Government’s media law spectacularly backfires with Facebook ban on sharing to cripple Aussie businesses

In 2020, most businesses have their social media profile sorted, regularly posting to their followers who happily share their content to friends, family and contacts for free. Overnight Facebook...

In 2020, most businesses have their social media profile sorted, regularly posting to their followers who happily share their content to friends, family and contacts for free.

Overnight Facebook provided an update to their response to the Australian Government’s proposed media laws. These new laws would see international companies (who also have deep pockets) be charged for distributing legacy media’s content in Australia.

Obviously not keen to endorse that crazy plan, Facebook response details their arguments against the proposed legislation (aka money grab), Facebook is suggesting their course of action would be to disable sharing for Australians.

Assuming this draft code becomes law, we will reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news on Facebook and Instagram.

Yep, this is spectacularly backfiring on the Government.

If COVID19 wasn’t enough of a hit to businesses, then having Facebook pull sharing from Australia, would destroy social traffic to business websites overnight which accounts for a large percentage of website visitors.

News organisations in Australia and elsewhere choose to post news on Facebook for this precise reason, and they encourage readers to share news across social platforms to increase readership of their stories. This in turn allows them to sell more subscriptions and advertising. Over the first five months of 2020 we sent 2.3 billion clicks from Facebook’s News Feed back to Australian news websites at no charge – additional traffic worth an estimated $200 million AUD to Australian publishers. 

Facebook’s response follows a very aggressive response from Google (who also happen to have deep pockets) from earlier last month.

I encourage the Government to back away from this proposed legislation immediately. Australia is a capitalist economy and that means we’re all free to compete, if legacy media want to go build a social network or search engine, good luck, please delete your profiles from Facebook and Instagram and we’ll see how well you do with them.

Advertising has gone online and its time we dealt with that change instead of having the Government do your bidding for an out-of-date business model. The days of no accountability for advertisement spends are over. Broad, blanket marketing of billboards, newspaper ads, radio and even TV all pale insignificance when compared to digital ads that are hyper-targetted and offer end-to-end conversion data.

By the way, being a native online business since its inception more than 13 years ago, techAU would not be eligible for any income as a result of the new media legislation, however we will be impacted considerably if this Facebook and Instagram sharing ban proceeds.

Read the full post from Facebook here.

Categories
Social networks

Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.
6 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

  • Dee
    1 September 2020 at 2:00 pm

    I have no issue with Facebook or Google or anyone else no longer indexing or allowing “sharing” of Australia “newspaper” articles.

    Our newspapers these days are little more than a joke, there is almost no news any more, only soft, leftist, greenie, emotional “Womens Weekly” stories.

    I look forward to seeing actual Australian news as published by reliable foreign newspapers.

    Leave a Reply
  • Jacob
    1 September 2020 at 10:28 pm

    News media can stop google indexing their site easily with an edit of robots.txt but they dont because like every webmaster they want their site indexed so people can find them on a internet directory like google. To ask to be paid for your news snippet to be displayed on news.google.com is like me asking Yellow to pay me for listing my business; just about the stupidest suggestion ever and sure to be rejected, just list Google is rejecting this money grab.
    If Google does the logical thing and blocks news.google.com from aussie ip addresses I’ll have to use a vpn to access news.google.com which is like a major own goal for any website.

    Leave a Reply
  • moops
    1 September 2020 at 10:50 pm

    TechAu being an Australia publication, and earning over $150K per year – would be eligible to recieve payment from Facebook and Google. $150 is the ACCC’s bar to qualify as a new organisation, a really low bar if you ask me. It’d barely pay for a one person operation.
    So when a new organisation like TechAU seems to be against protecting their own interests and protecting the interests of “Big Data” – it really surprises me. I have a similar feeling when I see Americans protest against free Universal healthcare. A power group of self serving interests have funded campaigns of misinformation to ensure that their financial interests are protected. And here, a new organisation, appears to have not done what appears to be basic fact checking.

    The ACCC responded to Google by the way. I’m interested to read their response to Facebook too.

    Leave a Reply
    • moops
      1 September 2020 at 11:04 pm

      Oh, the ACCC did respond to Facebook. Here, have some free journalism, my work costs me nothing and is undeserving of payment.
      https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/statement-on-facebook

      By the way, the ACCC is making an “anti-trust law” – look up what that means, and see if Google’s “Open Letter” literally proves the power they yield to spread their (factually false) message, which the ACCC is trying to protect Australian’s from.
      You know your “consumer rights” come from the ACCC right? The ACCC are the good guys. They serve Australians like you and I. The ACCC is not the enemy.

      I’m going to unsubscribe from this site – TechAU’s sparse coverage of this topic, generally un-australian coverage of tech and what I consider to be unperceptive articles are not for me.

      Leave a Reply
  • elvis
    1 September 2020 at 10:51 pm

    Good to see someone calling the government on their idiot legislation. However get your terms right. capitalist economy, maybe you mean free market economy. And as to say anyone is free to compete, frankly that is bullshit. A monopoly is a monopoly whether it is Standard Oil or Google. Google and Facebook are taking monopoly profits and if you are advocating a free market economy then you should be thinking about breaking those giants up not enabling them.

    Leave a Reply
    • elvis
      1 September 2020 at 10:53 pm

      There are plenty of sites you can subscribe to to get decent news, if you want free news then you get what you pay for.

      Leave a Reply
    Jumping posts
    • I generally find shopping on Amazon to be a great experience, particularly as a Prime subscriber with many products delivered for free. Now it’s time for Black Friday deals,...
    • Like many retailers, JB Hi-Fi loves a good deal to draw in customers. As you’d expect they have comprehensive sales for Black Friday and are even opening stores till...
    • DJI is joining in the fun with discounts on many of their products for Black Friday. DJI has created a dedicated Holiday Minisite where you can browse for discounts,...
    • Today is officially Black Friday, the weekend in late November where online stores go crazy with discounts, where you can snap up a bargain, just in time for Christmas....

    Related Posts