The Australian Government, it appears, does not believe in the old saying, "once bitten, twice shy". After being humiliated by Facebook once, when it tried to act tough over the media content laws which the government was trying to shove through Parliament, one government senator is looking to be shown up again.
Big technology companies have come in for criticism by Communications Minister Paul Fletcher for resisting attempts by the Australian Government to create regulations to keep them in line.
With the news media code now signed into law, it is time for all three entities involved in the drama that played out over the last few weeks — Google, Facebook and the Federal Government — to claim victory.
Veteran telecommunications consultant Paul Budde has summed up Tuesday's events in the stoush between the digital platforms and the Federal Government in a rather pithy way: "Facebook stays, everybody is happy. but nothing has changed."
ANALYSIS Despite all the brave talk emanating from Canberra, Facebook has comprehensively dictated the terms under which it will restore news content to Australians.
If the initial reaction to Facebook's sudden decision to cut Australians off from the site on Thursday was idiotic, it became even more ludicrous on Friday, with reactions from politicians and the media competing to be dubbed the silliest of the lot.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made his reaction known to the blocking of news content in the country by Facebook – in a post on Facebook.
Facebook is right in its assessment that Australian news content and the interactions it leads to with the social media site's users do not create much revenue, an academic at the University of Sydney's School of Computer Science says.
Both Google and Facebook have demonstrated to the Australian Government in no uncertain terms who exactly is calling the shots in the stoush over the news media code, but in diametrically different ways.
Social media giant Facebook will restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content, the company has said, adding that this is in response to the news media code that was passed by the House of Representatives on Wednesday night.
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has struck a global three-year deal with Google in return for what the publisher has described as "significant payments".
Nine Entertainment, owner of a number of well-known newspapers which it bought from the now defunct Fairfax Media, has signed a letter of intent for a five-year deal with Google in return for payment of more than $30 million in cash per annum for use of its news content.
Digital platforms Google and Facebook have managed to change a number of terms in the news media code, which has been given the name News Media and Digital Platforms Bargaining Code, with the government giving ground on the interval for informing publishers of algorithm changes.
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