General Question

BeeePollen's avatar

Recent disputes between tech platforms and journalistic outlets?

Asked by BeeePollen (422points) February 27th, 2021
2 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

There have recently been some disputes between journalistic outlets (and other content providers) and tech companies like Facebook and Google, about whether various governments should require tech companies to pay newspapers for certain content.

For example:
– The latest example I know of involves the dispute between [Facebook and Australia]( (although other companies are having similar interactions with Australia), over a law that will “force tech giants to pay for news content on their platforms.”
– Something similar happened between [Google and Spain](, over a law that “requires services that post links and excerpts of news articles to pay a fee.”

Is it true that these disputes
1. are entirely about news-specific features of tech platforms (like google news and Facebook news), and
2. have nothing at all to do with “non-news-specific” features (like news articles showing up in google search results, and individuals sharing links to news articles in Facebook posts)?

If so, then it is true that the demands of countries like Australia (and maybe Spain) cover only a small percentage of the news content used by companies like google and Facebook?

(Of course, even if that’s true, it might not be a small percentage of the total “missed” ad revenue for the journalistic outlets.)

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elbanditoroso's avatar

The main struggle – at least in Australia – is that the Australian news sources, and by extension their government – are greedy.

Google and Facebook are already sending lots of traffic to the journalism sites (which brings in advertising revenue for the sites). But these same sites want to charge Google and Facebook for the privilege of sending the journalism sites lucrative traffic. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!!

So to directly answer:

1) yes, this seems to be all about news (hard news) and not about secondary sharing. (although last week Facebook did over-limit stuff when they turned off Australia). This was theoretically a news-only issue.

2) Spain and Australia greed is very small dollars when compared across the whole world. And for that matter, when compared against regular (non-news) advertising.

I wish Facebook would have had the courage to do what Google did in Spain. Call the bluff of the greedy content providers who get paid for doing nothing.

flutherother's avatar

It seems to me it is media companies like Google and Facebook that are greedy for refusing to pay for the news content on their platforms. There are costs to providing news and the print media companies who have to pay journalists and editors are finding it increasingly difficult to cover costs. Facebook on the other hand is making tens of billions of dollars every year for not doing very much.

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