Facebook’s move to "unfriend Australia"

Social Media giant blocks news feeds to Australian users

According to a recent BBC article, “Facebook Australia: PM Scott Morrison ‘will not be intimidated’ by tech giant”, Australians on Thursday woke up to find that Facebook pages of all local and global news sites were unavailable. Similarly, people outside the country were made unable to read or access any Australian news publications on the platform. This is the social media conglomerate’s response to a proposed law by the Australian government which would make tech giants pay for news content on their platforms.

Do you think companies, such as Facebook and Google, are stealing content from news publishers and should therefore pay them? Or do you agree with tech firms arguing that the platforms’ gain from news is minimal as they merely advertise the content of said publishers?

In the BBC’s report, 37% of consumers who participated claimed they have accessed news via social media over the course of a week, compared with 31% who had directly accessed websites or apps, making us wonder: how much do we rely on big tech companies when trying to inform ourselves about what is happening in the world?

If you ever wondered how the complex issue of healthy journalism – the base of a healthy democracy – is linked to these constantly evolving tech firms, check out IMPAKT’s collaboration with the Berlin-based School of Machines; CODE NL-D. The project consists of two City Labs in Utrecht and Berlin and an exhibition, with the theme focused on change in pressing, current issues regarding the cross-fertilization of art, technology, design and society.


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