Australia should force Meta to pay for news, News Corp executive says

According to a senior executive from News Corp Australia, Australia should compel Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, to compensate news organizations for the content that appears on its platform. The executive also advocated for broader regulation of social media companies. Meta had previously announced that it would stop paying Australian news publishers for their content. The government is now considering whether to enforce a law that would require Meta to make these payments. The executive emphasized the need for Meta to be designated under the Media Bargaining Code and engage in good faith negotiations. He expressed disappointment in Meta’s decision to walk away from the previous agreements and stressed the importance of upholding the country’s laws. The executive also highlighted the issue of unfair advertising revenue generated by internet giants like Facebook when news articles are shared on their platforms.
In 2021, Meta reached payment agreements with Australian media companies, most of which will expire this year.

If the government enforces the 2021 law, Meta may respond by blocking users from reposting news articles, as it briefly did in Australia in 2021 and has done since 2023 in Canada, where similar laws exist. Academics have noted an increase in the spread of misinformation as a result of these actions.

Meta has been reducing its promotion of news and political content to drive traffic, and it has announced that it will no longer have a tab on Facebook dedicated to promoting news in Australia.

During his speech, Miller expressed concern about the impact of social media on mental health and its role in amplifying scams and social issues like misogyny. He proposed a regulatory framework for tech companies that would safeguard Australians.

This framework would involve holding companies responsible for all content on their platforms, implementing competition laws for digital advertising, improving the handling of consumer complaints, and providing donations to mental health programs.
He stated that companies that fail to adhere to these regulations should be prohibited from operating in the Australian market.