Australian Simon Says Act and Its Future Impacts

I am sure you have heard the new act targeting the social media and search engine giants and the recent chaos it has brought to their users.
This discussion however focuses more on sharing your opinions on whether it has any future direct or indirect negative impact on such as our cost of living in Australia and what kind of country is Australia does the world see us when we are moving one step closer to dictatorship.
Edit: please focus on how this negatively affects us or if you believe it has positive impacts please let us know how and why.


  • +23

    I enjoy not seeing news articles with retarded comments in my newsfeed.

    • +7

      Unfortunately on my feed I still see retarded comments :(

    • +1

      I don’t use Facebook that often but isn’t there an option to turn off the newsfeed?
      Edit: by the way, our WA Labor party leader has just requested the US government to keep Facebook under controls and to turn it back on.

      • +3

        he's ambitious - gone to our masters and asked for the top job effectively

        • +2

          Very ambitious. If anyone thinks the US government has any control of FB or other big tech, they haven't observed attempt previously made to reign them in.

          • @ajwhi: nothing to do with facebook, just another labor pollie asking the yanks for the keys to the rapehouse

  • +15

    Surely it can only improve the correct use of punctuation…

  • +16

    One step closer to a dictatorship? Not to mention the poor punctuation mentioned above.

    Don't quit your day job writing for

  • +11

    I don't see how this is moving us closer to a dictatorship, I think this is quite the reverse. I am glad that news will no longer be on my feeds, I can instead choose the websites and news articles that I read.

    You can clearly see just how right the government has got it with this one by how Google and Facebook have reacted. They have both posted stories full of mis-information trying to convince niave readers to side with them.

    • +2

      Not sure how many people side Google or Facebook but what I can see the fees are eventually paid by all Australian consumers. It is just a simple journalism tax the Australian government imposes on us.

      • +3

        Accurate news reporting is a public good, and is important in a democracy.
        I personally think the approach the government has taken here is wrong, as it just looks after entrenched media, and not even the ABC, let alone smaller media companies.

        That said, I think it would be good to have laws that blocked targeted delivery of news, and for that matter, advertising.
        These laws aren’t that.

        • There is another general discussion on which media sides left or right and it seems like each Labor and Liberal party has its controlled media to support them.
          It now comes down to how the 2 parties should continue to support the media which the obvious conclusion is Australian consumers to pay the bills through Google and Facebook.

          • +1

            @wtfnodeal: Murdoch is greedy. He was the motivation behind the bill and should pay up for decades of gross misinformation and manipulation of the masses.

      • +2

        Not sure how consumers will end up paying for it directly. Clearly the "free" model will not change. Neither Google nor Facebook collect their Australian Ad revenue in Australia, so they pay next to no taxes. If anything, this might be good for Australia by having some of their gains distributed to companies who actually do the right thing for Australia, rather than to their corporate god (the dollar).

        And, agree completely with mskeggs above re: if we accept high quality, fact checked journalism is good for democracy, then you have to be willing to support news. I do not see either FB or Google looking to create their own news rooms and for good reason: it's very expensive and they currently get it for free…

      • The financial costs are not being imposed on us unless you are an advertiser paying to advertise on Facebook or a Facebook shareholder. Last time I checked it didn’t cost money to sign up for a Facebook account?

        • It looks like Facebook or Google is a free service but if you think again it is not. The advertisers pay to advertise on Facebook or Google and all get passed down to end users which are the consumers. The consumers are indirectly paying whatever marketing costs added to the advertisers. The only risk Google or Facebook may have is the increase in advertising fees to the advertisers to pay the media as requested by our government is to drive them away to another search engine or social media platform etc but in a monopoly environment it is unlikely to happen.

        • +1

          Our payment is in the form of handing over all of our private data in exchange for the providing of a "free" communication tool. That data is collated and analysed to construct a precise user profile, to serve and target ads to fit your preferences, and political propoganda suited to your personality. That process is becoming increasingly complex and precise as AI engines are implemented to sort through all of that data and determine what is presented to us. We are the product.

    • they don't write stories like you do, they just provide links etc…

  • OP can you explain how does this lead to a dictatorship?

    If we can avoid this a person's main source of information is facebook, that would be a win.

    • +3

      Is it any different if I go the news site directly vs the facebook link?

      • +1

        Yes because you may only be exposed to news or op eds that were curated either by facebook or groups like anti-vax etc.

        • +1

          Thats only if you rely on the newsfeed though. If you go directly to the official fb page of say SMH or ABC you would see every news article they posted that day and not just what fb selected for you.

          • +3

            @Mango1: Not true. Even on the offical FB page of a media company, you will see articles as FB’s algorithm presents them to you. You can hunt down what you’re interested in and scroll past what you’re not, just as you can in your own feed. FB controls the ordering and won’t necessarily show all postings.

  • +3

    facebook dictates your news feed
    google dictates your search results
    you're barking at the wrong tree

    forget how other countries perceives us, it's how we see each other, our fellow countrymen, that we should be worried about.

    • +2

      In that case shouldn’t the new Act be focusing on how to rectify the biased search engine results or newsfeeds instead of making them to pay fees for showing certain links in the search results? We are talking about having a biased Act against biased search results or newsfeeds, does it really have to go this way? Who do you think the victims are, us or the 2 giants?

    • forget we're part of the world whilst living on a largely uninhabitable island ?

    • +1

      And Murdoch dictates the LNP and what news you see. Notice how there is not a single news channel discussing dissenting opinions?

      Facebook doesn’t dictate it, you do through your interactions with people online and your interests.

  • +1
    • The question is who eventually pays for it?

      • Why would the financial implications be at all important to you? If is a pittance in the scheme of things, and is just moving some profit from one massive company to another.

    • -1

      the french did things differently , what the yank led canucks do is yet to be seen…

  • Regards, "journalist" of "opinion pieces"

  • +2

    when we are moving one step closer to dictatorship

    Please show your working…..

    • -1

      An Act that indirectly orders all Australian consumers to pay journalism tax.

      • How does it affect everyone?

        • Are you not an Australian consumer? Are you not aware of the massive revenues which Google and Facebook make are from the ads that the retailers pay which in turn comes from the income collected from Australian consumers? Do you think Google and Facebook will absorb the journalism fees without passing them on to the retailers? Do you think the retailers will absorb the increased advertising costs without passing them on to consumers? In short, we pay for the ads to help us to decide what products or services we want to buy which also means we pay for journalism fees regardless we want to or not.

          • +5

            @wtfnodeal: You realise you pay more for goods for lots of reasons? You pay more because of afterpay etc, are you upset about that?

            I don't like these Facebook etc, I also don't like Murdoch. I don't care that Facebook has stopped showing news links, it's exactly what I would do if it were my business.

            I would be happy if Facebook went away tomorrow, but too many people are addicted to posting about their fake lives, and being obsessed about others fake lives, so on it goes.

            • @brendanm: You should look into the financial reports of those big listed companies for their advertising costs. I’m only upset that Australian government has stepped in by asking us to pay for the journalism tax.
              Edit: by the way, are you here for the deals posted here or just the forum discussion? It doesn’t look like you are too price sensitive and don’t give a damn to a small price increase etc.

              • +2

                @wtfnodeal: what journalism tax? jeez you 77th and your imaginary taxes, laws, and whatever you dream up next to mislead and confuse…

                • @petry: So you believe Google and Facebook are happy to absorb the costs and keep quiet about it?

                  • @wtfnodeal: Not happy about it, but they at least Google has accepted it so far.

                    What do you think they'd charge for consumers for?

                    • @ozhunter: LOL, it will penalise us by increasing the length of the ads at the beginning of every YouTube video?
                      Please read those comments I made.

                      • @wtfnodeal: They could do that. You think they aren't increase the lengths of ads now because they hate money?

              • @wtfnodeal: No one is being asked to pay a journalism tax. You obviously missed the part where I said I don't support the "newspapers" or Facebook.

                I'm here for both. You never answered my question, are you upset about afterpay being offered, and the admin fees for that being incorporated into prices?

                • @brendanm: Doesn’t matter if you don’t support newspapers or Facebook there is now an extra cost incorporated into the pricing systems of Google and Facebook so unless you believe they are kind enough to absorb them otherwise they will be shared among those retailers for the advertisements they have no better places to advertise and passing the costs consumers.
                  Afterpay administrative costs incorporated into the prices and for the best interests of the retailer’s shareholders they pass on the costs to consumers. Should Australian government act in the best interests of all Australian consumers? This new Act is simply telling Google and Facebook to compensate newspapers for their lost of income instead of bringing competitions to benefit the consumers. Yes I am upset about any costs incorporated into the prices and our cost of living especially those costs are indirectly imposed by our Australian government who should act in the best interests of Australian consumers instead of certain companies which are outcompeted by others.

                  • +2

                    @wtfnodeal: 'compensate newspapers for their lost of income' what loss of imaginary income is that ruperteer?

                    • @petry: Sorry I don’t mean to be rude but can you please do your own research on this?

                      • @wtfnodeal: Google exec goes to lunch - orders Dom Perignon rather than cheap beer.

                        So we the consumer pays as Google's costs have increased.


                      • @wtfnodeal: bizarre since you haven't done any…

                  • +3

                    @wtfnodeal: The papers aren't losing any income. They haven't changed with the times, and the only way they can make money is by crying to the government.

                    They didn't want Google/Facebook to link to their articles, so now Facebook isn't, and there are no "taxes", as they are no longer linking to the papers, so what's your issue exactly?

                    If you are so upset, I haven't seen your post about additional costs from afterpay? Or before that, additional costs built in when they offer "interest free" deals. No whinge about Coles and Woolworths giving out "free" little shop/squishies etc? You pay for all this, why only whinge now?

                    • @brendanm: I am whining now because the journalism tax isn’t offered for me to take or leave it but our government makes us to pay it indirectly. Afterpay administrative costs are not an act of our government. There is a difference between companies want to raise their prices simply they want to increase their profits and the prices increase because of the consequences of our government actions. The government is supposed to act in the best interests of us all and the companies only need to act in the best interests of their shareholders. See the difference?!
                      Edit: wrong! The media wants them to link the search results to their website and Google and Facebook must pay a fee for it. If Google and Facebook exclude links for these media they will also get into the troubles. Do your research to find out more how this Act is just a money grabbing act from us paying through Google and Facebook.

            • +1

              @brendanm: All these people posting about their fake lives and envy of their peers is the ultimate end goal/advertisement. Social networking/social advertising.

  • +9

    Admittedly, I've not done massive research on this matter, but here's the fundamental thing I don't understand … if a news outlet operates a Facebook page and publishes/links to their own material on that page, why does Facebook then need to pay that news outlet?

    Presumably that news outlet has voluntarily posted all of this material, so why should they then have a claim on Facebook?

    Please inform me on the matter, but it seems almost like some reverse advertising model … the news outlet advertises their material and then expects to earn a fee for placing that advertisement.

    • Good that you can see how the advertising model works but unfortunately the new Act tells you otherwise when it comes to journalism. It appears journalism is only worthy of collecting fees for showing links in the search results but all other websites like Wikipedia is worthless.

      • -1

        again the misdirection - its nothing to do with journalism…

        • So OzBargain is collecting fees from Google for showing its website address in the search results?

  • Can you clarify how you think Australian consumers will pay for it? How will this impact our cost of living? How are Australians out of pocket from this?

  • Why are you opposed to paying journalists?
    I think both sides in this particular battle suck, but it is important to have accurate ne2s reporting.

    For what it is worth, I have seen no chaos whatsoever.

    • +1

      Why are you opposed to paying journalists?

      Are there any actual journalists left?

      • -2

        No. You either have Julia Baird telling you you're literally a Nazi white nationalist murderer if you're not a vegan lesbian or you have Ami Yemeni telling you that black gangs have been sent by Saudi Arabia to try to rape your children.

        And both cry "dictatorship" when their extremist b/s is ever so slightly muted because both of them can't continue to produce clickbait without the clicks.

    • again the misdirection…

  • +1

    If Twitter can legally ban users from their platform then Facebook should able to legally ban links from their platform.

    The governments are 👀 for revenue in places where they shouldn't be.

  • +5

    The Australian media cartel has fallen upon hard times, the paywalls have failed, and government is enlisted to drum up business.

    If Google/Facebook don't cough up the dough, the next step will be a news levy to ensure we can continue to enjoy their quality journalism.

    • +1

      what journalism? - they report as fact what the taking heads say on fox which is scripted by murdoch industries for whatever country they are operating in.

      scripts are paid for by the yanks. murdoch is just like goebbels cept on a much bigger scale, and he does it because he's discernibly a sociopath.

      • The "quality journalism" was mentioned sarcastically.

    • Haha couldn't agree more. Someone has to rescue our Australian media and our government does not care who pays the bills.

  • I can envision a few downsides:

    • many of the people who work in social media teams at news organizations, who work on promoting their content online, advertising it etc will lose their jobs. This will flood the industry with marketing people, lowering the pay of people in marketing roles, if news doesn’t return. If Google and Twitter were blocking news too this would be compounded.
    • we will be force fed only opinions from the right due to Murdoch having a monopoly on news, meaning more smear campaigns against alternative political parties or people who talk out against Murdoch which will affect our democracy more than Facebook ever could. Facebook is best positioned to actually improve that through their algorithms, ensuring we get different views (than our bubble), whereas now, there just won’t be any different views.
    • There will be more issues when it comes to people who don’t watch the news being aware of current events such as accidents, weather events, elections, covid updates. I’m not going to just start watching the news because the government was lobbied by Murdoch. The sharing of this kind of information will become a lot slower, which can only lead to more harm than good.
    • Google search results regarding news will become less relevant (as a web developer of 20 years, I’ve already noticed it, and for some reason there are very few news places talking about stopping this code)

    For anyone who says that I may be brainwashed by Facebook or in a bubble or ‘why don’t you just watch the news’. I don’t care about the news. Up until now Facebook has done a good job at curating what’s relevant to me- car crashes nearby, missing children, covid updates, weather alerts etc, without me needing to sit and watch biased and opinionated news pieces on TV. Any time I came across a news post on Facebook that looked opinionated I’d always go to follow up research. If that research is being blocked by Google because they have a deal with the monopolistic media, then finding unbiased information is going to become harder.

    • If you trust Facebook to provide you with quality news then I think you will have a hard time trying to prove you don’t live in a bubble and aren’t being brainwashed. The Facebook product is designed to brainwash, keep people addicted and keep them viewing advertisements in a bubble ie, not leaving Facebook. I think you should try to avoid using it for just one month to see if you are not fooling yourself regarding it’s impact on you and the ‘news’ you read.

      • I’m fully aware how Facebook works to target content to you, thank you :). I also spent much of last year with Facebook deleted because of all the covid scare and trump shit going on. It was during that time and when I came back that I understood how what I was seeing was biased. I started blocking many alt news organizations to reduce what Im exposed to. But from understanding that, anything that might be ‘triggering’ (and not just unbiased news, of which there’s very little), I always leave Facebook to investigate further if I’m interested. I take everything I read with a grain of salt and always follow up with my own investigations. And like I said, I don’t need news, after all my filtering and blocking on Facebook, I had been pretty happy with what I was seeing - car accidents, police events, covid updates etc

  • If you compare the media in Australia to America then you have to consider which country has recently had a political environment closer to a dictatorship. I think the universal answer would be the USA under Trump. The US Presidents current and former are using executive powers to skirt around parliament and the USA media supports this behaviour due to its polarisation and hard leaning left or right sides. This polarisation is perpetuated by social media products such as Facebook, Twitter, Parler etc. because users are being fed ‘news’ and opinions that reflects their political persuasion and people are not given balanced news that reports diverse views. The social media companies do this to sell more advertising. I don’t agree with your pretence that the Australian government is acting in an authoritarian manner akin to a dictatorship, in fact I believe the actions of the government seek to avoid such a thing. I think you are conflating issues. The government is not seeking to reduce media freedoms. You could argue the opposite that the government is hoping to improve the financial stability of the media which will give it greater freedoms. I have not stated whether I agree with the proposed legislation or not just that I disagree with your pretence of a dictatorship. Also America has no quality government funded independent news source like the BBC or ABC to provide balance. News in the USA is all advertiser funded so ultimately is designed to sell advertisements vs. reporting accurately. Humans seek out opinions that match their own as a form of positive reinforcement therefore it’s natural commercial news outlets are biased because it keeps readers coming back for positive reinforcement. Facebook is no different in this regard but has great control over what kind of biased news each individual is fed via their feed. Facebook is actually acting as a type of media company by curating opinions in order to sell advertisements. The Australian government is trying to legislate that they pay to do so, either via taxation or directly to the media companies whose articles and opinion pieces they are using themselves to sell advertising. Facebook has decided to stop selling advertising on Australian news article links by removing those articles in order to avoid paying fees. I suspect the government may now look at different ways to raise tax revenue from Facebook.

    • Nice slant cept facebooks power was curtailed by it literally being forced to reign in fake news and some white fascist groups.

      Its use having been curtailed and the threats against it if it continued to promote data harvesting made it far less useful these days to Trumpettes worldwide.

      Now it doesn't have to remove fake news in Australia its arguably more useful to the Murdoch sleazebags running the country, who have multiple outlets running fake news that facebook doesn't have to deal with including their own liberal pollies spouting right wing crap.

  • +1

    Social media is controlling your thought by way of acceptable expression. Many of these SM sites are US, who do not understand the Ozzie vernacular and their "over seers" deem particular expression as derogatory or what not.

    We are not a democracy, we a part of an American led consortium that roams the world dictating to those who we feel we can exploit by means of economic assistance, planting military bases upon their soil, or simply invading.

    Any Australian gullible to accept any anti Russia, any anti Chinese propaganda, are dangerously uneducated.

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