So, we’ve that new law in Australia which says that Google and Facebook must pay news suppliers for the snippets that show up in search engines or that people share online. As a result Facebook is saying that they’ll not allow people to share news stories online, Google will strip the search engines of news stories.
Hmm, well, isn’t that a problem? The argument from the companies being that they’re not making any – or at least not very much – money from including news so they’ll do without it. The news companies aren’t happy about this as they want the cash.
So, in comes a think tank to solve the problem:
If Facebook and Google limit services in Australia, could the ABC run a social network?
A new paper suggests a publicly funded replacement could form part of the government’s response if the tech giants limit access
The argument being that lots of Australians gain their news from Facebook, therefore there needs to be a publicly run network for people to gain their news from. This runs into a certain logical problem as if the news on Facebook is such a public good – peeps gain their news from it and this is a good thing, so much so that we need to build a network to replace Facebook – then why are we arguing against Facebook providing this public good?
But, still, they persist:
We propose developing a national online platform designed to connect Australians and their
communities online. Simply extending already existing online capabilities with distinct user
profiles, user publishing and content features, group connection features, chat, commenting
and interactive discussion capabilities, the ABC could act as a national social platform
connecting everyday Australians. The ABC could provide an online platform for community
groups, politics, sport, arts and faith to connect and share.
Gosh, what joy! Except there’s a point here, a sting in this tail: this new network would not be monetised.
Our starting point was that newspapers aren’t being paid for their copyright that ends up in search engines and social media. So, we’re going to set up a non-monetised social media – and presumably search engine at some point – which doesn’t pay newspapers because it is non-monetised and has no money? This solves the original problem how?
Yes, quite. These people are insane. But then we knew that, or at least there’s a really easy way to do a checksum operation here to show that we’ve not misled ourselves. The sponsoring institution is The Australia Institute.
Ah, that proves it then. No wonder these peeps have no clue about logic, economics, business or even human beings.