the details, but I know smaller publishers were hit pretty hard by Google News closing in Spain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • dybber 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Danish news have never been on Google News, even though Google News launched in Sweden and Norway. Back around 2005-2006, the Danish newspapers fought hard to forbid "systematic deep linking" to their news.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    We're still able to find Danish news by Google search though, it's only the aggregation that Danish media is afraid of, as they are afraid to loose out on a lot of income on the ads they show while people browse their websites.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • PopeDotNinja 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yup. I was in Spain from March to May. It was annoying to be in the habit of typing "" when trying to get news on COVID-19. It wasn't hard to bypass, but it was annoying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Uberphallus 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                        It wasn't for me it's hard, in reverse. I no longer live in Spain, haven't for 10 years. But every time I go to Google News I get the message of it not being available in my country. My primary language in my Google account isn't Spanish, my address isn't in Spain, my Google Wallet has a non Spanish card on it, so on and so forth, yet I can only access Google News when I'm logged out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • gpanders 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                          A similar thing happened to me. All of Google's products (Search, Maps, Translate, etc.) come up for me in Dutch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The weird part is, I am not Dutch, do not speak Dutch, and have never been to the Netherlands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • PopeDotNinja 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Plot twist... You live in the north of Belgium & speak Flemish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cantbekhan 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Off topic but I had the same issue. Did you change your Google payment profile? (which has nothing to do with all the profile addresses you can set in various places)


                                                                                                                                                                                                            Because you can't actually change your country on your Google payment profile. You need to create a new one and then switch the new one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I had to do this to switch my US account to an EU account with the EU GDPR user consent options. Your Google account is tied to the payment profile country AFAIK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Uberphallus 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Already done, payment profile isn't Spain either. The fact that Google user support is literal black hole made me just accept this fact.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • auggierose 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I like how they recommend the Mexican edition instead

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • bzb3 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Which makes no sense, except for international news... And maybe not even that

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • marban 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm confused about who the news belongs to. I always have it in my head that if your name's in the news, then the news should be paying you. Because it's your news and they're taking it and selling it as their product. But then they always say that they're helping you, and that's true too, but still, if people didn't give the news their news, and if everybody kept their news to themselves, the news wouldn't have any news. So I guess you should pay each other. But I haven't figured it out fully yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          -- Andy Warhol

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • zrth 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Journalism is printing what someone else does not want published; everything else is public relations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            -- George Orwell (possibly wrongly attributed)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • pandas20 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Someone with enough clout and reach should start a mass movement spanning the world. There will be lots of supporters. Clearly people who create news (and legally should be considered owners of that news) should be compensated by publishers who profit from that news. It will have far reaching social impact. It will provide monetary benefits to people who decide to sell their news stories and also solve the problem of online privacy. Point is sports bodies have long argued that they own the content they create. Why is the same not true for individuals as well? Of course politics will have to be made an exception.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • mc32 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Who has to pay whom for reporting on a congressional scandal?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • phkahler 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The reporter needs to get paid. Usually a publisher will pay them and publish the story. Everyone else running the story is a leech. Places sharing headlines and linking to the proper publisher are usually helpful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Aaargh20318 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But the reporter didn't create the news, they just reported it. The news was created by whoever was involved in the scandal, so they should be paid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • alexmingoia 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Says the guy who took other people’s images and sold them...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • marban 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                You should read his bio.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • slim 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  every artist does that. he just did it in a straight, sorryless way. hence the concept in his conceptual art.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • yesenadam 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    > every artist does that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Um, no.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • montjoy 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Clearly he’s making a joke...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • marban 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Andy Warhol wouldn't be on HN I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • jedimastert 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Warhol had a fascinating perspective on mass-produced pop culture, having enough insight to pretty much game the system

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • nix23 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's why Macintosh and he was a perfect match, one took pictures the other took windows-es (xerox) ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • koheripbal 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't think anyone has figured it out yet, because if you aren't paying for news, then you are the product and not the consumer, and yet most news is still free.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ...or maybe they have figured it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • azangru 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ok, I am not paying for reading the news feed on HackerNews. I suppose you aren't paying either. Are both of us HackerNews' products?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • r0m4n0 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Actually I think hacker news is the Google in this scenario. They are profiting off aggregating the content of other news outlets. I’m not sure it’s right/wrong or how it’s going to work but if Australia says you make money off aggregating their news you must pay some legislated amount, I’m not sure I agree with the precedent of that

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • bigiain 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Have you stopped to think what YCombinator is getting out of paying the bills to keen this site running?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • GlennS 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Is it costly for them? I assumed they thought it was good, cheap PR.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • nix23 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                >Are both of us HackerNews' products?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                At least the product supporter ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • dexen 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  >Are both of us HackerNews' products?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes. We the users of HN are product - both individually, and also as a market segment, and also as a smart[0] crowd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  From [1],

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Y Combinator provides seed funding for startups.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To Y Combinator, the HN is both entry to the sales (investment) funnel, and a PR machine. And also early opinion & commentary, early beta-testing, load testing [2], and more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That is not to detract from the (very probable) angle of pg & team wishing to render a public service for the public good :-)


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  [0] the occasional bad thread notwithstanding ;-)


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  [2] aka HN hug of death

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • ajxs 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lots of the comments here are criticising this decision on the basis of News Corporation's very clear political involvement. While I share their sentiment regarding News Corporation and their blatant partisanship, I would like to highlight that Facebook is not an apolitical entity. My view is that anyone concerned about the blatant partisan politics of the Australian news media should be equally concerned about the political overreach of big tech. The latter being far more equipped for the propagation of information benefiting their own agenda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • makomk 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The two aren't comparable. News Corporation is political in the sense that they effectively decide who wins the next election in countries like Australia and the UK and all the political parties have to seek out their favour and pursue policies that meet with their approval to win. Facebook is political in the sense that they refused to use their power to tilt the last US presidential election towards the candidate the mainstream media wanted. That the media considers the latter to be the threat to democracy says a lot about who they think should actually control the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • ajxs 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It would be extremely foolish to think that Facebook is an organisation without its own political agenda. Even this article itself contains an extremely politicised statement from the managing director of Google Australia and New Zealand, criticising the Australian government for their intervention in the free market. These companies make decisions like any other to maximise their power and profit. Unlike most companies however, they're in a position to use information to leverage their position. I presume your post is talking about Clinton?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Alphabet Inc. has made almost $27mil in campaign contributions, including contributing $1.6mil to Clinton's campaign in 2016. They've spent almost $89mil in lobbying since 1990. These big tech companies obviously have a stake in our democracy and choose to take an active role. Thinking they're impartial is incredibly naive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > That the media considers the latter to be the threat to democracy says a lot about who they think should actually control the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think they're both a threat to democracy. I believe that the Australian government should do all it can to limit the influence that multinational corporations have on our local political landscape, categorically. The only thing I fear more than partisan local media organisations, are partisan international media organisations that wield even more power. I don't for one second trust Facebook's own hidden agenda any more than I trust News Corporation's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • vkou 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    > That the media considers the latter to be the threat to democracy says a lot about who they think should actually control the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A man who, when asked about whether or not he will accept the next election's result, responds with 'We'll see', is objectively a pretty serious threat to democracy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Simply voicing that opinion (and never following through on it) makes him a threat to, at minimum the public perception of the legitimacy of democracy - since democracy is one of those things that only works when people believe in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • frockington1 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      He knows how to play the media that's for certain. For a grand total of $0 he was able to have his face on television and plant a seed of doubt against his opponents integrity. So much so that all some people can talk about is Trump. Meanwhile Bloomberg spent record amounts on campaigning and all I remember was that he was the stop and frisk guy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • cturner 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      > they effectively decide who wins the next election in countries like Australia and the UK

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Big claims require big evidence, and here you haven't given any.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • hogFeast 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Read about political history in those countries. The Cameron govt's press department was run by people from News Corp. Blair's meeting with Murdoch pre-97 was infamous. Cameron's meetings pre-2010 are infamous. Brown had numerous personal, and secret, meetings with Murdoch (and failed to convince Murdoch of his merits).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't go in for the conspiracy theories around Murdoch at all btw. But it is fairly clear that he has a substantial amount of contact with/control over is just factually true (something that isn't obvious to people outside the UK, journalists are heavily involved in politics in the UK...going from journalism into politics and then back again or into PR/lobbying is done frequently).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • cturner 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          None of your points are evidence of the earlier claim.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Your post follows the pattern of the earlier one that I replied to: you echo the mantra that Murdoch has control over politicians, and you again leap from claim into statement of truth without evidence, "it is just factually true".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Occasional meetings with politicians is not evidence of control, nor the higher claim given earlier in the thread, of deciding the outcome of elections.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • stevenjohns 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Completely spot on. They are both two sides of failure: one creating the garbage and the other that takes center-stage in its distribution.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What the Australian government can do about News Corp becomes a question of media freedom, whereas Facebook and Google peddling it doesn't introduce that ethical or legal complication.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I could be wrong here though -- happy to be corrected.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • dantheman 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Isn't this something the publishers can just stop with a robots.txt? Or do they want Google to continue to link to them and just charge them for it? I hope Google just drops them from the index.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • kevsim 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's definitely the latter. They still want to be indexed of course and I'd assume they'd rather be included in Google News and paid for it rather than not included.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • criddell 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I hope Google and Facebook recognize the value they get from news publishers and understand the value society gets from journalism and they do more to support that journalism that benefits everybody.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • SpicyLemonZest 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I recognize the value I get from news publishers and try to support them. It would never in a million years occur to me that, when I tell someone "here's this neat article I read about new studies on the minimum wage", I owe the newspaper for being allowed to do that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • criddell 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sure. If telling people about the news is making you money, why not share some of the profit from doing that with the newspaper? If you don't do that, aren't you in effect killing the golden goose?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Nasrudith 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Do you give money to the construction workers who built the road every time you drive to work? Even if it is taken for granted as a common good doesn't make the monetization model wise or justified.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A taxation model by "lottery" which randomly takes everything from an unlucky N people a year would work terrible in so many ways. Wanting a funding model that isn't terrible doesn't mean they don't want a functioning government.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • criddell 9 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Do you give money to the construction workers who built the road every time you drive to work?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In a way, yes. There are lots of usage taxes around driving that help fund road construction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • renewiltord 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Haha, I went to the websites of the guys pushing for this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hoo boy am I glad I don’t get value from that. Oof. Dang. Look at that. Oh boy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • HugThem 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Is this about copyright? Aka "If you copy more then X words, your violate the authors copyright" so that one has to negotiate with the author about copying more then X words?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Or do they force Google and Facebook to publish those snippets and pay for them? Making media kind of state controlled? If so, who decides which news have to be included?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Or what is this about?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • HugThem 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Reading Google's point of view on what happened in Spain they had yet another model over there:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Legislation in Spain requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not."


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe it is similar to that? I wonder who defines what "news" are? If part of this text I am writing ends up quoted on a website owned by someone in Spain, I would be forced by law to send them an invoice?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • anticensor 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No, copyright union will send the invoice on behalf of you, just as in music royalties. They will have to pay the copyright union, even if you choose not to receive it yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • inopinatus 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It’s about News Corporation’s exceptionally close ties to the party that currently holds the majority in Australian federal parliament. This grants them the opportunity to use Australia as a licensing model test venue, as well as hoping to normalise the idea as acceptable rather than farcical in at least one western laissez-faire capitalist democracy in the hope this can be leveraged into others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • marcus_holmes 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also about journalism's complete failure to adapt to a changing business landscape and find a different business model.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In one way, this is good. It will fail miserably, and demonstrate to newspaper CEO's that "Big Tech" is not stealing their revenues. Then they can move on to try something different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • sjy 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If the system fails, and consequently newspapers fail, while tech companies thrive, how will that demonstrate to newspaper CEOs that big tech isn’t stealing their revenue?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • marcus_holmes 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Because newspapers are failing anyway, and tech companies are thriving anyway. So if this system fails, nothing changed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If this system works, and suddenly Australian newspapers are viable while newspapers elsewhere are still struggling, then it will prove that forcing tech to pay for content works, and that therefore tech was probably stealing media's revenue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • asdfasgasdgasdg 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It doesn't seem necessary for tech to be stealing revenue from publishing for this system to function. If I hold a gun to your head and say give me a thousand bucks, and you do, I'll be a thousand bucks richer, whether or not I was stealing your revenue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • inopinatus 9 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What it'd prove is that regulatory capture works.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • rswail 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's about registered news companies being able to force Google/FB to bargain/arbitration about revenues from displaying their news on the platform.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • acd 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have an issue with that people consume news from these sites through recommendations algorithms. Recommendations algorithms just suggest news that you might be interested in, so you miss reading the rest. Ie you consume news through filter bubbles. A filter bubble is where you see the world through your personal curated filter glasses. I would argue that such filtering creates polarized world views where you get less accommodating for views which does not match your own filtered world view. In summary these platforms may in some sense undermine democracy where we respect other with different view points than our own. Plus it’s essential for democracy that we pay for local news journalists which dig and investigate local politicians decisions. Local news feed national news networks which in turn feed international news.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Filter bubble article mentioning news filtering

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Article that social media may cause polarized views

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Local journalism

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Jedd 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      > For every A$100 spent on online advertising in Australia, excluding classifieds, nearly a third goes to Google and Facebook, according to Frydenberg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This from the Treasurer of Australia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I hope he understands that the same holds true for every A$1000 spent, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But the local Murdoch outpost's eagerness for this to happen certainly explains the motivation here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • ehmish 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        FYI for those interested this is the announcement of the policy on the site of the organisation that wrote the policy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • travisoneill1 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This seems absurd. Companies typically pay Google to drive traffic through ads, but in this case they are legislating that Google pay them for driving traffic? This sounds like the store paying the customer to take its product. Wouldn't the obvious solution be for Google to just stop listing these news sites? Am I missing something here?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • lopis 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You can make a case that Google wouldn't make any money if they didn't have content. They have trained the market into believing we need them and to pay them unholy amounts of money to be on top of all search results. But without content and search results, no one uses Google.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • rightbyte 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Google has also started to show generated answers/summaries in the search to make the user not visit the external site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Answers and image search should be opt in for copright holder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • travisoneill1 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Right, but site owners are already able to opt out of being indexed by google, and almost all choose to be indexed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • imgabe 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Business idea: Get GPT-3 to churn out newsy-sounding stories for next to nothing and host them in Australia where the government forces other companies to pay you for them. Free money.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • MattGaiser 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Google will probably eliminate Google News for Australians. Why exactly would Google pay money for a service which earns nothing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • ipsum2 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is not about Google News, this includes Google Search.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > Mr Sims said if Google took a similar approach to its actions in Spain when it was asked to pay for news on its Google News tab, it would be irrelevant because the code covered news content in Google's primary function, search.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (from the sibling commentor's link:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I can't wait to see what will happen. I highly doubt Google will pay the black mail. Will they just shut off Google for Australia?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • stirlo 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    > Will they just shut off Google for Australia?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And lose the billions of revenue over a few million in news payments?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Of course not. Good on the Australian Government for putting them in a position where they actually have to contribute rather than taking their toys home and pouting

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • ipsum2 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      From the article linked in the comment:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      > News Corp has suggested the number is closer to $1 billion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I highly doubt these companies will fork over a billion dollars each to just stay in Australia. Australia needs Google more than Google needs Australia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • gravelc 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm sure we'll survive somehow without it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Murdoch's empire is fading fast in Australia. The Australian, Foxtel, the print papers are all on their last legs. Their streaming offering Binge is laughably bad - it's only 1080p and works on barely any devices. They could well be done here too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        All upside, as far as I see it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • rightbyte 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Google is not a superior search engine anymore and you don't really need it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          From a privazy perspective it would be awesome for Google to block Australia like some US news sites block european users bc. of GDPR.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • emiliobumachar 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Are other search engines not bound by the same law?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • sjy 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "In the first instance, the Government has announced that the mandatory code of conduct will apply to Facebook and Google. However, the Treasurer may also make subsequent instruments in the future designating other platforms where fundamental bargaining power imbalances with Australian news businesses emerge."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • mam2 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Despite the downvotes, I think It's kind of true tho. I don't think a country will collapse without google.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • alickz 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree that a country could easily go without Google Search, there's enough competitors in that space and they all do mostly the same thing that people would quickly switch with no issues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The bigger problem would be Australians giving up YouTube, and to a lesser extent Android if Google Play Services is withdrawn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There's no real competitor to YouTube, and especially during the virus where everyone's at home with nothing to do going without it would be a major pain point for many Australians. The country wouldn't collapse but it would be a big deal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's all assuming Google withdraws entirely from the country of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • rightbyte 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The tele providers would love that the play store went offline and get replacements. It is quite silly that they ship with Google Play as default actually I guess they are forced by Google.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Youtube on the other hand would be a caltural loss due to the network effect even if replacements would be plenty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • postingawayonhn 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The big publishers are asking for $600m to $1b (roughly 10% - 15%) of Google and Facebook's local revenue. I doubt news earns them anywhere near that amount.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • grayhatter 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Doesn't the news you choose to read tell Google a lot about you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Google is very good about shuttering projects that doesn't make them money. I'm sure if they're still running the service. It's making them money some how.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • lrem 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Brand recognition? Customer goodwill? Not everything needs to be outright profitable. Google has a lot of money to spend on sending small gifts in random directions. Source: as a Googler I got paid to literally "go find some vulnerable projects on Github and send a PR to patch them"[1]. Google does not make money in any way from things like that, but keeps doing them, just because they can.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • 9nGQluzmnq3M 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nowhere near as much as shopping searches. It's kind of hard to monetize an interest in (say) Singaporean politics or space rockets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • MajorBee 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's not that hard to monetize interest in damn near _anything_ (as long as it is not clearly illegal, I guess). For the two examples you've posted, maybe advertise flights/vacations to Singapore if you show a persistent interest in Singapore, and market model rockets, space flight simulator toys, really all sorts of consumer-grade commodity products adjacent to the space industry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • dumbfounder 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They already "pay money" to develop and maintain it, you think it has zero value for them? It is a loss leader to keep you stuck on the Google brand and make Google the default for every type of search. That has enormous value. And this probably applies to Google search as well. They will just simply fight this until it goes away, because it will have implications for all other content, because why would news be special? What about blogs? What about any other original content?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But I think this could be bad for competition too. How can someone enter the market for search if you have to jump through so many hoops? Google will try to work a deal that works well for them and tries to lock out competition as well by making the startup cost high.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My hope is that it ends up forcing them to be more friendly to publishers in how they send them traffic and how they appropriate their content. But I don't think money should change hands to let them use the content.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • ing33k 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                most of the news sites will use some form of programmatic ads which will involve Google in some form inevitably.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • jccooper 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Google search is basically all "news" now for way too many keywords, due to their high rankings for "fresh content". I really wouldn't mind if that disappeared entirely. The product would be better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Facebook would also be much more pleasant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • ttmb 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The recency bias is painful. If you read a recent article and want more information on some background from the story, the results are mostly a flood of more articles on the recent story, with no new info. Your best bet is to find one of the new articles that actually cited and linked to some older work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • kqvamxurcagg 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Large technology companies are creating large market failures, one of which is the erosion of the print media business model. With Facebook and Google favouring trending content over high value content state intervention is probably necessary to save the industry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • darwinwhy 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I wonder how the quoted "royalty-style system" would work. If it's anything like reverse ads where Google and Facebook pay per click/impression, what's to stop them from simply boycotting Australian news sites?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • postingawayonhn 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Apparently they'll have to boycott all news sites. I hope they are able to challenge this law in the courts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      > "They can't discriminate between international and Australian news. So they can't turn off Australian news and just use international news. That's discrimination. This is a mandatory code, the platforms must participate. They could stop showing news media on their platforms completely – that is, no local or international media – but short of that, they are compelled."


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 1f60c 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think this is going to happen/has happened in Europe. It hurts publishers most of all, IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • hmottestad 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I remember back when the music business thought that pirated music would ruin them and forced governments to put an extra tax on blank cassettes and CDs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Seems like it's based on the same concept. Newspapers are loosing readers and they are blaming google and facebook.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • raverbashing 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And of course if the legal system was slightly fair, if the levy is being applied then private copying should have been made instantly legal. Not to mention you're just charging everybody, regardless of the use they will make of the media

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But of course the lobbying is strong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • chrismsimpson 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't be fooled. This is merely a ploy from a conservative government to keep Rupert relevant. He owns 70% of the print journalism here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • stevenjohns 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Your suggestion aside, I find it odd that people call the Australian Liberal Party conservative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They banned firearms, introduced the GST and made same-sex marriage legal. They've now introduced the largest welfare package in Australian history.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In comparison to most governments in the world, they're probably considered center-left at worst.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • TOMDM 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Let's not pretend the liberal party is some bastion of LGBT rights, gay marriage was only passed after the politicians in Australia dragged each other through the mud for so long that the question was eventually put to a non binding plebiscite that they followed through on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • shrewduser 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well at least they finally did it, each labor prime minister has been against it until they left office and miraculously started supporting it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • GlennS 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                > In comparison to most governments in the world

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Technically probably correct, but it seems like the wrong comparison?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Compare them to the G20 or OECD or similar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Australian Liberal Party are pretty practical, they keep their nutters out of power, they didn't put forward a comedy prime minister, and they have a sense of duty towards the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But, they're definitely a conservative party. The Treasurer cited Reagan and Thatcher as his inspirations this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • skissane 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The term "conservative" is relative. What is considered "conservative" by the standards of one society may be considered "liberal" by the standards of another.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think part of the confusion is that some wrongly judge the Australian Liberal Party by American political standards. Conservative parties in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, often make decisions which would be considered "liberal" in an American context, but are actually centrist (or sometimes even right-wing) in the context of their own countries. A good example is the Medicare levy surcharge was introduced by the Howard government, to penalise middle and high income earners that don't take out private health insurance; in the Australian context that was a conservative decision (it was designed to prop up private health insurers, and many on the Australian left viewed it as a threat to the public health system and a form of corporate welfare), yet when the US adopted more or less the same policy (an insurance mandate) as part of Obamacare, that was a liberal one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The other issue is the ambiguity between "classical liberalism" vs "social liberalism"/"left liberalism"/"modern liberalism". The term "Liberal" in the name of the Australian Liberal Party is a reference to the former not the later. Classical liberalism has a huge amount of overlap with many versions of conservatism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And even "conservatism" comes in many different forms, and different forms of conservatism can lead to very different policies. In the US, some conservatives argue for an aggressive foreign policy in the Middle East; others argue that the US should stay out of other countries' business. Both viewpoints are conservative, just the product of different versions of conservatism (neoconservative vs palaeoconservative). Similarly, while mainstream US conservatism combines "economic conservatism" (low and flat taxation, small and balanced government budget, low regulation, free trade, etc) with social conservatism, a significant minority of American social conservatives oppose economic conservatism (e.g. distributism, Catholic social teaching, Patrick Buchanan, The American Conservative magazine, etc)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • vinay427 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    > Conservative parties in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, often make decisions which would be considered "liberal" in an American context, but are actually centrist (or sometimes even right-wing) in the context of their own countries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is definitely true for fiscal issues or social welfare, and I think the example you provided is quite appropriate here, but compared to many places (particularly in the part of Europe where I live) I think the reverse is true about the US for social issues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • skissane 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On certain social issues the US is more liberal than a number of European countries. The US achieved same-sex marriage nationally in 2015 (before Austria, Germany and Finland did), but five years later it still hasn't happened in Italy or Switzerland, and in a number of Central and Eastern European countries the popular and government attitude towards it is positively hostile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Similarly, despite abortion being such a political hot potato in the US, Roe v Wade ensures that US abortion laws are on the whole more liberal than those of a number of European countries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On the other hand, if you look at an issue like the death penalty, the US retains it federally and in a majority of states, while every European country has officially abolished it except for Belarus. Even in Russia, whose government often takes quite conservative stances on social issues such as LGBT rights, it is officially abolished (although you could argue that the frequency of extrajudicial killings in Russia means that true abolition has not yet been achieved in practice.) And, death penalty aside, the US approach to criminal law is far more punitive than that of many European countries, and US policing also tends to be a bit of an outlier in terms of aggressiveness and brutality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think on social issues it really depends on which particular social issues you are most concerned with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Tainnor 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Same-sex marriage is at least planned in Switzerland. However, I think taking this sole issue as a measure of overall LGBTQ acceptance is too simplistic. Switzerland has had civil unions since 2007 and just recently, about 60% of Swiss people voted for a law explicitly outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Switzerland is traditionally more slow-moving in terms of laws because of its insistence of making sure legislative changes are accepted by the population at large (with its initiatives and referenda), whereas in the US and many other countries, interested parties anywhere on the political spectrum can often quickly decide an issue if they happen to be in power.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This doesn't mean that the general attitudes of the population towards LGBTQ in Switzerland are or ever were worse than in the US. I have a feeling, that in general, attitudes tend to be very diverse in the US, with some areas / circles being totally in support and others in very strong opposition, whereas Switzerland tends to be a bit more homogeneous. Switzerland certainly doesn't have such a strong undercurrent of evangelical voters for which things like LGBTQ and traditional marriage (or also abortion etc.) are such a major driving factor (sure, those people exist, but they tend to exist more at the fringes). I also don't recall any debates about bakers not wanting to bake cakes for gay couples or any of that sort of nonsense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's not to claim that there is no homophobia in Switzerland, there certainly is. But I can't really believe that it's worse than the US.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • skissane 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The US has a reputation as being more "conservative" than Europe. In some areas that reputation is justified, in others not. (And the situation is dynamic and changes over time.) If one wants to compare politics overall between the US and Europe, focusing on one single European country may not add that much, especially a country like Switzerland which is in some areas an outlier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > Switzerland is traditionally more slow-moving in terms of laws because of its insistence of making sure legislative changes are accepted by the population at large (with its initiatives and referenda), whereas in the US and many other countries, interested parties anywhere on the political spectrum can often quickly decide an issue if they happen to be in power.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ireland approved same-sex marriage in a national referendum in 2015. (A referendum was necessary because the opposite-sex definition of marriage was enshrined in the Irish constitution.) Five years later, Switzerland still hasn't had a national referendum on the topic. So I'm not sure if Switzerland's slowness on this issue has anything to do with its political emphasis on referendums.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And in the case of the US, it wasn't achieved nationally through legislative changes, but rather through a decision of the US Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court has a long history of being far more willing to get involved in heated social and political debates than equivalent courts in many other countries, whose constitutional court instead tries to dodge them and leave them up to the democratic process.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > This doesn't mean that the general attitudes of the population towards LGBTQ in Switzerland are or ever were worse than in the US

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't know enough about the culture of Switzerland to disagree, so I will accept your point. But, it still represents an area in which the US legal system is to the left of Switzerland's, even if substantial pockets of US culture may be to the right of Switzerland on the same issue. Law, politics and culture are deeply interconnected, yet distinct.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • vinay427 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for your comment. I am the GP commenter and in fact live in Switzerland, and this is one component of what I was implicitly referring to but I think your comment describes the situation more fairly than I implied. However, I think another aspect I might consider with respect to social conservatism are differences in immigration/integration and cultural diversity, as it seems both countries handle this somewhat differently given their relatively distinct histories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • skissane 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              > However, I think another aspect I might consider with respect to social conservatism are differences in immigration/integration and cultural diversity, as it seems both countries handle this somewhat differently given their relatively distinct histories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Where does Switzerland stand on immigration and cultural diversity issues? I don't have your personal experience of the topic (and I'd love to hear you elaborate in more detail about that), but here are a few facts I know about:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              * About a quarter of the Swiss population is foreign-born. That is very high by the standards of the Western world (the US is only around 13%), few Western countries would exceed that (Australia and New Zealand are the only ones I know of). So in that sense, Switzerland does have an openness to immigration which exceeds that of any other European country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              * Switzerland's rules around naturalisation are very tough. A lot tougher than most European countries, or most Western countries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              * In 2009 Switzerland amended its constitution (by popular vote) to ban new minarets on mosques. I think that's quite outrageous discrimination against a religious minority. In a country like the UK (for example), they'd probably never allow a referendum on such an offensive proposal. I think it violates the European Convention on Human Rights, as religious discrimination. But, the European Court of Human Rights declared a case against it inadmissible on the grounds that the complainant didn't have any personal plans to build a minaret. (If a Swiss mosque was to file a case, they'd at least get past that initial admissibility hurdle, but I'm not aware that they have.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So overall I'd say Switzerland's record on immigration and cultural diversity is a mixed bag. There are some positive elements (the high percentage of foreign-born population) and some negatives (difficult naturalisation and Islamophobic constitutional amendments).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But before you try to say the US's record on these topics is better, just remember who is in the White House right now and what he has had to say on the topic of immigration and cultural diversity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So it isn't entirely clear to me who actually comes out in front in a comparison of Switzerland and US on this topic. And, consider also there are 40+ other countries in Europe, some of which arguably do better (in some areas) than Switzerland does on these issues, others have their own serious problems in those areas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Tainnor 9 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Switzerland is just much more homogeneous, we do have 4 different languages (with associated cultural differences), but there has never been the sort of tensions or outright discrimination as there has been in the US with black people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But, having lived in Switzerland for most of my life, I unfortunately feel that there is a very strong undercurrent of xenophobia, to the point that parts of it are even accepted among more left-wing circles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • skissane 8 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you look at the history of Switzerland, there have been multiple civil wars between Catholics and Protestants, from the 16th through to the 19th centuries. So tensions have certainly been there for much of Swiss history.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That ended in the 19th century, however, and in the 20th and 21st centuries, those religious tensions are not what they used to be. (That's not something unique to Switzerland; most European countries, religious tensions people used to kill each other over, nobody cares about any more. Here in Australia, my grandfather told me how as a Catholic in the 1940s, he couldn't get certain jobs because some employers refused to hire Catholics, and the law let them get away with that. But, I've never heard in contemporary Australia of someone refusing to hire a Catholic, indeed nowadays it would be illegal for a secular employer to do so.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Certainly you are right, that however bad Catholic-Protestant tension may have been in Swiss history, it still was nothing compared to the treatment of African-Americans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • ioseph 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The firearm ban is still being challenged by one half of the coalition (The national party).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They were dragged kicking and screaming across the line for same-sex marriage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The GST reduced the tax payable on luxury items, so in essence was a more regressive sales tax.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • femto 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's got multiple personalities, which are at battle with each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The party was founded as a party of social liberals (with conservative economics), but for the last 3 decades has been eaten from the inside by a socially conservative wing resulting in a misnomer. The conservatives could have their own party, but the Liberal name and the remaining perception of liberalism attracts votes, as shown by the "Australian Conservatives" party which broke away from the Liberals and couldn't attract enough votes to survive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • leadingthenet 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Liberal does not mean left-wing. Thankfully, that particular Americanism hasn’t penetrated into Australia yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • vidarh 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, it did back in the 18th century when the left/right split was first named and well into the 19th - it represented the split between monarchists and opponents in the French assembly after the revolution, and so the liberals made up most of the original left.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You see the after-effects in e.g. Norway, where the liberal party is literally named "Venstre" ("Left")

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's just that most places the liberals have been firmly out-flanked on the left since.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • sjy 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          “Conservative” is consistently used to describe the right-wing party in a two-party system. It’s not a coherent ideology.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • bzb3 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hating the right sells, so if someone does something unpopular, accuse him of being a conservative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • stevenjohns 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No it's a fairly well established meme in Australia that the Liberal Party is conservative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I wouldn't be surprised if the Liberal Party themselves promote the meme to try to win conservative votes away from the actual (socially) conservative parties. It sort of makes sense. The leaders of the Liberal Party are usually some combination of lawyer/dopey/religious but their policies are significantly less partisan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • jokethrowaway 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Most left wing parties in the world sit on the right side of the economic spectrum (with eg. North Korea being an exception). For more info:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sure, right wing parties say they want to lower taxes (but rarely do so) and left wing parties say they want to increase them (and often do so) but we're talking more about brand marketing and appealing to voters than significant changes. Right wing parties tend to be more authoritarian on some themes (gay marriage, drugs). Left wing parties tend to be more authoritarian on other themes (hate speech, gun control, more regulations). No one in politics really care about individual freedom if not to please voters close to the elections.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We definitely should adopt a different system to categorise political parties - but to me the Australian Liberal Party looks liberal enough for today's world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • quink 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              How is introducing a regressive tax that removed other duties, levies and taxes "left-wing"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              How is being the only major party with MPs voting against same-sex marriage despite the public plebisciting for it "left-wing"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll give you the other two though, but on the welfare package that Labor introduced following the GFC they (and of course News Corp) would not shut up about how terrible a thing it was, despite Australia being the only country to come out of the crisis mostly unscathed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • stevenjohns 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I didn't say they're left-wing so I have no idea who you're quoting there. I just said that they're not conservative, and I stand behind that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On the plebiscite/postal survey though: the government in Australia isn't bound by the results of it. It's just a survey. The fact that the Liberal Party put the result into law[0] within 48 hours is their own doing, submitted by an LGBT member of the party no less.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A conservative party would fundamentally not do this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You can scroll down in the linked Wikipedia article to see how everyone voted. You won't exactly see significant, genuine opposition. There was arguably more opposition from the left-leaning alternative, the Australian Labor Party, that had the most people abstain in the senate.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • quantumwoke 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is a pretty misleading comment that ignores much of the context of the vote as well as the different parties that vote for it. It's easy to point to the vote totals of two parties (missing out the Greens and Nationals votes of course, because that doesn't fit the narrative) and skip the months of complaining from the Liberal Party before they demanded an antiquated and expensive (AU$80 million) plebiscite. The Liberal Party was forced by the voters to pass this amendment, and they certainly didn't do it without a fight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • iateanapple 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    > and skip the months of complaining from the Liberal Party

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It was clear the economic right faction of the Liberals wanted a mandate from the people so that they could push past the socially conservative faction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They were being blocked for months by the left - because it benefited the greens and labor politically to position the Liberals as anti-LGBT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • quink 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, the left blocked holding a voluntary postal survey to enshrine basic civil rights because it’s dumb on its face, but the Liberals threatening to end the careers of the people who would vote isn’t?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All the Liberals would have needed to say is “conscience vote” and it would have been done. That aside, if passing basic civil rights would threaten the stability of the party, then that’s kind of a shitty party.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • iateanapple 9 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        > Yes, the left blocked holding a voluntary postal survey to enshrine basic civil rights because it’s dumb on its face

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, the left did block enshrining basic civil rights in order to play politics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        > All the Liberals would have needed to say is

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Libs don’t care about gay rights and they still got the job done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • quink 9 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yet the Liberals threatening their own MPs with ending their careers if they vote their conscience wasn’t playing politics?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And you do know that there was real damage done through the process? Gay people got messages of hate and exclusion as it provided excellent fodder for the grubs to come out of the woodwork to spike vile hatred. There was real damage done during the process when all Turnbull had to do was a snap of the finger and it’d not get put through the process that it did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also love the part where you seem to be completely ignorant of Howard legislating to make gay marriage unambiguously forbidden. In 2004.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • iateanapple 9 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            > Yet the Liberals threatening their own MPs with ending their careers if they vote their conscience wasn’t playing politics?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of course they were playing politics - why would you sacrifice party unity when you can shame your political opponents on the left and still get the outcome you want?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You don’t seem to understand that your allies playing politics with something you really care about is completely different from your opponents playing politics with the same topic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            > Also love the part where you seem to be completely ignorant of Howard legislating to make gay marriage unambiguously forbidden. In 2004.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            How does that help your case at all?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • quink 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wasn't it a Labor prime minister that called the Senate 'unrepresentative swill'?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    > A conservative party would fundamentally not do this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Experiences in Canada, Austria, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand (of particular relevance to Australia), Sweden, the UK where conservatives in power had at least some if not most of their representatives vote LGBT marriage in is evidence to the contrary. Or is it that they aren't really "conservative" either by some arbitrary yardstick?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And to say that they allowed its members to vote how they actually always wanted to vote (now there's a democratic deficit) within '48 hours' after delaying it for months and toddling around with a voluntary postal survey for BASIC CIVIL RIGHTS for months and months after years of intransigence is highly disingenuous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • ipsum2 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I mean, it's in the article:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                > Media companies including News Corp Australia, a unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NWSA.O), lobbied hard for the government to force the U.S. companies to the negotiating table amid a long decline in advertising revenue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • zmmmmm 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Some of the most interesting part is not even about paying. For example, they must notify the news providers of algorithmic changes 28 days in advance before making them, and enable the news organisation to "filter or remove" comments on their content.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It is oddly self-contradictory as it both states that a digital platform may not discrimminate b/w a "registered news organisation" and non-registered news org, but also mandates a whole raft of areas where it must discrimminate and give special consideration to a "registered news organisastion". This almost seems like a legal trap so they are in violation no matter what they do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Interestingly, when all else fails, the arbitration panel must make a decision that is "in the public interest" - which seems to open a loophole where Google / Facebook could argue that the value of free / open information is more in the public interest than supporting proprietary news organisation to paywall their content. It would be hilarious if it backfired, though I am sure the arbitration panel will be carefully constructed to ensure it is not sympathetic to tech companies.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • belushi 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I’ve long been a proponent—as both a user and an advocate of these companies’ interests—of paid premium (ad-free, tracker-free, priority support) tiers for the “Internet essentials,” i.e., Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. There is, I believe, a surprisingly sizable (and rapidly growing) contingent of these platforms’ respective user bases willing to pay for privacy and user experience, and by insisting so stubbornly on maintaining a uniformly ad-subsidized model, without so much as even experimenting with subscription tier offerings, these companies are leaving billions of dollars a year in additional revenue on the table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Perhaps the increasing cost of supply-side content will finally spur a rethinking of these platforms’ fundamental business models. Here’s hoping…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • abrowne 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    > paid premium (ad-free, tracker-free, priority support) tiers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Does that risk making privacy only available for those with the means to pay for it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • crazygringo 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's the wrong way to frame it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A product has to be paid for somehow. You could just as easily think of "paid premium" as the default, similar to the way you pay for a physical newspaper, magazine, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Or you can pay by giving up your privacy instead. It's your choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Why shouldn't people who want to give up their privacy in exchange for personalized ads be allowed to?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • belushi 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think that abrowne’s comment is certainly valid—and it gets at the crux of perhaps the best (only?) argument against experimentation with paid premium tiers: it’ll work. If these companies are raking in billions off of [choose your spin: up-selling/extorting] millions of Americans, there’s a likely insurmountable degree of institutional incentive and inertia towards maintaining the status quo as it relates to U.S. privacy protections, eliminating any hope of regulatory intervention to raise baseline protections for all Americans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        His/her comment also illuminates the most substantive tangible risk to a company that chooses to experiment with paid premium tiers—as alluded to above, the issue is highly sensitive to framing, and the program’s reception hinges substantially on how it’s presented and marketed from the outset. It would require only the slightest of ornamental alterations and no change whatsoever in substance to recolor the very same proposition as “a cynical extortion and profiteering scheme—and perverse defilement of the fundamental human right to privacy—intended only to line the coffers of America’s wealthiest corporations at the expense of its poorest and most vulnerable citizens.” Indeed, mental gymnastics aren’t necessary to achieve a cognitive dissonance of diametric proportions on this issue—a mere logical tiptoe will suffice to traverse the universe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • rpastuszak 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > A product has to be paid for somehow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, but maybe businesses like Facebook shouldn't exist in their current shape given the amount of data required to make them profitable? Is the return worth the cost?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > Why shouldn't people who want to give up their privacy in exchange for personalized ads be allowed to?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Of course, but how many people are educated on what it actually means? How many people know that Google is an advertising business, not "just a search engine"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We all know that the incentives of companies like this are not compatible with consent. Stronger regulatory actions and waaaay more emphasis on education is prob. the best we have at the moment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • crazygringo 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            > Is the return worth the cost?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's for consumers to decide.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            > how many people are educated on what [privacy] actually means?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Are 99% of consumers suffering any actual harm? They see better personalized ads, and yes, people are mostly aware of how internet ads "follow" you because we've all shopped for something and then seen a billion ads for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There are absolutely scary areas of privacy. Worries that your info will be used to determine insurance rates is addressed by legislation, so not a problem. And if you have real reasons for anonymity (civil rights, protests, politics, corporate, etc.) then you're already presumably educated on that and taking anti-tracking measures already.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But for the vast majority of people, their educated decision is to use free services in exchange for personalized ads. They see it as a deal or else they wouldn't be doing it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • rpastuszak 3 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              > That's for consumers to decide.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              > But for the vast majority of people, their educated decision is to use free services in exchange for personalized ads. They see it as a deal or else they wouldn't be doing it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Again, these decisions need to be based on knowledge which they don't have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              > Are 99% of consumers suffering any actual harm? They see better personalized ads, and yes, people are mostly aware of how internet ads "follow" you because we've all shopped for something and then seen a billion ads for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, Cambridge Analytica or Brexit are perfect examples of that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Adtech, incl. programmatic advertising not only enables but incentivises sensationalist, emotion-driven and biased content.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is due to the systemic issues within the industry and in itself is a wicked problem: different actors in the pipeline are motivated by different incentives. Think of the sales teams in adtech companies, publishers, publisher sales teams, brands, users... What motivates them how are they rewarded for their work?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sales people talk in terms of budgets ("We just closed $X.000000!"). What do brands care about? How do you translate the budget into campaign effectiveness? There's so much lost in the process, which is not a secret.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now, publishers don't like advertising but rely on it as a revenue stream. Different ways of monetising publishing content are possible but this would render the sales people working for publishers redundant and those people not only have mortgages to pay, kids to send to school, but generally are fairly influential within their orgs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Finally we have the users who have... their lives to live. We have the elderly people falling into scams fueled by retargeting (if we're looking for extreme cases). How well informed/educated are they?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't need to understand the every single part of my car to drive it. I trust that it won't randomly explode when I start it. Why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The points I'm trying to convey (poorly) are products of the conversations with people ranging from entry to CXO level at ad networks, publishers, non-profits, then readers/consumers. I worked on several sides of the problem (publishing, ad tech, privacy).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My opinion is that you grossly underestimate the impact of advertising on our society. We've grown used to it and learned to accept the current situation as a norm. Bear in mind that advertising in its modern form has its root in behaviourism and that's for a reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     explains how complex networks of actors, including the algorithmic ones (i.e. social media), can be used to increase polarisation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • BurningFrog 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In a sense, sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But note that this is an argument against all trade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • abrowne 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was thinking more as an argument against freely-distributed products/services with a big negative downside for the user/consumer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We don't allow an electric company to offer a "premium service tier" with a line installed to your house and a "free tier" for people who want to climb a pole and attach their own cable — even if there are a small number people could do this safely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now this could lead some people not to be able to afford, say, paid-only email, but then there could be options for people who can't pay for email, like a government program or non-profit organizations, just like there is for people who can't afford their electric bills. A church or other community group could even provide email to their members if you don't want it to be a government program, for example.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • gl3nnleblanc 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Why doesn't this incentivize Facebook/Google to create their own news service, with reporters and all? That would certainly be a bleak outcome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • odc 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This looks a lot like what France Press did in 2007:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • beilabs 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm wondering if this will cause a further reduction in traffic to certain Murdoch publications. The only profitable parts of their newspaper divisions seem to be centered around gambling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • gok 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They should comply and just delist all News Corp content.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • jackjeff 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exactly what happened for google news in Spain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I suppose this includes the search engine. So if these people don’t want their thing to turn up in text results, why not update the robots.txt and close shop the next month?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have no sympathy for Google and even less for Facebook. But that’s a shitty argument to make. It makes me want to create a client side google news clone, but that actually steal all the article content and remove all ads. Try blocking that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • alkonaut 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To be clear, this is about snippets that are displayed and lets users consume the content without ever clicking the link to visit the page?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                How is Google normally handling the fact that what they display in excerpts is copyrighted material? Do they just assume their snippet is short enough to be fair use everywhere?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And couldn’t these sites just detect the crawlers and display article bodies that are a smaller, (0-10 words body)?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • sidibe 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You can choose whether Google can use snippets or how big they are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • alkonaut 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What does that mean for the regulation in question? That it’s unnecessary because there is a technical solution? Or that it’s not written in good faith because they know it’s possible to solve technically but want funding from Google rather than actually solve it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • ehnto 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Another flailing grasp at new media as Rupert Murdoch's tabloid empire loses its grip on the future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am only disappointed that our government would be complicit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Make no mistake, I am no new media fan boy. In fact I hope this has the side effect of cleaning up the misinformation that spins around Facebook et al. But it is still sad to see such an obvious manipulation of our government.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • hnzix 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Australian media landscape is a highly unethical duopoly that undermines democracy. And the alternative seems to be people getting their "news" from wellness gurus and radio shock jocks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On the one hand News Corporation and Fairfax Media can rot in hell, but I'm almost as afraid of what would happen to the national discourse in the resulting power vacuum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • mschuster91 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      > On the one hand News Corporation and Fairfax Media can rot in hell, but I'm almost as afraid of what would happen to the national discourse in the resulting power vacuum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Someone's gonna fill in, and most probably it will be Russian or Chinese propaganda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • hnzix 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Can we convince the Betoota Advocate to pivot?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • ArkVark 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The problem is that there is no standard form of microtransaction on the internet. I'd happily pay 2 cents to read an article, which is a lot more than the website would receive in advertising revenue, but not $10/month in subscription fees.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We basically need an aggregator of all of those 2 cents, since individually the payment fees will be extreme.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • hnzix 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There is the "basic attention token" crypto, it seems like a moonshot to me but it does address the general idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • stubish 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        > I am only disappointed that our government would be complicit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think I'm OK with the government going along, provided media companies have the choice on if they require payment for this sort of reuse of their content. Assuming it is optional, it will be interesting to see which companies charge. It will also be interesting to see if Google and/or Facebook think it is worth paying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Personally, I go directly to the news sources I'd be willing to pay for and avoid all the crap. And search engines for research, to find older articles. I could see a business case for papers and similar to opt out of the news aggregators, but it would seem to be suicide to opt out of search as for all intents and purposes your domain would cease to exist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • quink 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          > I am only disappointed that our government woild be complicit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hell, Uncle Rupert is the reason why we've had more of the coalition in power than we otherwise would have. Why would they bite the hand that feeds them when they can bite of a piece of Google's pie and regurgitate it into Murdoch's ugly maw instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Google, shut down Google News the second this passes, please. I don't want a single cent to go to the conglomerate that was at least partially responsible for bringing us Trump, Johnson and Morrison. And Bush, Thatcher and Howard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • rosege 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And Blair! Watch the new Murdoch Dynasty doco and you can see how they all suck up to him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • quink 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hmmm... been downvoted and flagged. Here's my personal playlist I made for the day when Rupert Murdoch finally bites the dust, just a collection of ideas for those who read this article and are pushed to finally make their own if his actions over 89 hate-fuelled years haven't been enough already: "Fanfare for the Common Man", "Beautiful Day", "I gotta feeling", "Celebration", "Walking On Sunshine", "We Are The Champions", "Holiday", "Heal the World", "Lovely Day", "Another One Bites The Dust", "Don't Stop Believin'", "Chariots Of Fire".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • SiempreViernes 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Don't you think "we are the champions" is way overplayed? I suggest "Don't stop me now" if you want to stick Queen. Or maybe "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John if you want something a more gloating in this context.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • quink 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks! Probably something Beatles too, not least of all to honour Liverpool's hatred with the fury of a thousand suns of The Sun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • quotemstr 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It doesn't look like a flailing grasp to me. It looks to me like the press has way too much power and influence and uses it to get policy bad for the public but good for the press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This idea that the press is dying just because its revenue is drying up isn't rooted in reality. The press has enough influence to just make the public give it money, bypassing the whole "sell stuff" part of the model. For example, Canada just gave the press, as an industry, $595 million of the public's money for some reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No, the press is more powerful than ever. And why? Because if you have something nice and the press hates you, you're very likely to lose that nice thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • throwaway3699 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            HN: Google isn't entitled to it's current business model.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also HN: Decade old, failing Murdoch empire should be funded by Big Tech under the law.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • DangitBobby 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's definitely not what I'm seeing in these comments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • logseman 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not sure how this is "world first" when Spain already did this (and Google withdrew the News service as a result).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • rswail 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So before anyone goes off half-cocked, the proposed legislation applies to:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. News businesses that are registered with ACMA and comply with the codes for print/TV/radio regarding content, eg press council etc and publish predominantly Australian content for Australian audiences

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Have revenue over $150K/year

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Digital platforms (as determined by the Treasurer)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It requires both sides to:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                a) provide each other with information,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                b) negotiate in good faith,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                c) submit to formal arbitration if they can't agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The platforms are required (as a minimum) to not discriminate between news sources, what they collect about users that click on the news sources (where that is different to what they normally collect), and how they make that information available to the news source.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                They're required to explain how they display paywalled contant, how they display non-paywall content, how they display advertising, and, if they change that, how the change will affect the news sources. It also requires the platform to, if they allow user comments (eg a FB page), allow the news source to control/disable/moderate those comments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The news sources are allowed to co-operate in the negotiations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's not a long bill and it's in plain(-ish) English.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Majromax 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > b) negotiate in good faith,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's part of the problem, though -- it doesn't define what they're to negotiate in good faith over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ordinary negotiations involve some kind of proprietary, property, or contract right. I negotiate with my employer to provide my services in exchange for a salary, because absent an agreement neither party is compelled to do anything. I can also negotiate with my neighbour over compensation to my fence when he damages it, because that damage was contrary to law -- an action was taken without legal right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I can't force my neighbour into negotiations when he throws a party and doesn't invite me (because of the stick up my ass about the fence, see above), because he had no obligation to do so in the first place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So, how does this apply to Foogle? The negotiations in the bill appear to be related to news content 'made available' by the platform, but that term does not appear to be defined. In particular, it does not appear to be restricted to actions that would be covered by property-like copyright rights.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Instead, this bill appears to be taking a stance based on anticompetitive/monopolistic behaviours. There is a reasonable basis for this argument, but in my opinion any action would require much more groundwork to set out just what behaviours are allegedly harmful. This legislation seems to sidestep that entirely, and in particular the list of "must-consider" items for an arbitrator (52ZP) is entirely to the benefit of news corporations over Foogle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > It also requires the platform to, if they allow user comments (eg a FB page),

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  To be scrupulously fair here, this doesn't seem to require that Foogle allow moderation of all user comments on a news story, only those on stories submitted by the news agency itself (52S.1(a)(ii)). So News Corp gets to moderate its own Facebook page, but it can't moderate comments on users' walls when they just discuss a News Corp article.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • bobthechef 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Seems like a great opportunity to entrench Google's and Facebook's power. A corollary of free market principles, whoever pays for the news decides which news outlet flourishes and which one fades into nonexistence, or, what the news outlet reports. News outlets have always been sensitive to advertisers and moneyed patrons because they make next to nothing from the readership.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  All of this is to say that as Google and Facebook become a bigger share of the revenue of news outlets, the more sway they'll have over what those news outlets publish, whether they stand or fall, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • johnnyYen 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Seems like massive legislative over-reach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1.100 Discrimination in this context will be considered to occur if the news content of a registered news business is disadvantaged incomparison to other news content in terms of the crawling, indexing,ranking, display, presentation or other process undertaken by the digital platform on any service provided by the digital platform, on the basis ofthe registered news business’ participation in the code.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    IANAL, but my simple reading of this seems to imply it will be illegal for Google to NOT crawl and index News Corps content.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • shmerl 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sounds like failing legacy businesses trying to use the government to ensure profits while facing inability to compete. That's going to work so well for them. Why does Australian public allow such laws to pass?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • quink 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just another point of interest for our international friends and because 'Ctrl-F' for 'Costello' hasn't brought up anything either:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Peter Costello was, until 2007, the deputy leader and treasurer of the federal government, consisting then of the same parties that are pushing for this legislation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Peter Costello, the same, is also since 2016 chairman of Nine Entertainment Co., the media company that would get the second highest amount of money under this legislation, right after Murdoch's own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, Australia's kind of screwed up like that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • mensetmanusman 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We need to figure out how to do this correctly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We don’t want Google subsidizing trash like the Sun, we would rather it subsidize high quality information sites like Quanta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wonder if Google could create some metric where they would be more than happy to never show results from the Sun, but show results from some places and pay those entities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sounds like a win-win-win.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Google wins because it’s search results are higher quality, the high quality news sites win because they can have better journalists, and the public wins because they have better information.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • bognition 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So we let google build an algorithm that tells us which news sources are trusted? No thanks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • mensetmanusman 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It’s not about trust, it’s about quality and who should get funds to make higher quality information.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • CrankyBear 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, I've heard this before. Ask anyone in Spanish journalism how well their laws asking for the same thing worked out for them. Spoiler: It's a complete fail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • imron 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What chance to Facebook and Google have when even the laws of mathematics must bow to Australian law [0].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Be careful what you wish for though. As an Australian, I fear that Australian news media needs Facebook and Google far more than the other way around.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • koheripbal 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                At the end of the day, you still need a reporter on the ground at location. That's the origination of any reputable news source.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • erikrothoff 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What does this mean for RSS feeds and feed readers? I guess a case can be made for non-cloud readers to be excempt from this logic, but readers like Feedly or our

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • sjy 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The code would only apply to Google and Facebook, but may be applied to other digital platforms in the future “where fundamental bargaining power imbalances with Australian news businesses emerge.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • grayhatter 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My first instinct was this is a bad move. But given how Google is so quick to kill projects that don't make them money. (And they're still running the service... for now at least) Paired with how I personally detest how they pushed AMP giving them more control and more user data. I can't say I'm convinced they didn't do this to themselves. Nor am I convinced this isn't somehow better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm sure at the very least the results will be interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • rzmnzm 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    These news organisations should pay twitter every time they source a story from there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hopefully it would stop journos from writting such gripping stories as "According to some blowhard on twitter...", "These is my opinions, and to back it up here are three people on twitter who agree with me,...", "Twitter was OUTRAGED by... (several posts with five likes and one reshare)" etc, etc, etc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • estebarb 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Honestly I don't get it. Media made a lot of money publishing dead bodies, but they don't pay a dime to victim's family.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • rvr_ 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sooner or later Google will just "AI-parse" the same news story from many sources and generate a new headline plus snippet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • cblconfederate 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wonder why there aren't better news search engine than google? A google search doesnt bring up any substantial project, and google news itself is pretty basic and biased and limited. I find myself often wondering "where could i read about <thing>", and feeling underwhelmed with google searches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • fagan_m 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There are actually quite a few news search engines. I've tried to include the best and most comprehensive ones on , although I have since found some more that I haven't reviewed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • ekianjo 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Is that a world first? I thought they enacted the same thing in France before?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • iamben 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Aren't a lot of these newspaper sites funded with AdSense as opposed to direct buys/other ad networks?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So this would end up Google paying the publisher to send traffic to their site, so the publisher (potentially) earns money from Google for visitor Google has just paid for? Or something like that?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • urthor 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Google and Facebook will just stop showing results from participating news outlets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Frankly they have enough user generated content already they don't need these companies. If it bans snippets and allows headlines for free then they'll do that, but honestly they have no need to pay a cent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • throwaway29102 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The plus side to this is that it’ll kill (some) off-platform link sharing, which kills the “drive traffic to make money” strategy, which may reduce the amount of outrage porn circulating in the English-speaking world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Best of luck to the Aussies, and maybe we’ll catch up sooner or later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • jelder 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So Facebook has a choice between complying with the spirit of this law, or just appending some Australian news domains to their block list. Facebook has not shown a genuine interest in promoting the spread of truth over lies. What an incredibly stupid move.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • nl 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Notably this doesn't apply to news from non-Australian operating companies or to the publicly funded broadcasters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If I was Google or FB I know what I'd be thinking about doing now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • m0zg 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A year or two from now: Australia doesn't have mainstream news anymore after Google and Facebook ban links to them from its properties to avoid paying "for news".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • sjy 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It’s now been a year or two since various HN commenters proclaimed that Australia had “nuked its tech industry from orbit” when the new encryption laws came in, but that doesn’t seem to have come true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • m0zg 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's because the tech industry doesn't really care about their users' privacy. It does care very much about profits, however.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • lawrenceyan 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Does Australia really have either the purchasing power and/or political clout to make sweeping statements like these and still have people actually care?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • newsclues 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            $25million people? Probably not

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • raxxorrax 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think it is wrong that these platforms promote certain content and even pay for the articles. This is how you get an unhealthy, nepotistic media landscape.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • peignoir 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And with GPT-3 or any similar technology coming journalism will be even more under pressure of displacement. I guess the future will be data collectors

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • baq 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wonder if you could use GPT-3 to rephrase snippets or whole articles and avoid the new fee...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • ardy42 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  > wonder if you could use GPT-3 to rephrase snippets or whole articles and avoid the new fee...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That'd be just wonderful once someone builds an adversarial model to trick the GPT-3 summarizer to output disinformation or other garbage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • rydre 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, I have built a proof of concept for this, but without GPT-3.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Works well except for the edge cases. Aka not fully automatable yet so I never showed it to anyone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • la6471 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Time for FG to invest in local reporters and hire them for original content ie original news reporting and also get some royalty out of it :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Waterfall 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If only they could encrypt the links! Austria had them beat though, they outlawed it before this one two punch! Google is over!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • ferros 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What implications will this have elsewhere. Where is the line drawn?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don’t disagree with this but it feels like this will open a hornets nest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Aerroon 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It depends on if others follow. Australia and New Zealand are outliers when it comes to freedom of speech/expression anyway. They officially censor the media through a censorship office. I believe this doesn't affect the news directly, but movies and video games (I don't know about books) can't be published without government approval. That hasn't really had much of an effect for the rest of the world other than people making fun of Australia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • jpollock 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Will this create a new copyright license?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Will I be able to pay a license fee and reprint news stories? That could be really cool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • iRomain 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now what would be great is to see Google pay websites it’s stealing content from to populate its snippet blocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • pabs3 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Are Google and Facebook also going to charge news organisations per click for the traffic they send their way?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • tantalor 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's more likely FB/G are operating their news aggregation services at a loss rather than a profit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • 42droids 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                “In 2019, Google stopped showing news snippets from European publishers on search results for its French users, while Germany’s biggest news publisher, Axel Springer, allowed the search engine to run snippets of its articles after traffic to its sites to plunged.“ This is the sad reality, this is why these companies can do whatever they want. There is always someone who sells out and forces everyone to give in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • smabie 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Making money for investors isn't 'selling out'. It's like how, you know, a business should be operating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • NicoJuicy 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So, Google would index the social media pages of those corporations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  With even declining revenue

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • known 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds rational since somebody has to pay the 'source' of news

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • iammru 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pay who?.. Facebook should pay the users as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • varispeed 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Why such corporate lobbying isn't illegal?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • georgespencer 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Spain tried this in 2014. Google simply removed "Google News" and cut off the healthy supply of clicks they send to the news outlets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          From memory, news outlets soon relented because they needed Google more than Google needed them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When France followed Spain, they stopped Google from removing "Google News" by insisting that it was an abuse of market position to do so. Never mind the fact that it seems like an abuse of power to compel a company to do business in your region on terms it doesn't like, and to prevent it from backing out of the market.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ben Thompson from Stratechery has some good summaries of this behind his paywall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • biggidywiggidy 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So much stockholm syndrome here on HN.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • badrchoubai 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I hope other countries follow suit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • OMGCable 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                How exactly is this going to work?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • RockmanZero 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  nice move! Australia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bloggerzune 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    While it's not the selling point politically, I think those lobbying for things like this are very much happy with any monoculture that results. With services like Google News, people can get exposed to news from various media outlets, but by killing it through lobbying for absurd regulatory burdens on aggregators the well known larger outlets can choke out access to their competition. This of course is hampered to some extent by the reality that many will just rely on other users posting on social media for news updates, and if that too is choked out through regulation on platforms, many will probably just skip the news or reduce their consumption in favor of other things like entertainment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Bloggerzune 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We weren't discussing the uniqueness of low-quality content or clickbait, nor were we even discussing politics. We are discussing the introduction of changes which will largely benefit News Corp who owns 70% of newspaper circulation, Rupert Murdoch isn't even Australian. It boggles my mind an American media mogul (with clear historically proven cases of political bias) cannot only have plenty of influence in the USA, but also here in Australia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • PostThisTooFast 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is as stupid as the U.S. broadcasters' caterwauling about Aereo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Google is only showing ABSTRACTS of a story, which incites people to visit the publisher's site and INCREASE its traffic (and thus revenue).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Google does plenty of despicable and underhanded things, but providing FREE TRAFFIC is one of them?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • chimichangga 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          socialism at work

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • guidedlight 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Unfortunately this will just cause more misinformation and conspiracy theories to circulate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fake news is free. Real news is behind paywalls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • quink 11 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The main benefactor would be News Corp Australia. Apart from some snippets of tolerable local coverage it's all a big pile of shit that stinks from Uncle Rupert's ugly head down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Misinformation and conspiracy theories are what they peddle. This single company controls 70% of the newspaper market and lies, misleading and cheating are part of their DNA. I hope they don't see a single red cent out of this and if it takes the shutdown of Google News then so be it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • surajs 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              a brilliant piece of legislation too by the looks of it, commendable job.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • lanevorockz 10 days ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's very disturbing that Silicon Valley controls so much of public discourse. Hate Trump as much as you like but having all discourse controlled by faceless billionaires is not good to anyone. It would be the same if Bernie Sanders was the president and he did something that would affect them. It's not moral, it's just money for billionaires.