The Facebook-Australian furore drew world-wide media condemnation. I don’t get it.
The claim that Facebook should pay for publishing traditional media news stories was fair enough if that’s what the tech giant was doing, but it was not.
Rather, it acted as a vehicle to access media web-sites which is what those site owners desperately want, namely readers.
Facebook’s role was no different than that of the corner dairy selling newspapers. But no-one accuses the dairies of being publishers and of profiting from this at the media company’s expense because as with Facebook, it’s not true plus the publishers need those paper sellers.
The real heart of the issue is the inability of governments to tax the huge profits Google, Facebook and company make and easily avoid paying tax on.
To repeat; Facebook, Google and their ilk do not publish others material. They simply provide access to it. The feigned media horror at Facebook’s withdrawal of that access was because it harmed those media companies’ interests, nothing else.
Print media everywhere know their days are up and their future lies with their web-sites. But far from grossly dishonest attempts to charge Facebook, an excellent case can be made to pay them, just as they pay the corner dairies for selling their print version.
I’m a lifelong observer of print media dishonesty but their beatup over this matter surpasses any past sins.
NOTE – This was written on Sunday. I’m delighted to see a similar criticism on today’s New Zealand Herald site.