Australia shows the way. It’s the job of governments not big tech to run democracies | John Naughton

Australia shows the way. It’s the job of governments not big tech to run democracies | John Naughton

The Guardian

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Let’s hope Canberra’s challenges to Facebook are just the start. Elected leaders can’t allow unaccountable corporate powers to do as they like

The problem with the dispute between the Australian government and the two social media giants Google and Facebook is that it’s a squalid argument between ethically challenged contestants about a really important question – the survival of liberal democracy.

The Australian parliament is in the process of passing a law – called the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code – which would force Facebook and Google to pay publishers if they host their content. The law is a response to complaints from Australian news outlets about the role that both have played in the decline of journalism and the destruction of their business model.

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