Did you hear the thunder from down under? Facebook will restore news pages in Australia. Did Australian lawmakers win? It depends who you ask. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said “Facebook has re-friended Australia,” but it’s really the other way around.
Facebook will not have to change its business model. It will not have to collectively bargain with news organizations, and the rewritten law ensures that Facebook will not be subject to forced negotiation. Did Facebook’s decision to stop allowing users and publishers to share links on its platform have an impact? Total traffic to Australian news sites from within Australia was down 13 percent, and traffic to news sites coming from outside Australia was down by 30 percent. That’s a big yes.
Is this the likely outcome if other governments attempt to regulate the tech giants?
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