As per a Mandatory code of conduct, released by the Australian Government, the two digital Tech Giants Facebook and Google will now be forced to share a particular revenue of their advertising department with the Australian Media company. This decision was taken after the treasurer of Australia. Josh Frydenberg stated that a mandatory code needs to be developed for such digital giant companies as there has been a decline in the revenue bought by advertising, due to the ongoing pandemic coronavirus.
As a response to this statement, the Federal Government of Australia asked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to come up with a mandatory code that will exist between the media companies of Australia along with digital companies like Facebook and Google. The decision was taken in December and was undergoing review and checks.
The code is not only about digital Tech giant companies to share their advertisement revenue. But the main goal of this mandatory code is to allow the companies to negotiate with the media houses and how they will pay them based on the content they have used, to keep the news media aware if any changes have been made to their algorithm, and how that will affect their content rating and ranking.
The code will also make sure that the digital companies are favoring the source of their news content and showing them as top results in their search engine. They also want to make sure that their data is being shared with the Media companies.
The code was all set to be mandated from November 2020. Still, due to proper negotiations between the companies and the platform within a limited time, the code was finalized early and released in April. The rate in which the ad revenue was declining for the Australian Media Houses, was also one of the main reason that incited the quick decision to be taken.
The code comes with all the elements that were introduced and proposed in the voluntary code. But there have been a few changes made to it, and now the code comes with penalties and resolution mechanisms for binding disputes between the Digital Tech Giant Companies and the news media. The code not only caters to Facebook and Google but will also include other main platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. They will encompass the services of Google’s search engine along with Facebook’s Ad Manager.
By the end of July, a Draft code is supposed to be finalized, and after that, the Government will set up the final text to be released. According to the Treasurer of Australia, Josh Frydenberg, it is only fair that the news media that provided the original content is paid for what they have worked hard for. He aims to create a ‘level playing field’ for everyone.
The Communications Minister of Australia, Paul Fletcher, said, “Digital platforms have fundamentally changed the way that media content is produced, distributed and consumed.” He further added, “Digital platforms need to do more to improve the transparency of their operations for news media providers as they have a significant impact on the capacity of news media organizations to build and maintain an audience and derive resources from the media content they produce.”Source
According to the Minister, the decision has been taken to produce a strong and reliable ecosystem for the news media. That, too, in the world, is currently facing a huge crisis in the name of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is not a surprise that the pandemic has truly taken down the economies of many leading countries such as Australia, the US, and the UK, Spain, and Italy. But the countries are doing their best to regain their control in the economy without compromising the health and wellbeing of their fellow citizens. Various relief funds and camps have been set up by the governments of Canada as well as France to help their citizens in need.