This is patently false, the only evidence of backlash has been from reports in mass media, we were all loving the new newsless Facebook.
On this particular issue Facebook is clearly in the right, it is straight up insane to expect them to pay for links to news that users choose to share.
I only use facebook for extended family and friends of the family and noted a lot of people pissed off about not being able to share links.
The sad part is that it's not entirely unjustified. It's just in this instance Facebook was objectively not being the bad guy, yet there's enough mistrust in the population that it's easy to be told that they (facebook) were in the wrong.
There was already a lot of anti-facebook rhetoric here in Australia as a result of perceived left-wing bias and censorship on Facebook’s part during and after the US election. Anecdotally, I’ve noticed it’s basically the same type of people in both cases – uneducated right-wing anti-vax flat-earthers.
It works in both ways. Anectdotal evidence is not quite evidence.
"Going forward, the government has clarified [Facebook] will retain the ability to decide if news appears on Facebook so that [Facebook] won't automatically be subject to forced negotiation,"
so it looks like Facebook won in the game of chicken between them and the Australian government.
The news has no leverage, they want to shakedown FB for driving traffic to their own sites?
I'm glad FB told them to fuck off.
Meanwhile Google decided to pay Murdoch's extortion fee: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56101859
Google did the wrong thing.
Facebook is negotiating deals with media companies. The Australian government got what they wanted.
I hope FB’s offer is nothing.
Maybe FB will charge the media for the referral traffic that FB directs to them. That’d be where I’d start negotiations.
This isn’t what the Australia government wanted, they just realized that FB not showing news hurts the news more than it hurts FB.
That's a futile hope. It won't be nothing.
> This isn’t what the Australia government wanted
Yes it is.
> they just realized that FB not showing news hurts the news more than it hurts FB
No. Facebook has realized that they just strengthened the Australian government's resolve to introduce the legislation, that they increased support for the media bargaining code within Australia, and that they gained Australia the support of governments all over the world.
Facebook has successfully convinced governments that Facebook is a problem that needs to be solved. It was a massive own goal for Facebook. More governments will introduce similar legislation now.
Facebook gained one month's notice when a platform is designated under the code and two months more negotiation time when making a deal. That's all.
From my understanding of the situation, there was no game.
FB didn't give a shit about pulling news from Australia because it was a tiny proportion of their content.
The government/politicians were trying to strong arm FB into coughing up with zero leverage. It was insanely stupid.
Here's FB's post for context: https://about.fb.com/news/2021/02/changes-to-sharing-and-vie...
But on Facebook the news publishers voluntarily share their stories.
That’s the biggest difference in my opinion.
The distinction is really just a technicality of whether the ongoing relationship is push or pull.
Since Google stated it was prepared to share revenue from news.google back in June and now that is all that is happening, I'd say someone else blinked.
What an embarrassment.
I expect nothing less of this government.
Which countries are we talking about?
It seems far more likely to me that people in nearby developing countries will get their international news from locals who follow international news for professional reasons, which would be impacted not at all by whether Australian news links can be shown on Facebook.
In most pacific island, yes. In places like East Timor English it's not uncommon at all, news is also often shared via relatives who live abroad. Do you really think china doesn't have multiple news outlets written in English to promote their power abroad, just look at the South China morning Post.
>It seems far more likely to me that people in nearby developing countries will get their international news from locals who follow international news for professional reason
I'm confused why you would think that? A lot of these countries have specific phone plans which exclude Facebook data and they like a large amount of people get their news on social media.
Here's a few articles on the very subject 
> I'm confused why you would think that?
Simple; it's true everywhere. Most people do not care about international news; they do not ever seek it out.
Most news source I searched are reporting small (but logical) tweaks to the law, to the point that it seems Facebook largely conceded and then put out some face saving PR.
In practice the government has achieved their goal of both FB and Google paying for news content. Both have backed down. The total (industry wide) payments seem likely to reach about $200 million AUD.
Further the government’s legislation is going to pass with cross-party support.
Overall the government probably considers this a resounding success.
What doesn’t seem to be the case is that Facebook can discriminate against content from bargaining code participants (companies that ask for money for content).
It seems likely they’ll now follow Google’s path and strike individual deals ahead of the legislation.
It’s weird. They make this huge media circus for several days, then things change and nobody bothers to explain the new info that changed the situation.
ABC is reporting some small tweaks to the law (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-23/facebook-reverses-new...)
1. Introduction of a good faith mediation period prior to compulsory arbitration
2. Introduction of a clause requiring the treasurer to consider existing deals before applying the code.
Basically it seems like FB have agreed to pay media companies but with a stronger hand in negotiations.
This is why we have sayings like "what goes around comes around."
Business exists to serve humanity, not the other way around. Humans created it to serve human needs. Humans can exist without business. Business doesn't exist without humans.
Historically, the honey bee was revered as a symbol of a civilizing force and the force it symbolized was trade. Trade -- aka business -- is how you make the world better pragmatically. It operates on the idea that both sides gain something of value.
I don't know how or why, but we seem to have collectively forgotten that.
Related: given the new proposed Australian law, I would love to see Twitter use this against News Corp - a hell of a lot of their articles is just commentary on a few tweets (i.e the actual news source of the story). Twitter should start demanding payment from News Corp because they’re stealing their revenue.
How on earth did these two companies even agree to meet let alone completely roll over because they’ve now just let News Corp be part of their future CI/CD pipeline approval process?! :mindblown:
Mediation which will now include empirical data from the blackout.
Going dark has meant a bad news cycle for FB but in the long run they now have data to prove it’s FB driving NewsCorp’s revenue and not the other way around.
Facebook would be a lot less compelling without news.
People used to browse headlines on newspaper sites, then Facebook came and aggregated all the headlines, and "stole" all the visitors of the news sites.
Reporting on stories is a lot of effort (especially local stories where you can't just copy paste some press release), and Facebook wants to put the headlines on their website for free. Publishers should be happy about the exposure!
I understand that publishers are pissed. They are doing the work, but Facebook makes money from the content, and all they get in exchange is a small percentage of people who view a post actually click through to read the full story.
Yet everyone complains here (me included) that Facebook should go back to its roots, and offer news about your friends only
Facebook has basically become a news sharing platform, because that's how they keep people "engaged".
Most people just don't have enough relatives that they can browse baby photos all day. But there's an endless stream of news headlines...
If press barons instead want to leverage free news to gain power and influence then who cares if the cost of doing so in 2021 is much higher than in 1981?
So what if the emergence of Google et al indirectly pushed up the price of tabloid influence over democracy?
But that's exactly what they are trying to do? The news stories obviously have a value for Facebook, and the publishers are trying to get them to pay for it.
Radio stations also pay royalties to play music, why shouldn't websites have to pay royalties for content they show in their feeds?
I bet Google wishes they would have waited a bit longer before negotiating those agreements. It's nice that the government finally caved on the most egregious part of the legislation. Looking at the media response over the past few days has been absolutely shameful. Just about every piece out there completely glosses over the fact that the legislation originally outright forced Google and Facebook to pay and still host content even if a mutual agreement wasn't reached. It was a deal you can't say no to.... legally.
Facebook didn't bat an eye before blocking the pages of food banks and emergency service providers in the middle of a pandemic for an entire county, all in service of avoiding a drop in their advertising revenue . That should tell you a lot.
You might not like the proposed laws but Facebook's reckless conduct is indefensible.
If you compare this to Facebook's history in Myanmar, you will find that they have no issue with subsidising the spread of their platform while it is being used to incite a literal genocide . But they draw the line and take swift action when their profits are endangered.
If you're outraged that "Facebook did this in the middle of a pandemic", why not be at least as outraged at the government for trying to pass such a law "in the middle of a pandemic"?
Australia: We're going to draft a law that requires Facebook to do X or Y.
Facebook: If those are the options. we're going to do Y.
Australia: You're bluffing, you'd never dare to do Y. We're going to pass that law soon, and we're sure you'll do X instead.
Facebook: Ok, we'll start doing Y right now.
Australia: Outrageous! How dare you try to strongarm a democracy by doing Y.
>And the drafters of that law very intentionally made the definition of news content as vague and broad as possible, to maximize the damage and thus minimize the odds of Facebook actually doing it.
Did you get that narrative straight from FB's PR department?
No, FB obeyed the law. The legislation of what constitutes a "news organisation" is opaque. The legislation said pay for links or don't show them. FB complied with the law and elected not to show them. I cannot see the problem here - FB obeyed the law.
IT’S THE SUN WOT WON IT
We are merely spectators watching the giants fight it out, ironically, by following news media’s coverage of events.