The Australian Government, altruists all, were worried about the decline of local and national newspapers, and decided to slap a tax upon the social media giants, such as Facebook and Google. On Thursday morning Facebook began preventing Australian news sites from posting, while also stopping Australian users from sharing or viewing content from any news outlets, both Australian and international. The social media giant said it made the decision in response to the news media bargaining code currently before the Senate, which would force Facebook and Google to negotiate with news companies for payment for content.
Facebook chopped everything from access to its pages, from state health departments, including SA Health and Queensland Health, who were unable to post; to 1800 Respect, Mission Australia, Hobart Women’s Shelter, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, Australian Wildlife Conservancy and a number of other charities were also blocked on Thursday.
Facebook’s top brass are now all running around, pointing fingers and shouting “It Wasn’t Me, Guvnor!’ It seems as though they forgot that a great many ‘little guys’ depended upon the giant’s pages to get the word out, forgetting that Facebook ain’t interested in ‘the little guys’, all they are really interested in is selling adverts, and making a stonking profit while doing so.
Google, on the other hand, saw immediately the way the wind was blowing, and signed a deal with Murdoch. Although Google had threatened to withdraw its search engine from Australia if the code went ahead, in the past week, Google has signed agreements with some of Australia’s biggest publishers, including News Corp, Nine Entertainment and Seven West Media, for payment for its News Showcase product. The Nine deal is reportedly worth $30m a year.