Thicc alien boi Mark Zuckerberg apparently met with the government to oppose their proposed news media bargaining code, which would make companies like Facebook and Google have to pay media companies for news.
Speaking on Insiders on Sunday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher had a meeting with Zucc pretty recently – last week, in fact.
“It was a very constructive discussion,” Frydenberg said.
He said Zucc “reached out to talk about the code and the impact on Facebook” and that “the Prime Minister has [also] spoken to the CEO and President of Microsoft”.
“They’re watching this very closely, and no doubt see opportunities here in Australia to expand, too,” he added.
WATCH: @JoshFrydenberg on talking with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the PM with the CEO and president of Microsoft about the proposal to make big tech companies pay media companies for journalism. #Insiders #auspol pic.twitter.com/mSRM2N8qoe
— Insiders ABC (@InsidersABC) January 30, 2021
Whether the meeting actually changed things remains to be seen.
When asked whether the government was going to shift on any of its points after chatting with Zucc, Frydenberg was pretty blunt.
“Mark Zuckerberg didn’t convince me to back down,” he said.
In case you need a refresher, this policy which is compelling Zuckerberg to meet with Aussie politicians and prompting Google to stick ominous-looking warning messages all over search results is all about paying for news.
The government wants these companies to pay media organisations for articles listed in search results or shared by users. The idea is that both sides will agree on a price, and if they can’t, then the ACCC will step in and decide for them.
These companies would also have to give Aussie news outlets a two-week heads-up about any changes to their algorithms.
“Now, the goalposts seem to be shifting, because originally they had a concern with the algorithm requirements of notification,” Frydenberg said.
“Then it was about value exchange and then it was about a final arbitration model. Now we’re told that if we go ahead with this, we’re going to break the internet.
“What I do know is that media businesses should be paid for content.”
In response, Google said it might pull out of Australia while Facebook threatened to ban news.
The world-first legislation clearly has them worried. Let’s hope they can eventually put aside their differences and agree on something constructive for everyone.
That’s how the treasurer feels, anyway: “Zuckerberg, Frydenberg, what’s the difference… except a few billion dollars, I suppose.”