The Bizarre Reaction To Facebook’s Decision To Get Out Of The News Business In Australia

The Bizarre Reaction To Facebook’s Decision To Get Out Of The News Business In Australia

We can argue about whether or not Facebook is “compatible with democracy” but the simple facts of the situation are that Australia — pushed heavily by Rupert Murdoch — has decided to put in place a plan to tax Google and Facebook for any links to news. The bill has all sorts of problems, but there are two huge ones that should concern basically anyone who supports a free and open internet.

The whole story is absolutely ridiculous. And the most incredible thing is that no matter what Facebook did here it would have gotten yelled at. And the proof is not hard to find. Because just an hour or two before Facebook made this announcement, Google went the other way — coming to an agreement to pay Rupert Murdoch for featuring Murdoch-owned news organizations content on Google. And people freaked out, complaining about Google helping fund Rupert Murdoch’s disinformation empire. Except… that’s the whole point of the law? So it’s a bit bizarre that the same people are mad about both Facebook’s decision to not give free money to Rupert and Google caving to do exactly that: