In response to the imminent Australian law that would compel search and social media platforms to pay news organizations, Google has decided to comply with the law by doing deals with major companies such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Nine and Seven West Media. But Facebook has taken the other route available to it- rather than preparing to comply with the law by putting in place commercial arrangements to continue to carry news, the social media giant has blocked users from accessing and sharing Australian news entirely.
Reactions have been swift across the world, as some commentators and officials have pounced on Facebook’s actions as proof of its monopolistic intent and lack of concern for civic discourse. Others blame the Australian government for bowing to the interests of media cronies such as Rupert Murdoch, putting the tech companies in an absurd position. Here are key arguments that have emerged on both sides of the news.