Every Friday, I present a topic or question for our merry band of thinkers, leaders, and pirates to discuss in an open thread. Here is this week’s conversation starter:
Facebook is responding to an Australian proposal requiring internet companies to pay for news content to which the platforms link. The New York Times has a good write up of the issue and to three key perspectives on the debate.Question: Is Australia’s legislation a good idea? And is Facebook just following the rules, or is it “fighting fire with fire?”
Facebook is responding to an Australian proposal requiring internet companies to pay for news content to which the platforms link. The New York Times has a good write up of the issue and to three key perspectives on the debate.
Question: Is Australia’s legislation a good idea? And is Facebook just following the rules, or is it “fighting fire with fire?”
Two points come to mind, FB is acting childish and the Australians need to use a wider variety of media outlets for their news and information.
This legislation took away Facebook's ability to craft a narrative it believes is correct. Taking down the health and safety-focused pages is Facebook throwing a temper-tantrum because it isn't getting its way. Human Rights Watch, shame on you for being asleep, you should have seen this coming based on the FB's censorship in the US as a cautionary tale.
Australians, in fact, everyone else in the world, needs multiple sources for information. Using FB as a news source is like expecting reliable news from the neighborhood gossip.
Australia’s legislation is good as it brings much needed control to Facebook, which is one of the big social media companies that act as if they can just do whatever they want, no matter how it effects society.
Watching Facebook,Twitter, and Amazon censor any type of posts that speak to Conservatism was appalling. These organizations are completely biased towards liberalism, which is fine, but they should not be allowed to simply stop conservative voices. They are way to big and influential to be able to act in such a selfish, bullyish way. I do not generally look to government regulation as a means to correct an issue, but all governments need to do much more to control these large selfish bully tech organizations.
Well, it's pretty difficult to judge by a single article, but, Klon, as usual, you present us with an objective view.
Us poor average citizens must use the "sniff test" to decide who's right and who's wrong here.
Group 1: Facebook's fault, and intentional. This sounds pretty one-sided, but given the facts that everyone seems to agree on, you can argue that worst-case it was intentional, and best-case it was irresponsible. Not a good look for FB and it certainly supports my opinion that they are getting too big and too arrogant.
Group 2: Legislators Fault. This also sounds one-sided, like it came right from FB's mouth and was the best excuse they could muster. As a conservative purist, I tend to look unfavorably on most ALL attempts by government to legislate behavior. Not having actually seen it, I can't dispute that the legislation LIKELY was flawed, in terms of its intended results, because legislation usually is (IMNSHO).
Group 3: It's about time. We (globally) need to ween ourselves off of social media as a news source (AND a mind-numbing way to pass time), and we need to get back to reliance on our own skillsets of critical thinking and constructive dialog. To that end, it is good to see more and more challenges to Big Tech, and to see more and more attempts to subvert the control they have. Another tact would be to simply stop using them, painful as that might be. This particular (legislative) attempt may be flawed, but they'll work through it toward a better solution for them, and (as I tend to really value sovereignty) I look forward to more and more possible solutions, and we'll take the best over time and we'll start to relax the control of Big Tech. I tend to prefer this approach over the more obvious "kill the monopoly through legislation" view. The thought advanced by KenA is one I've favored for a long time - take your "fact-checking" and curating of content, and make it OPTIONAL, with a default of OFF. Let us OPT IN to your opinions, then we'll start to see who really values them. Even better, give us choices as to whose opinion we can use for curation (although I would prefer none). Also, let us OPT IN to your collecting and using our information, even in aggregate. And, honestly, BOYCOTT is not a bad idea - the ads and unsolicited content have become so intrusive and overwhelming, that I just don't use it anymore.
Facebook is right, Australia is wrong. Sure, Australia is sovereign and--can and should--pass national laws. But Facebook has the choice to do business--or not do business--in any given jurisdiction, and to turn on, or off, any toggleable function. Consider any other tax law: If a locale jacks up taxes--as is their right--a company can bolt and decide to move their wares elsewhere. That's all a view at face value. But what I think really happened is that News Corp used its deep and broad political relationships in Australia to initiate legislation to pressure Google and Facebook to cut a deal with News Corps, the hometown giant. This is both an Australian shake-down of US business, and a corporate enlisting government to help it close a deal with another corporate.
Facebook and Google have evolved into publishers and should be treated as such. Other publishers might want to band together and either charge these 2 internet publishers for the use of their content or prohibit its use. That would be a good way to bring some order back to the news industry and allow traditional publishers to receive value for the news they gather publish.
More regulation implies more government. The last thing we need.
The citizen should be given a vehicle to sue large tech for 1st ammendment violations. A class action suit for example. I'm pretty sure there is a plethora number of individual cases and unique situations that would create a large representation of big tech violations.
The problem is their "de facto" monopiles and predatory practices. Colluding with Amazon to eliminate Parler as a competitor to FB. Anti-trust laws should be enforced to the max.
I think so they it could be taken audience away from news stations.
Big TECH gets away with way to much that needs to be addressed.
Under states rights-
Every state should pass laws or regulations that require providers of any communications for the general public with or without membership requirements to sign an agreement that in order to conduct business in the state they will be required to abide by and protect free speech as defined in our Constitution and only censor a citizen when breaking a law and must site the law when censoring. Require state Attorney General be notified of every incident when censoring a citizen and reason.
Our rights or not subject to approval by billionaires and do not cease at the door of some building.
The specific issues are beyond me, but I would like to offer up a solution to the whole mess. I see no reason why all the social media companies should not be considered "public utilities." Under that designation, public or private companies would be subject to regulation just like all the others.