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Australian News

Facebook, Google should not be allowed to evade news laws, Australian media argues


Facebook and Google must be forced to pay Australian media organisations for using their content so the industry can “survive,” according to an open letter issued by 10 major news firms today.

The warning, which comes just weeks before the Australian parliament is expected to debate the laws drafted by Australia’s competition watchdog, also hit back at widely publicised claims from Google that the laws would give media companies “special treatment,” and set out a list of conditions they considered necessary to prevent tech giants evading the new rules.

Facebook has already threatened to remove all news stories from being seen by millions of Australian users to avoid paying for news, while Google Australia vice-president Mel Silva said the company was willing “to help support the news industry” but only if big changes were made to the proposed laws.

In the open letter, signed by executives from organisations Nine, Seven West Media, The Guardian, News Corp, Channel 10 and Commercial Radio Australia, the groups said global tech firms were making money from content produced by Australian organisations but “the financial ledger in producing the content is currently very one-sided”.

“Australians can search for news on Google and share stories with their family and friends on Facebook and Instagram partly because of investment by local news media businesses in quality journalism,” it read.

“Google and Facebook generate significant revenues by collecting data on those users and turning it around in highly targeted advertising. This makes news content hugely valuable for the digital platforms. Yet Google and Facebook do not currently pay Australian media companies for this valuable content.

“To survive, local news media businesses must be able to negotiate a fair contribution to the cost of creating content that directly contributes to significant local profits made by Google and Facebook.”

The group also called for the Government to protect four elements of the news code, ensuring it would cover all digital services from the companies, that they would provide information required for fair negotiations, that it would include final offer arbitration to limit delays, and that the code should protect Australian organisations being discriminated against to avoid paying for news.

Free TV chief executive officer Bridget Fair said a news media code had first been recommended by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in July last year after its 18-month investigation into digital platforms.

She said there had been delays, and many closures of Australian news media organisations since that time, as well as prominent campaigns against the proposed code from Google and Facebook.

“Since (the draft law was released), there’s been a lot of misinformation about what’s in the code and how it might impact various players,” Ms Fair said.

“We thought since now is the time for final consideration as media organisations we should come together and make a strong statement about what the key elements of the code must contain to achieve its stated purpose.”

The open letter, which will be sent to all Australian members of parliament, also states that the proposed laws will not require the tech firms to “provide any additional user data to media companies” and will not “require special treatment for news media businesses” — a claim Google promoted to its YouTube video creators worldwide, saying they could “earn less” as a result.

In a blog post last week, Ms Silva said Google still had “serious concerns about the way the draft legislation is framed,” and wanted to see changes to financial negotiation and for the laws to put a price on web traffic Google sent to media organisations.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the code would be introduced to parliament before the end of the year.



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Business

Facebook apologises for misleading advertisers


Facebook fed inaccurate information to local advertisers for more than a year and is being forced to repay them, casting further doubt over the accuracy of the way the US tech platform collects data.

The tech giant, which has been criticised several times in the last few years over the reliability of its data, is giving free “credits” to multiple local advertisers after it realised it was miscalculating metrics such as the amount of people clicking on an ad on Facebook’s app or how much users prefer one advertiser over another.

Facebook informed advertisers last week it had miscalculated data.

Facebook informed advertisers last week it had miscalculated data.Credit:AP

Industry sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Facebook had apologised to some advertisers and media buying agencies in Australia. The advertisers are being offered one-off make-goods – the opportunity to advertise for free – if they were significantly affected. A Facebook spokeswoman claimed it had affected 0.1 per cent of the local advertising market, but multiple industry sources said that a number of companies across large advertising agencies were affected. The scale of impact is dependent on what the tool was used for.

The inaccurate data was provided to advertisers through a free “conversion lift tool”. The tool helps users understand the effectiveness of their advertisements and some may adjust spend based on the data provided. The global tech giant told affected advertisers the metric was undercounted between August 15, 2019 and August 31, 2020, citing a code error for the mistake.



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Australian News

Pete Evans quits Facebook after controversial posts, I’m a Celebrity dumping


Love him or hate him, you won’t be seeing him on your Facebook feed anymore.

Controversial celebrity chef turned conspiracy theorist Pete Evans has announced he is quitting the social media platform and the nearly 1.5 million followers he has amassed.

It comes after the television star made headlines this week for sharing a neo-Nazi cartoon.

Before that he’d claimed people were not spreaders of the deadly coronavirus, sparking an outpouring of criticism.

It all resulted in Evans being dumped by his publisher, with people boycotting brands he was associated with, and Channel 10 axing him from a potential appearance on I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! after the savage social media backlash he received.

Evans announced Friday afternoon that it was time say goodbye to Facebook.

RELATED: Pete Evans’ Nazi scandal could cost him ‘millions’

“Thank you all for sharing your stories of beautiful health transformations and for giving me a bloody good laugh and cry along the way,” he said.

“Get your popcorn out as this is not the end, however, just a beautiful new transition into a space of love, education, knowledge and not being censored ever again,” he added, telling people to subscribe to his personal platforms and newsletter.

“You are all welcome to explore and connect. We have so much in store for 2021 that will continue the evolution of long term sustainable health for humanity and the planet.”

He also plugged his Byron Bay health retreat opening in February.

“Peace and love to all,” he finished, with several emojis.

Fans flooded his post with messages of support, devastated to see him go.

It was hard to find a negative reaction, perhaps because as one commenter who slipped through pointed out, “And still deletes the negative comments in his final hours. Classic.”

Another person wrote, “Used to be Pete Evans fan. Not anymore, bye.”

One person joked, “I hope that when the mothership returns to beam you up, you don’t bump your head on the hatch door.”

RELATED: From beloved TV chef to being dumped from I’m a Celebrity

Earlier this week Evans uploaded a video to his Facebook where he denied knowing what the neo-Nazi symbol meant, despite a comment on his original post indicating he did.

“Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any more bizarre, the mainstream media have come out and labelled me a racist and a neo-Nazi,” he said.

“The fact that I actually had to Google what neo-Nazi meant is pretty telling. So I just want to tell you this once and one time only, it is completely untrue, unfactual and a load of garbage. Anybody that knows me knows that I stand for long-term, sustainable health for all humanity.”

A few years ago, Evans was one of Australia’s most bankable foodies, helping reel in hundreds of thousands of viewers on reality juggernaut My Kitchen Rules.

But today his reputation is in tatters after a series of spectacular scandals not only derailed his career, but also cost him a fortune in cancelled TV appearances and future advertising deals.



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Local News - Victoria

Removing false political ads could be undemocratic: Facebook official


Josh Machin, Facebook Australia’s head of public policy, said the reforms could pose the “potential risk of disproportionate censoring of political debate”.

“We have seen examples of political ads in Australia where … people don’t necessarily make a claim that is verifiable. It’s not possible to say whether it is true or false but they may be expressing an opinion or they may be posing a question,” he said.

“I think there is some debate about whether the best public policy outcome is to remove content that makes a false claim in a political ad or whether it should be made available to encourage scrutiny, debate and accountability.

“In a democracy, the general principle is to encourage debate and discussion … of the claims that people make and to only remove particular claims or pieces of content if they are inherently harmful.”

Mr Machin, who said Facebook had invested significant resources on election integrity measures in recent years, said any truth in advertising laws in Victoria should not establish an onus on Facebook to determine whether the claims expressed in an ad were true.

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“Facebook doesn’t want to be the arbiter of truth when it comes to claims by political actors,” he said.

“Not just because of some of the practical difficulties there, but because we do question whether that would be a good outcome for democracy in Australia for a privately owned US company to have that level of power in a political debate.”

Mr Machin suggested an independent decision-maker could police the advertising laws. He said there would need to be avenues for appeal to ensure governments did not abuse the scheme.

In South Australia, where similar laws have existed since 1985, the electoral commissioner adjudicates on whether ads make false claims. The Victorian Electoral Commissioner told the inquiry on Tuesday he did not want the VEC policing any such laws.

The state Labor Party, Victoria’s peak union body and the Centre for Public Integrity have welcomed truth laws being examined. Radio and TV industry bodies are less enthusiastic and say political parties, not broadcasters, should be liable for misleading advertisements. The Liberal Party cautioned against the laws.

The ACT government this year banned false political advertising. Politicians in the territory were motivated by two recent federal election issues – Labor’s “Mediscare” campaign and the Coalition’s “death tax” warning – that are widely accepted to be untrue or, at best, misleading.

The committee, chaired by Labor MP Lee Tarlamis, may recommend in a report to the government that laws to ban misleading advertising in Victoria be drafted. Draft laws have not yet been proposed.

Mr Machin said Facebook had established a library of political advertisements in Australia that logged each political ad, who authorised it and how much it cost. The recent Queensland election was the first election where the library had been accessible.

“We believe that more needs to be done,” he said, flagging the introduction of additional integrity measures before the 2022 Victorian election.

“We do see election integrity as a continuing challenge … and we have an ongoing commitment in this are.”

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Immigration Minister Alan Tudge apologises for affair with staffer on Facebook


After confessing to an extramarital affair he describes as the biggest mistake of his life, Immigration Minister Alan Tudge has issued a mea culpa on Facebook where he pleaded with voters to forgive him.

Sending a clear signal he plans to contest the next election, Mr Tudge has issued his most comprehensive apology to date on the relationship that he confirms destroyed his 20-year relationship with his ex-wife Terri.

“All of us make mistakes in life, but some of us make bigger ones than others,’’ Mr Tudge wrote at close to midnight on Saturday night.

“I made a huge one in 2017, hurt many in the process, and this week it was held up in lights nationally.”

In his plea for forgiveness, Mr Tudge also chose to highlight the fact that his ex-lover, former senior press secretary Rachelle Miller, was a mother.

“My mistake was an affair with a married woman with children,’’ he said.

“I was a married man. And she was my most senior media person. A minister and his or her media adviser work closely together, particularly at the national level. You are constantly on the road, travelling from one location to the other, working long hours and often under pressure.”

Mr Tudge’s previous comment on the national furore was previously restricted to a statement of three sentences after the Four Corners program was broadcast on Monday night.

RELATED: Melbourne scores major vaccine coup

In that statement, he confirmed the affair, described his sexual relationship with a staff member in his office who reported directly to him as matter in his “personal life” and said he regretted his actions and the hurt it caused in his family and to Ms Miller.

But his new statement makes no mention of the bullying complaint Ms Miller has lodged with the Department of Finance or an alleged “fake redundancy” process to quietly get rid of her six months later in another minister’s office.

As revealed by the ABC’s Four Corners program, she confirms she entered into a consensual relationship with the Immigration Minister when he held the human services portfolio, but also felt bullied in the office and that her work performance was questioned as a result of the fallout from the affair.

She makes no claim of sexual harassment in the claim but says she did feel bullied and intimidated at times in the office.

At one point, Ms Miller told Mr Tudge that his behaviour was “not OK”; that she was stressed, anxious and sometimes reduced to tears.

“The next morning he was in the Canberra office I decided to speak up and let him know this was not appropriate behaviour and that I wanted it to stop. He replied in a very angry tone to: ‘Stop being such a precious petal’. This is when I decided to seek another role,” she said.

“Alan would contact me and text me at all times of the day and night and expect that I would immediately respond,” she said.

In his new statement, Mr Tudge said he accepted the blame for allowing the relationship to move from a professional one to a romantic affair.

“In this situation, the error was mine and I take responsibility,’’ Mr Tudge said.

“There is nothing that justifies what I did and I will regret my actions for the rest of my life.” The Victorian MP also said he felt deep regret for the impact on his wife and children.

“The affair ended my 20 year relationship with my wife, a beautiful person. We separated in late 2017 but remain close. I will never be able to say sorry to her enough for the hurt I caused,’’ Mr Tudge said.

RELATED: ‘Insanity’: Rift destroying Aussie politics

“I also regret the impact the affair had on my media adviser’s family and the hurt they too would have felt.

“Time heals a lot of wounds, but this week, those wounds were again reopened, three years later.

“I am sorry to put my family through this again.”

Mr Tudge said he was working to become a better person after the marriage breakdown and repair his relationships.

“Over the last three years, I have done a lot of reflection, much grieving over our family breakdown, and have worked to be a better person,’’ he said.

“To my community, the Knox locals who have repeatedly put their confidence in me as their representative, I have also let you down and I am sorry. But I commit to continuing to work as hard as ever on the things our local community needs to make it an even better place to live.”

“Over time, I hope to regain the trust of those I know and love and those whom I represent.”



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Business

Government mulls weaker tech giant rules amid fierce Google, Facebook lobbying


Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the government was continuing to consult on the draft code, but would not comment on whether it was considering changing the proposed bargaining process.

“The government remains committed to implementing a code that addresses the bargaining power imbalances identified by the ACCC and ensures a sustainable news media sector,” Mr Frydenberg said in a statement.

News Corp was approached for comment.

Any move by the government to water down the code will upset media companies such as News Corp and Nine Entertainment Co, which argue the digital giants have excess market power and profit unfairly from their news content. Nine is the publisher of this masthead.

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Google has been asking for a “two-way value exchange” for months while Facebook has hired long-time friends of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Scott Briggs and David Gazzard, to lobby for changes on its behalf.

In response to the draft code, Facebook has threatened to ban Australians from sharing news content on its platforms if the draft code is legislated, while Google has warned media companies and the government that it will leave Australia altogether.

Such a change, if adopted, would fundamentally alter the negotiating process and has the potential to significantly affect how much money publishers receive for the use of their articles on the platforms.

ACCC chair Rod Sims last month handed his final policy advice on the code to the government, and the Treasury is now working with the parliamentary drafting office to finalise the wording of the code. A bill to legislate the code will be introduced before the end of the year.

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Mr Sims has remained tight-lipped about the specifics of his policy advice, but he has stressed the draft code will change following consultation with the digital giants and news outlets. In comments last month he left open the door to the code’s “final offer” arbitration process being wound back.

“All I can say at the moment is some form of arbitration is important, but I can’t foreshadow what’s going to happen beyond that,” Mr Sims said in October.

Under the draft code, the tech giants have three months to broker a deal with news organisations before they are forced to enter a binding “final offer” process, at which point an arbitrator will choose one of the parties’ proposals.

In a briefing note used to lobby MPs and Senators, Google objected to the final offer process as “completely unreasonable and unprecedented”, and argued the code was “silent” on the value the tech giant provides to news organisations.

“The arbitration model set by the draft code is so one-sided as to effectively prescribe the transfer of revenue from Google to Australian news businesses registered under the code without any recognition of the benefit news businesses derive from Google or Google’s costs,” the document said.

Google claims it directed more than three billion visits to Australian news publishers in 2018, worth about $218 million.

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Facebook, Google ‘likely’ to ban news in Australia, study warns


Disinformation would “run rampant” in Australia and “worsen an already questionable information environment” if Facebook followed through with its threat to ban all news from its social network, new research warned today (Monday).

But the “Tech-xit” report from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology also predicted Facebook and Google were “likely” to remove news stories from their platforms in Australia if they didn’t get the outcomes they wanted from the upcoming news bargaining code, which was designed to make the tech giants reimburse local publishers for the news they used.

The report comes shortly before the Federal Government is expected to release a final version of the code, developed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, that could set a worldwide precedent.

The study, subtitled “Can Australia survive without Google and Facebook,” was based on analysis of similar attempts to make tech firms pay for news overseas, and consultation with a group of industry experts, including business leaders, strategists, tech employees and academics.

It found Facebook was likely to follow through with threats to remove all news stories from its social network in Australia, with the impact proving “very significant”.

“The biggest concern with removing news on Facebook is that it would worsen an already questionable information environment,” the report read.

“Mis/disinformation would run rampant and wouldn’t have the balance of accurate news to counter it.”

The report also found that small publishers and digital-only publications would be “negatively impacted” by Facebook’s move, and it was “unclear” whether the 30 per cent of Australians who currently used Facebook as their main source of news would find a reputable outlet to replace it.

Facebook revealed plans to remove all news stories from its Australian arm in September, with managing director Will Easton spelling out a plan it said was “not our first choice” but its last.

“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,” he said.

The new report also found Google was “likely” to withdraw or curtail news on its platform after the news code was introduced, but predicted while it would cause “some disruption at first,” news audiences would eventually seek out publishers directly, as they had done when faced with a similar challenge in Spain.

Google has not directly threatened to remove news stories from its platform in Australia, but managing director Mel Silva told users the proposed laws “would put the free services you use at risk in Australia”.

Neither Google nor Facebook were expected to pull advertising or products out of the Australian market, the study found, though the move would be “very disruptive” to small business.

The report recommended the Federal Government “accelerate” a stronger consumer data privacy act, limit the government’s reliance on a single technology firm, and even consider using the ABC to host “a national social platform”.

Centre for Responsible Technology director Peter Lewis said Australians should prepare themselves to live without the multibillion-dollar firms.

“This analysis shows that two global corporations that play a dominant role in our civic and commercial institutions are prepared to threaten to withdraw those services to protect their own commercial self-interest,” Mr Lewis said.

“Whether or not they make good on their threats, it is incumbent on all Australians to ensure we are not in a position where we are held hostage to their commercial interests.”

Swinburne University social media senior lecturer Dr Belinda Barnet said Australians should also consider the sources of their news, as both platforms could become more unreliable without verified, fact-checked content.

“We could be finding ourselves in a situation where your average Australian can find a conspiracy theory from something like QAnon easier than a current, factual news source,” she said.

“That’s not just a threat to our democracy, it’s arguably a threat to our health.”



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Australian News

Facebook threatens to ban all news stories in Australia if it has to pay for news


Social media giant Facebook is threatening to remove all news content from its platform in Australia and will not even allow users to post stories for friends in a bid to avoid paying for the news it uses.

The threat follows moves by Australia’s competition watchdog to force tech giants Facebook and Google to compensate Australian media outlets for the use of their content — a move that would set a worldwide precedent and one that Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said would establish a “more level playing field”.

Facebook issued its extreme reaction to the move this morning, with Australia and New Zealand managing director Will Easton saying it would ban all news content from being seen by Australian users if the news code was introduced.

“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,” he said in a statement.

“This is not our first choice — it is our last. But it is the only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic and will hurt, not help, the long-term vibrancy of Australia’s news and media sector.”

Mr Easton said Facebook objected most strongly to the “perplexing” argument that Facebook should “pay news organisations for content” while ignoring “the financial value we bring publishers”.

The multibillion-dollar tech giant also reiterated its earlier argument that news was not a big money-spinner for the platform.

“The ACCC presumes that Facebook benefits most in its relationship with publishers, when in fact the reverse is true,” he said.

“News represents a fraction of what people see in their News Feed and is not a significant source of revenue for us.”

The move follows an aggressive campaign by Google in Australia, which saw the trillion-dollar firm add warnings to its search page and pop-up messages on YouTube about the proposed law, claiming its free services would be put “at risk” in the country.

But ACCC chairman Rod Sims said the campaign contained “misinformation” as Google would not be required “to charge Australians for the use of its free services” under the draft law, or “share any additional user data”.

“The draft code will allow Australian news businesses to negotiate for fair payment for their journalists’ work that is included on Google services,” he said.

“This will address a significant bargaining power imbalance between Australian news media businesses and Google and Facebook.”

Swinburne University social media senior lecturer Dr Belinda Barnet said Facebook’s threat could have a “significant impact on their traffic in Australia” and was akin to “cutting off their nose to spite their face”.

“People will not be able to discuss what’s happening in the world and in their own country under this change,” she said.

“More importantly, this will impact Facebook’s own business.

“They have enormous reach in Australia for news — much more than any other platform — so they’re shutting down a sizeable chunk of their own business in terms of extracting data about users’ preferences and advertising revenue from that eyeball time.”

Dr Barnet said the move was Facebook’s “trump card” and a clear effort to avoid having to pay for the news it used both in Australia and other countries.

“Obviously, the stakes are high for Facebook,” she said.

“If Australia succeeds at getting Facebook to pay for news content, the global precedent will be set and other countries will look on.”

More to come.

Q&A: AUSSIE NEWS AND THE TECH GIANTS

Why does the ACCC say tech giants should pay for the news they use?

In a comprehensive, 18-month probe into digital platforms, Australia’s competition watchdog found Facebook and Google were “benefiting from a significant imbalance in bargaining power in their commercial negotiations with Australian news media businesses”.

Both companies had become “unavoidable trading partners” for Australian media organisations but did not share the revenue generated from using content created and funded by the publishers.

Why is the Australian Government taking this action?

The ACCC said that “news provides broad benefits to society beyond those individuals who consume it, but Australian news businesses risked being “undermined” by unfair commercial arrangements with online platforms and could be forced out of business.

Many Australian media outlets have already been forced to close during 2020, including 10Daily, BuzzFeed Australia, eight magazines from Bauer Media, and 36 regional and community News Corp newspapers.

Who will pay for using news under this scheme?

The Digital Platforms Inquiry named Facebook and Google as the companies to pay for Australian news content, though said the scheme could be extended to other digital platforms in future as “digital platform and news media industries continue to evolve”.

How many people see news stories from Australian publishers on Facebook and Google?

The ACCC found 32 per cent of readers visited Australian news websites through Google, and 18 per cent visited via Facebook in the 2017-2018 financial year.

Google’s influence was more pronounced for print and online outlets (34 per cent), while Facebook played a bigger role for TV and radio broadcasters (20 and 55 per cent respectively).

What Australian news organisations could be paid for their work under this bargaining code?

The ACCC has included a broad range of businesses in the code, including print, online-only, TV and radio outlets.

This will include both commercial organisations such as Nine Entertainment, Seven West Media, and News Corp which could receive funds from Google. Government-funded organisations ABC and SBS will benefit from other parts of the scheme, including more information about algorithm changes.

Do tech giants pay for news in other countries?

Not often.

Facebook has ardently rejected calls to pay for news stories published on its platform, though last year revealed plans to introduce a “news” tab to its service. It promised to pay about 200 US publishers for content under the scheme, which has yet to launch.

Google last month announced it was negotiating with a small group of publishers in Australia, Brazil and Germany to pay for premium news content. The move, one month before the ACCC’s announcement, was criticised as a way to avoid new laws.

In April, France’s competition watchdog ordered Google to negotiate with local publishers on ways to pay for their content.

And, in 2014, the Spanish government changed copyright laws to force Google to pay for the snippets of stories published on its platform. Google responded by removing Spanish outlets from its news sites worldwide.

What else would the news bargaining code do?

The ACCC says tech giants should also prioritise original news content on their platforms to reward publishers and ensure users have access to accurate information, give Australian news organisations advance notice of “significant algorithm changes” affecting their content, and provide some information about users who access their content.



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Business

ACCC demands Google and Facebook share spoils with Australian media


It isn’t the first time the ACCC has bowled it up to the big platform players, Google and Facebook, so it must understand how hard they will fight back.

Taming these giants who boast revenues that are larger than the output of entire economies won’t be easy.

Already countries outside Australia including France and Spain have tried unsuccessfully to protect local publishers from Google and Facebook leaching revenue from media content creators.

But the platforms have prevailed in what has been a jurisdictional game of Whack-A-Mole.

Only hours after the release of the draft code Google took its first swing at the Government, accusing it of using, ‘heavy handed intervention (that) threatens to impede Australia’s digital economy and impacts the services we can deliver to Australians’.

The possibility Google and Facebook will turn to the courts to overturn legislation is not hard to envisage.

In a commercial sense the impact of the code on Google and Facebook is minor. But the digital giants can’t afford to have other countries follow Australia.

The large question that remains unanswered is how much money the news media can hope to capture from the digital platforms.

At its heart the ACCC code is pretty simple. News media publishers can negotiate either together or separately with Google and Facebook to determine what is, in effect, a yearly tolling fee based on the revenue the platforms derive from the content produced and funded by news media.

Smaller media players will be able to negotiate as a pack and the larger ones like Nine Entertainment and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation can slug out with Google and Facebook independently.

It is a win for all news media content creators but it is worth noting that the government has chosen the architecture of the code that was pushed by News Corporation – a decision considered to be a nod to Murdoch’s influence and political leanings.

If the two parties (the news media and the platform) can’t agree an arbitrator decides which party wins. And it is binary – the arbitrator doesn’t pick a point between the two parties’ claims, rather he or she decides which one is more reasonable. This was designed to discourage wilder ambit claims and bring the two sides closer to commercial reality.

The ACCC code will also prescribe minimum non-negotiable standards governing non-payment related issues between the platforms and news media businesses. For example digital platforms are required to give news media businesses 28 days’ notice of algorithm changes likely to materially affect referral traffic to news, algorithm changes designed to affect ranking of news behind paywalls, and substantial changes to the display and presentation of news, and advertising directly associated with news.

Google won't want the new code in Australia to set an international precedent

Google won’t want the new code in Australia to set an international precedentCredit:Peter Riches

The ACCC has been thorough in its attempts to close any of the gates, and include tripwires to catch digital players attempting to avoid compensating news media outlets.

For example, the platforms can’t discriminate in favour of media organisations that don’t participate in the code or against those that do. The platforms will not be able to push news from international providers ahead of Australian players or artificially lower the ranking of a news media business’s content in search results or a social media feed.

The large question that remains unanswered is how much money the news media can hope to capture from the digital platforms.

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In recent dispatches Google has claimed it makes only $10 million a year in advertising revenue from Australian media stories, an amount that the ACCC’s chairman Rod Sims says takes no account of the broader appeal and traffic that local news brings to the Google site.

At the other end of the spectrum, News Corporation Australasia’s executive chairman Michael Miller says the platforms should pay the media $1 billion a year. Nine’s chairman, Peter Costello nominated a more conservative figure of $600 million.

Meanwhile, a breach of the code has the potential to attract a penalty of up to 10 per cent of revenue. The combined revenue of Google and Facebook in Australia is estimated at around $6 billion. In other words, multiple breaches could get very expensive.

The potential for News Corp and Nine to receive a platform-derived injection of revenue didn’t excite the market on Friday, with the media companies share prices down about 1.9 per cent and 3.9 per cent respectively on Friday.

The code won’t have any impact on Google and Facebook’s shares either, at least in the short term. Unless and until other, bigger countries follow Australia’s lead.

“We would expect Google and Facebook to navigate this process very carefully, given the direct financial impact and – perhaps more importantly – the potential global precedent” Macquarie’s media analyst said in a note to investors.

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Facebook: Vereine in der Social-Media-Tabelle



Viele Vereine nutzen Facebook, um Fans zu informieren. Die Volksstimme hat sich die Facebookseiten der Vereine auf Landesebene angeschaut.

Altmarkkreis l Der größte Verein des Kreises, Eintracht Salzwedel und Verbandsliga-Aufsteiger SSV 80 haben die meisten „Gefällt mir“-Angaben auf ihren Seiten.






SSV Gardelegen führt Ranking an

Der SSV 80 Gardelegen führt das Facebook-Ranking mit 1422 Followern an. Natürlich könnte man ja nun behaupten, dass es logisch ist, dass der ranghöchste Verein der Westaltmark – Verbandsligist ab kommender Saison – die meisten „Gefällt mir“-Angaben besitzt. Doch die Medaille hat wie immer zwei Seiten. Denn der SSV 80 Gardelegen tut auch eine Menge dafür.






Die Abteilung Fußball ist nicht nur bei Facebook, sondern auch bei Instagram aktiv. Weil der Verein (noch) keine eigene Homepage besitzt, nutzt er vor allem die sozialen Medien, um alle Sympathisanten, Sponsoren und Fans zu informieren. Sowohl bei Facebook und auch bei Instagram besitzt der SSV eine schöne und bunte Seite. Es sind nicht nur die alltäglichen Informationen, die den Fußball beinhalten, sondern auch viele Dinge drum herum, die mit Fotos und Videos untermalt werden.

Bilder






SSV-Auftritt mit vielen Infos

Auch während der Corona-Zeit, in der es aus sportlicher Sicht nur wenig zu berichten gab, verstanden es die Betreiber der beiden Seiten, diese mit Leben zu füllen. So gab es zuletzt unter anderem einen Aufruf zum Probetraining für G-Junioren, Meldungen der Lokalzeitungen wurden geteilt, vereinsinterne Geburtstagsgrüße wurden vermeldet, Meldungen zum Saisonabbruch wurden vom Fußballverband Sachsen-Anhalt geteilt, Fan-Masken zur Unterstützung des Vereins wurden angeboten.





Hinzu kamen ein Video-Rückblick auf den damaligen-Landesliga-Aufstieg in Liesten, Zeitungsartikel aus der Rubrik „damals war‘s“ wurden gepostet, frohe Ostern wurde gewünscht und ein „WirbleibenzuHause“-Videozusammenschnitt wurde erstellt. Damit kann man insgesamt zurecht behaupten, dass das Betreiben einer Seite im Alleingang viel Zeit und Arbeit kostet. Verteilt man die Aufgaben – wie beim SSV 80 Gardelegen – auf verschiedene Schultern, kann sich das Endergebnis sehr wohl sehen lassen.






SSV verteilt die Social Media-Aufgaben

Kay Schernikau, Juniorentrainer beim SSV 80 Gardelegen, erklärt: „Wir haben die Social-Media-Aufgaben auf mehrere Schultern verteilt. Zu diesem Team gehören neben mir noch Jens Bombach, Michael Damke, Thorsten Ebeling und Daniel Burkardt. Wenn man so will, haben wir Facebook für die älteren und Instagram für die jüngeren Jahrgänge. Während sich Herr Ebeling und Herr Damke vor allem um den Ergebnisdienst kümmern, sind Herr Bombach, Herr Burkardt und ich für den Rest da. Das umfasst neben der Kreativ-Abteilung wie Fotos und Videos, natürlich auch die Geburtstage und Informationen aus dem Archiv. Letztlich muss man sagen, dass man dies alleine auch in der Form nicht schaffen kann. Wir bekommen die Infos aus den Gruppen und posten diese dann bei Facebook und Instagram. Wir versuchen dabei, die Leute mitzunehmen und testen uns dabei natürlich aus. Manche Dinge wie Live-Videos gehen gut und manche Sachen eben nicht. Dazu haben wir natürlich auch die große Videokamera, die es uns ermöglicht alle Spiele live und in voller Länge zu übertragen.“






SV Eintracht hat zweitgrößte Reichweite

Der SV Eintracht Salzwedel findet sich mit seinen 1177 Followern auf Platz zwei im Ranking wieder. Wie beim SSV 80 Gardelegen versteckt sich hinter der Facebook-Seite viel Herzblut und Arbeit. Zwar agierten der SSV und die Eintracht bei den sozialen Medien lange Zeit auf Augenhöhe. Allerdings musste man relativ schnell einsehen, dass der Aufwand, eine Seite zu betreiben, nur die halbe Miete ist. Die anderen Hälfte ist natürlich der sportliche Erfolg des Vereins und in dieser Beziehung überragt der SSV aktuell nicht nur die gesamte Westaltmark.






Die Salzwedeler besitzen ebenfalls eine lebendige Seite mit vielen Informationen in Bezug auf den sportlichen Bereich. Zudem arbeitet man auf dieser Seite mit vielen Bildern. Allerdings muss man auf der anderen Seite auch sagen, dass man Videos oder sonstige zwischenmenschliche Inhalte kaum auf dieser Seite findet. Während der Corona-Zeit wurde die Facebook-Seite nur noch sporadisch geführt. Es wurde erwähnt, dass die erste Herrenmannschaft das Training wieder aufgenommen hat, Meldungen zum Saisonabbruch vom Fußballverband Sachsen-Anhalt wurden geteilt, ein Aufruf der Fanszene Salzwedel: „Salzwedel hält zusammen“ wurde geteilt und ein frohes Osterfest wurde gewünscht.






Letztlich bleibt es dabei. Wenn sich mehrere Leute für eine Seite verantwortlich fühlen, wird nicht nur die Quantität und die Qualität größer. Es gibt durch die Zusammenarbeit natürlich auch viele Ideen, die umgesetzt werden können.






Mit 462 Followern findet sich der SV Liesten 22 in diesem Ranking auf dem Bronzerang wieder. Sportlich gesehen sind die 22er in dieser Saison nur hauchdünn am Landesliga-Aufstieg gescheitert. Doch der sportliche Erfolg der vergangenen acht Jahre reicht halt nicht immer aus, um viele Menschen zu erreichen.






Beetzendorf: Seite mit großem Angebot

Der SV Liesten besitzt ein Facebook-Seite und füllt diese Seite. Es gab vor der Corona-Krise immer Spieltagsankündigungen und eine Zusammenfassung des vergangenen Spiels. Während der Corona-Zeit beschränkten sich die Betreiber auf das Teilen der Meldungen der Lokalzeitungen oder der Meldungen zum Saisonabbruch vom Fußballverband Sachsen-Anhalt. Insgesamt findet man auf dieser Seite aber nur wenig Fotos oder Videos, die eine „Social-Media“-Seite natürlich mit Leben füllen.






Der MTV Beetzendorf steht aktuell bei 358 Followern und verkauft sich damit etwas unter Wert. Wie beim SSV 80 Gardelegen wurde die Arbeit auch hier auf verschiedene Schultern verteilt. So arbeiten die Betreiber mit einigen Fotos und auch Videos. Der Vorteil liegt darin, dass der MTV seine Spiele filmt. So entsteht natürlich zum einen der Selbstzweck, dass man die eigenen Fehler in der Nachbetrachtung visuell ansprechen kann. Der andere Vorteil ist ganz klar der Zusammenschnitt von Highlights, die ebenfalls bei Facebook gepostet werden.






Ansonsten finden Besucher der Seite viele Informationen zum Ergebnisdienst. Während der Corona-Zeit war die Seite ebenfalls sehr aktiv. Wie auf fast allen Seiten, gab es auch hier Meldungen der Lokalzeitungen und Meldungen zum Saisonabbruch vom Fußballverband Sachsen-Anhalt zu sehen. Allerdings gab es hier zusätzlich Videozusammenschnitte aus der Vergangenheit und weitere Erinnerungen der Abteilung zu sehen. Solche Meldungen runden so eine Seite immer ab, weil es ja durchaus schön sein kann, auf zurückliegende Erfolge zu blicken.






Michael Banse, Trainer der ersten Herren des MTV 1880 Beetzendorf, sagt: „Die Facebook-Seite ist bei uns ganz einfach gehalten. Hauptsächlich machen Fabian Panhey und ich das. Wir investieren auch nicht so viel Zeit in die Seite, vielleicht ein bis zwei Stunden. Dennis Panhey, der Bruder von Fabian, filmt den Großteil unserer Spiele, so dass wir in Zusammenarbeit mit Fupa die Möglichkeit haben, die Highlights der Spiele auf der Seite zu posten. Während der Corona-Zeit haben wir die Zeit genutzt und viele Rückblicke online gestellt.“






Letzter Letzlingen-Post schon im Februar

Auf Platz fünf findet sich der FSV Heide Letzlingen mit 277 Likes wieder. Der Grund hierfür liegt auf der Hand. Während die Letzlinger in der Vergangenheit sportlich gut unterwegs waren und sogar nochmal in der Landesliga aktiv waren, lässt die Öffentlichkeitsarbeit in den sozialen Medien etwas zu wünschen übrig.






Seit Anfang Februar gab es auf dieser Seite keine Meldung. Über den Winter versuchten die Betreiber die Seite etwas mit Leben zu füllen, doch insgesamt findet man nur wöchentlich ein Veranstaltungsbild. Das ist mehr Arbeit notwendig, wenn man seine Reichweite vergrößern und mehr Menschen ansprechen möchte.










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