Wednesday, February 17, 2021

At first glance it sounds like Facebook run amok but... It's complicated. Read the article at HotAir

Here’s something you don’t see every day. One of the world’s leading social media companies just cut off news from an entire nation. At first glance it sounds like Facebook run amok but after looking at it I’m not so sure the company doesn’t have a point. Here’s what’s going on. Australia is considering a law aimed at forcing Google and Facebook to pay Australian news sites for stories.... Under the Australian law, Facebook and Google would be required to negotiate “in good faith” with Australian news sites for licenses to link to their content—something they currently do for free. Nondiscrimination rules would require Google and Facebook to treat sites the same whether they have to pay a site for links or not. If negotiations broke down, the disputes would be settled by baseball-style arbitration, where each side puts an offer on the table and a neutral party decides which offer is more reasonable. In short, Facebook and Google will be required to pay Australian news sites when they send them traffic—and the Internet titans are not allowed to stop linking to Australian news sites to avoid paying.