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Facebook responds to proposed media laws in Australia with a threat to ban sharing of news posts

The Thaiger

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Facebook responds to proposed media laws in Australia with a threat to ban sharing of news posts | The Thaiger
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The media wars are heating up in Australia as a battle between Facebook and other tech platforms line up against traditional media providers and the Australian Government. Facebook is now threatening to block both the users and media organisations in Australia sharing news stories, if the Australian government’s plan to demand Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc to pay for content goes ahead.

Media companies have been railing against the big media tech companies complaining that their reposting of ‘their’ stories, even Google’s use of a thumbnails and headlines in their search engine, constitutes a breach of copyright and the tech companies should pay the authors of the photos and stories.

Both Google and Facebook argue that their platforms provide an astonishing level of ‘eyeballs’ on the media company’s news stories through their websites and Facebook pages. Whilst acknowledging that they also profit from people finding their news on the tech platforms, both tech companies say the biggest winners are the actual media companies and stopping the service would only harm their profits in the long run.

They argue that the genie is out of the bottle and that the move to digital platforms and social media will continue, whether the traditional media like it or not.

Google, also targeted in the current proposals, is also campaigning forcefully against the proposed changes. They’ve even created their own counter-campaign with pop-ups on the search engine warning “the way Aussies use Google is at risk”. Same with their YouTube channel as they asked YouTubers and viewers around the world to complain to Australian authorities about the proposed legislation.

Facebook says that Australians would be prevented from posting local and international news stories on their platforms (Facebook also owns Instagram), claiming their reaction was “not our first choice” but the “only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic”.

The Australian government, with the support of the powerful news barons, has drawn up legislation to force Facebook and Google to pay struggling local news organisations for content or face millions of dollars in fines. The new laws could also force tech companies to reveal their closely guarded algorithms used to rank content.

In response, and throughout the debate, both Facebook and Google have claimed the proposed overhaul “misunderstands the dynamics of the internet” and will instead damage the news organisations the government is trying to protect.

“Most perplexing, it would force Facebook to pay news organisations for content that the publishers voluntarily place on our platforms and at a price that ignores the financial value we bring publishers,” according to Facebook Australia and NZ MD, Will Easton.

He also accused the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which has been preparing drafts of the new regulations, of having “ignored important facts” during a consultation process that concluded yesterday.

“News represents a fraction of what people see in their News Feed and is not a significant source of revenue for us.”

Along with the rise of the digital distribution of news, the traditional media have suffered huge drops in revenue with the consumers starting to use the new media – websites, apps, social media platforms – as their ‘go to’ source of news and information.

But Facebook say their platform sent 2.3 billion ‘clicks’ to Australian news websites in just the first 5 months of 2020 and was preparing to bring Facebook News to Australia, a new Facebook feature launched in the US last year where news publishers are paid for their news.

“Instead, we are left with a choice of either removing news entirely or accepting a system that lets publishers charge us for as much content as they want at a price with no clear limits.”

The proposed legislation will initially focus mainly on Facebook and Google but could eventually be rolled out to apply to any digital platform.

The proposals have strong support from powerful media outlets in Australia and is expected to be introduced this year. Australia’s media landscape has been run by a collection of powerful families and large media enterprises that have controlled media content for decades, including the Murdoch, Fairfax and Packer dynasties.

NOTE: The endgame on all this will be the success of the smaller online media players in Australia giving permission to the Googles and Facebooks to use their ‘news’ and, ultimately, become the platforms and locations Australians will get their news in the future – The Thaiger.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Preesy Chepuce

    September 3, 2020 at 9:52 am

    These platforms have had a free ride for years, exploiting other people’s data for free to make money, whilst regulation and anti-monopoly action has been slowly catching up. They got lucky, and now their luck is running out.

    • Avatar

      InnerCynic

      September 4, 2020 at 3:21 am

      No so quick there, sport. While I despise the big tech companies the fact remains that these organizations willingly allowed their news to be disseminated on a third party platform for all of those years and more than likely received ad revenue, too. So if they were bright, and they’re not, they’d have firewalled their stories and required users to pay for access, just like the old print days. They didn’t and they suffered at their own ignorant hands. Im shedding no tears for them

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Business

Struggling airlines to get reprieve through small loans, extension to fuel tax cut

Maya Taylor

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Struggling airlines to get reprieve through small loans, extension to fuel tax cut | The Thaiger
PHOTO: TAT News

Airlines in Thailand are being offered a financial lifeline, as the Government Savings Bank announces soft loans for carriers left struggling as a result of the current Covid-19 ‘disruption’. Nation Thailand reports that the GSB is offering the loans over a 60 month period, with an annual interest rate of 2%. Chairman Patchara Anuntasilpa says the proposal will shortly be put to Cabinet for approval.

Airlines have been left financially devastated by the fallout from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with countries closing their borders, passenger numbers plummeting, and carriers forced to slash the number of flights on offer. The services available, including the food services, were also curtailed early on as a preventative measure but that restriction has since been lifted. The effect is being keenly felt by all the airlines in Thailand, with the Kingdom’s borders closed to nearly all international traffic since March.

In a further effort to ease the financial crisis faced by Thai airlines, the Excise Department says it will extend the fuel tax cut for low-cost carriers by another 6 months from the end of this month. Patchara, who also serves as director-general of the Excise Department, says the tax may end up being abolished completely. In normal times, taxation on aviation fuel generates around 1 billion baht a year.

It’s understood the excise tax collected since October 2019 totals 503 billion baht, down more than 6.5% on last year’s figure. Most of the income comes from oil or oil products, cars, alcohol, and cigarettes.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Bangkok

First airplane food cafe, now Thai Airways opens fried dough stand

Caitlin Ashworth

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First airplane food cafe, now Thai Airways opens fried dough stand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Airways

Since not much is happening in the air, Thai Airways is running new business schemes on the ground. For their newest venture, the company opened a deep fried dough street food stand. They say the fried dough with taro custard is an “award winning” recipe.

Thai Airways has already opened a pop-up restaurant serving “in flight” food to customers seated in repurposed airplane seats. They also started offering package deals for a lessons on their flight stimulator, touting that it’s the most realistic stimulator in Thailand and is usually used to train pilots.

For their new fried dough stand outside of the company’s Bangkok headquarters, the new business venture has already “taken off.” Nation Thailand says a long line of people waiting for the 50 baht fried dough early Wednesday morning.

The stand is up from 6:30am to 9:30am in front of their headquarters on Silom Road.

Hopefully they’ll make a profit out of the fried dough with taro custard as they currently owe around 245 billion baht (give or take a few billion), according to Reuters. So 245 billion baht, divided by 50 baht, minus the costs of the taro and dough… they will have to sell a LOT.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Business

Foodpanda joins online grocery delivery movement

The Thaiger

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Foodpanda joins online grocery delivery movement | The Thaiger

Get your latest dinner or snack, or now a delivery from your supermarket. Foodpanda is the latest player to join the online grocery delivery movement as it is now operating under Pandamart. The German-based delivery app is the latest establishment to shift its focus on capitalising from “quick commerce” which sees items being delivered faster than traditional grocery stores.

However, the game is on as Pandamart enters at a time when Grabmart and HappyFresh already have penetrated the rapid delivery market by their respective Grab and Line Man apps. Thomas Buchan, the director of new verticals at Foodpanda Thailand, says customers expect deliveries faster in this new era.

“We are entering the era of quick commerce [q-commerce] where digital customers expect faster delivery within minutes or hours, unlike the 4.0 e-commerce era when users wait for same-day or next-day delivery.”

Pandamart delivers products within 20 minutes as orders are mapped to its nearest product storage facility within 10 km for faster delivery times. Such merchants partnering with the company include Gourmet Market, Lawson 108, Tesco, Beauty Buffet and the retail giant CP Freshmart.

To entice users, it also offers free delivery for orders of 50 baht or more with snacks, alcohol and beverages bringing in the most sales. Currently, Pandamart operates in 12 Asia-Pacific countries and Buchan says that number is expected to grow as shopping habits change.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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