Facebook vs. the Australian government: a dispute that could reshape the history of the web

On February 15, 2021, the Australian government issued the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code: the first law initiative in the world that commands tech giants to pay a fee to publishers for sharing news on their online platforms. Facebook’s reaction, effective February 17, has been to block all news content coming from Australian publishers, either for viewing or sharing.

According to Lenore Taylor of The Guardian, “Facebook is gambling Australia can’t live without it.” In light of all the controversy regarding Mark Zuckerberg’s company history records concerning hate and fake news, such a decision looks contradictory, to say the least. Her incitement: imagine if we prove Facebook’s wrong!

Damien Cave of the New York Times warns that, with this move, Facebook is blocking content from government agencies, nonprofits, and political candidates too.

World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee is worried that this law might make the web unworkable around the world, as it questions the web’s fundamental principle of free-linking.

🇮🇹 The best roundup article in Italian so far is that by Paolo Fiore (AGI).