Publishers need to prepare for Facebook Changes

Australia passed a new law at the end of February, this new law forces major tech companies to pay publishers for news content. Paying news outlets for stories to ensure the news business carries on. This changes the way publishers and viewers will be able to share or distribute news content. Facebook and publishers are going to be able to control how much their news is worth and to set deals with publishers. Facebook can choose who to get their news from including small, or more local news publishers. This new law will run in the favor of publishers. 

The original law created by the Australian government to force Facebook, and Google to pay for news content forced a rift between Facebook and Australia. Facebook in retaliation restricted Australian Facebook users from sharing or viewing news content on its site. Facebook has approximately 16 million users in Australia, and 2.7 billion users overall. In order to compromise Facebook will restore the user’s access to stay on the government’s good side. There were revisions made to the original law like “must take into account whether a digital platform has made a significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry through reaching commercial agreements with news media businesses” (Thornton). Campbell Brown, Facebook’s vice president of global news partnerships believes that this law is not cooperating with the original relationships of publishers and news outlets. Facebook is just a tool for news outlets to use, and it is as though Facebook is stealing the news. Publishers are now being paid for content from big corporations like Newscorp in order for the content to be posted on Facebook. 

This new law gives other countries and sites a warning as to what is to come in the news industry. For international users of Facebook, this means that they cannot share or view Australian or international news content on their pages, or others. As far as the Australian community this means that they cannot share Australian or international content. This changes the dynamic of Facebook and its sharing ability throughout the world. Facebook is hoping to add a new news section to allow more accessibility to news and information. Facebook has become a valuable, global platform to share information and this new law has changed the structure of that. Its mission is still to be able to share information easily, while also following the guidelines that Australia has put into place. 

What does this change? When it comes to the publishers this shifts the relationship between those who post news on social media sites. Facebook was a way to boost news, and share information but now that larger companies have to pay for news to be seen this will make the niche audiences more targeted. Articles or news that the organization supports is what they are going to pay for. For journalists instead of writing what you want, they’ll now have to think about what the publishers are going to want to see from them. This makes news more selective at least on Facebook, and certain organizations may not want to buy news if it does not align with the values of the company. Australia has changed the game when it comes to publishers, journalists, and news companies. What will US publishers do to allow for attribution for journalists?? 2021 will hopefully add more clarity on this ever changing dynamic..

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