Where's The News, Mate?

Some big developments from down under in the fight between the Australian government and Facebook / Google:

  • Google and News Corp (which owns outlets around the world, including the Wall Street Journal) struck a deal in which Google will pay News Corp for use of its articles.

  • Facebook, on the other hand, has taken a more aggressive tack, and will no longer allow links to Australian news websites to be shared on its platform globally.
What it means: Australian publishers can continue posting on Facebook, but those links and posts can't be viewed or share by users in Australia. Users outside Australia will also not be able to share Australian news.

Why it happened: Facebook said they had no option but to keep news content off their Australian service because of a law proposed by the Australian parliament that would force tech platforms to pay publishers for their news.

  • But there's a bit more to it than that: Facebook has much less to lose than Google by keeping news off their platform.

  • Facebook can easily remove news articles from feeds without cutting off service, whereas Google would have to stop Australians from using its search engine altogether (something it threatened do).
The Canadian connection: The Federal government is looking at Australia's experience closely as they contemplate their own regulations. So if you love to share news on Facebook, you might want to fill your boots now.