The meaning of Facebook’s (brief) Australia news ban

On social media, even when a fact is agreed on, its meaning can easily be reverse-engineered. The thought came to mind watching Facebook’s battle with Australia over the country’s news media code.

The passage of the world-first News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code on February 25 handed a measure of commercial leverage back to Australia’s media, which had, like media elsewhere, seen its ad revenue chipped away at by the digital ecosystems created by Facebook and Google.

Following years of inquiries, the law was about to pass Parliament when Facebook, in what was seen as a hard-bargaining tactic, deplatformed Australian news. (Read the rest at Tech Policy Press).

Is Facebook good for reasoned debate?

This comment piece for The Age gets into the question. The debate comes in the context of a proposal from Australia that digital platforms like Facebook and Google reimburse local media outlets, like The Age, for the ad revenue that is diverted to the social media sites.

In response to the proposal, Facebook has threatened to block Australian news outlets from the platform.

As I write: there is a fundamental confusion over the aims of news and social media.

Full comment piece: Making good on Facebook’s threat to Australia

Jardin: Social media ‘created by jerks and exploited by our enemies’

A succinct quote from tech-culture figure Xeni Jardin on the inherent problem that social media presents for a functional democracy,

( To understand her use of the word “jerk”, click on the podcast link below.)

“The fact so much of our discourse happens on Twitter and Facebook is responsible for why so much of our discourse is so twisted…”

“I don’t want to be one of those GenX jerks who quotes Marshall McLuhan all over the place, but the ‘medium is the message’ and right now the medium are these social media apps that were created by jerks and they’re being exploited by our enemies.”

“How can anything good come from that?”

Heard here.

Russian influence on social media and global democracy today

The hearing on Russian influence brought executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google to Capitol Hill for questions they struggled to answer. One of the minds behind the Occupy Wall Street movement to reform capitalism may have pointed the way to a solution. (All opinions my own and not my employers). Link to story I reference: www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2…ck-lives-matter