Daily Management Review

Australia To Not Amend Its Law For Online Tech Giants


Online platforms have shown consent in adopting “an industry-wide code of practice” which would reduce the “spread of misinformation online”.

Canberra is inching towards turning a “bill into law” and it remains firm as not to “alter legislation” whereby making Google and Facebook pay “news outlets for content”, informed a “a senior lawmaker”.
Australia has been in a legal “stand-off” with tech giants which has been perceived as a global example as other countries like Britain and Canada have also mentioned that they are interested in “taking some sort of similar action”.
However, Facebook has not shown its consent to the laws. Likewise, last week, the social media giant blocked “all news content and several state government and emergency department accounts” whereby shaking the “global news industry”, already facing the affects of technological revolution on its upset business model.
So far, talks conducted between Facebook and Australia “over the weekend” did not arrive at any settlement. Australian senior lawmaker maintained introducing “no further amendments” to the bill. In the words of Simon Birmingham, the Australian Finance Minister,
“The bill as it stands ... meets the right balance”.
According to the bill:
“Australian-generated news content by Australian-generated news organisations can and should be paid for and done so in a fair and legitimate way”.
Moreover, through this law the government will hold the final right to “appoint an arbitrator” for setting “content licensing fees” in case “private negotiations fail”. Facebook as well as Google have both “campaigned against the law” while the latter has recently entered into deals with “top Australian outlets” such as “Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp”.
Further Birmingham added:
“There’s no reason Facebook can’t do and achieve what Google already has”.
The legislation has passed the “lower house” by garnering majority Senate support. DIGI is a Lobby group representing various online platforms including Facebook and Google has informed that “its members” have shown consent in adopting “an industry-wide code of practice” which would reduce the “spread of misinformation online”.
The above-mentioned code would prompt the online platforms to identify and block bots and “unidentified accounts” besides “disseminating content”. Additionally, these companies would also need to inform “users of the origins of content” and coming up with annual “transparency report” along with other such “measures”.