Big Tech urged to challenge virus lies

Original article by David Swan
The Australian – Page: 19 : 25-Jan-21

A coalition that includes the Immunisation Foundation of Australia and Doherty Institute is calling on the big technology companies to do more to prevent the sharing of misinformation about COVID-19 online. The coalition is concerned this misinformation is causing a growing mistrust about potential COVID-19 vaccines and vaccines in general, along with causing a growing number of people to ignore public health directives about social distancing and lockdown measures because they see COVID-19 as being a government-led hoax.

CORPORATES
IMMUNISATION FOUNDATION OF AUSTRALIA, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. PETER DOHERTY INSTITUTE FOR INFECTION AND IMMUNITY

‘We don’t respond to threats’: PM responds to Google’s ultimatum

Original article by Miranda Ward
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 23-Jan-21

Google has threatened to withdraw its search product from Australia if the federal government’s legislation for a mandatory news bargaining code proceeds in its present form. The code would see Google and Facebook required to strike deals with media publishers to pay for the journalistic content they use on their platforms. However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told Google the federal government does not respond to threats, while Liberal senator Andrew Bragg has accused Google of attempting to "blackmail" Australian policymakers by threatening to withdraw from Australia.

CORPORATES
GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FACEBOOK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Calls for big tech to unmask anonymous online abusers

Original article by Paul Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 22-Jan-21

Changes to the Online Safety Act could see the eSafety Commissioner given new powers to seek identification behind anonymous accounts on digital platforms. Individuals could be fined up to $110,000 for abusive behaviour, while content hosts could be hit with fines up to $550,000. ESafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant has urged the big technology platforms to do more to address the problems caused by anonymous accounts, with such accounts used by backers of the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon being prominently cited by members of the mob that recently attacked the US Capitol.

CORPORATES

Facebook, Google code ‘won’t breach trade pact’

Original article by John Kehoe, Miranda Ward
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 22-Jan-21

There have been claims that proposed laws that would see Google and Facebook pay publishers for their journalism would breach the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement. However, federal government ministers are confident that this is not the case, having received legal and international trade advice on the matter, while Nine Entertainment CEO Hugh Marks stated recently that there is "clearly no breach of the free trade agreement". Executives from news publishers, the big digital platforms and the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission will appear before a Senate hearing on 22 January to be questioned about the proposed news media and digital platforms mandatory bargaining code.

CORPORATES
GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, FACEBOOK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Google, Facebook fight code in Senate

Original article by David Swan, Patrick Commins
The Weekend Australian – Page: 3 : 16-Jan-21

A Senate committee is holding an inquiry into the proposed mandatory media bargaining code between technology companies and traditional publishers, and is due to report on 12 February. Google and Facebook are set to voice their opposition to the code at a public committee hearing on 22 January; Google has threatened to quit Australia if the code is made law, while Facebook has stated it will ban the sharing of news on its Australian platform. The code will compel Google and Facebook to mediate with publishers over the value of their news, with fines of up to $10 million possible if they fail to comply.

CORPORATES
GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FACEBOOK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Frydenberg joins protest against media blocking

Original article by Miranda Ward
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 15-Jan-21

Google’s revelation that it has ‘experimented’ with changes to its search and news algorithm has attracted scrutiny from the federal government. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says digital platforms should be paying for news content rather than removing stories from Australian news publishers from its search results. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher says this issue demonstrates the power imbalance between Google and traditional news publishers.

CORPORATES
GOOGLE INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Facebook, Twittter, YouTube block US President Donald Trump amid Washington violence

Original article by David Swan
The Australian – Page: Online : 8-Jan-21

Social media companies Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have all taken action against President Donald Trump in the wake of the violence that hit Washington on 7 January. Twitter removed three of Trump’s tweets and suspended his account for 12 hours, saying it will remain locked until he removes them. Facebook blocked Trump from posting for 24 hours, and also blocked him from posting to Instagram. Both YouTube and Facebook sought to block the dissemination of a pre-recorded video from Trump, with the video receiving over 179,000 ‘likes’ on Trump’s Facebook page before it was removed.

CORPORATES
FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, TWITTER INCORPORATED, YOUTUBE INCORPORATED

Google doubles down on claims news bargaining code will break search

Original article by Miranda Ward
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 7-Jan-21

Google Australia has repeated previous claims that the federal government’s proposed bargaining code between traditional media companies and digital companies will ‘break’ the way its search function works. Google does not object to the principle of paying to support journalism, but contends it should be done differently to what the government is proposing. It argues that its $1.3 billion global licensing program is the best mechanism for it to negotiate with media publishers and pay for their content, while it contends the government’s code will favour some media companies over others.

CORPORATES
GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC

Nine opposes concession to tech giants

Original article by Max Mason, Natasha Gillezeau, John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 9-Dec-20

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the federal government’s mandatory news media bargaining code for digital platforms is a "world-first". He has dismissed suggestions that the government has made too many concessions in the final version of the code to gain the support of digital giants such as Google and Facebook. These include adding a ‘two-way value exchange’ clause which reflect the benefits that news publishers receive from having digital platforms direct users to their content. A Nine Entertainment spokesman says this will merely entrench both the monopoly powers of digital companies and the unfair imbalance in media regulation.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC

News firms in stand for fairer future

Original article by James Madden
The Australian – Page: 19 : 23-Nov-20

Some of Australia’s top media industry executives have jointly signed an ‘open letter’ to the federal government expressing support for its proposed media bargaining code. The letter also outlines the features that must be included in the code to ensure a level playing field between traditional media companies and digital platforms such as Facebook and Google. Seven West Media CEO James Warburton, News Corp Australia executive chairman Michael Miller and Free TV CEO Bridget Fair are amongst those who signed the letter, which will be published in all major metropolitan newspapers on 23 November.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, FREE TV AUSTRALIA LIMITED, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, GOOGLE INCORPORATED