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Australian Lefties Are Truly, Hopelessly, Mad



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.

Erm, Hello?

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.


Naomi Klein

Ah, that proves it then. No wonder these peeps have no clue about logic, economics, business or even human beings.



  1. Well, yes.

    The Qld election is on 31 Oct, and I’m dithering about whether to put the Greens or the Informed Medical Opinions Party last. The IMOP could kill people retail whereas the Greens could kill them wholesale.

    You must tick every box or your vote is informal, ie invalid. I don’t like to do this, since as Bob Heinlein pointed out, even if you don’t want to vote for something, there’s always something you’d like to vote against.

  2. the assumption being that if the ABC ran anything, it would be used. Only by inner cities mobs and the morally compromised elsewhere. Everyone else will use something called the internet and carry on if they wish to hear news. There has been so little on. ABC obsessed with orange man, others about some briefly known unknown and all rabbitting on about some flu. El Jazzera and even SBS foreign news in English do better than any of the locals. For some reason the Europeans think there are more places on Earth than Oz and US of A.

  3. It should be possible to monetise it with ads. That’s where Basefook and Loolge get their money. Instead of paying Menlo Park geeks they can pay Sinney and Canbra geeks and with any luck some POG will become billionaires. A few scrappy bob will get tossed to the SMH.


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in British English
expunct (ɪkˈspʌŋkt)
VERB (transitive)
1. to delete or erase; blot out; obliterate
2. to wipe out or destroy

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