News Corp

Rupert Murdoch’s attempt to shakedown Facebook and Google is underwritten by Scott Morrison and the Liberal Party

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and the Scott Morrison government are conspiring in an attempt to shakedown Google and Facebook for hundreds of millions of dollars. To prove the first point, about Murdoch’s role, the draft legislation that the ACCC recommends the government should legislate was literally drafted by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp who submitted it to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for them to countersign. 

Murdoch does not run a media company in Australia as it has become nothing more than the media arm of the Liberal Party / National Party coalition. If Murdoch wants something from the politicians he gets it which is evident in the Google / Facebook shakedown. Even The Conversation website, which is owned by Australian Universities, has reported it as fact as per the 2019 article which started off:

“There is mounting evidence that Australia is sick of Rupert Murdoch and the political propaganda machine he runs in the guise of a news organisation.” (Click here to read more)

In the above picture, Murdoch says he wants Facebook and Google to pay a fee to “trusted news publishers”. Well, that rules out all of Murdoch’s media which are the home of fake news such as News Corp papers, Sky News and Fox News and are all propaganda publishers and broadcasters.

The shakedown

To prove the second point, about the shakedown, when the draft legislation was announced regarding the federal government forcing Google and Facebook to pay Australian media companies Facebook said they would stop allowing links to be posted on Facebook linking to Australian media websites and immediately Australian media companies complained it was a threat.

When Facebook made its “threat” a week ago Prime Minister Scott Morrison came out talking tough and the SMH reported:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has maintained the government’s hardline stance on a proposed mandatory code to force Facebook and Google to pay publishers for news, warning he did not respond well to coercion.

In his first comments since Facebook last week threatened to switch off Australian news on its platforms, Mr Morrison reaffirmed the government would proceed with the code of conduct and urged the tech behemoths to engage “constructively” with the process. (Click here to read more)

Australian media are complaining that Google and Facebook profit from their articles but don’t pay for it when they should but when Facebook says they will stop Australian media claim it is a threat when it is what they should want.

That says Australian media are in effect demanding that Google and Facebook promote their articles and websites and also pay for it. That is what I would call a shakedown.

You won’t read the facts as outlined in this article in the old media as they all have their hand out hoping to also profit from the Google and Facebook shakedown.

Why should Facebook pay media companies’ for putting a link to media companies articles which encourages people to click on the links and visit the media companies websites? It’s really free advertising for the media companies and the same goes for Google promoting the media companies’ websites in search queries.

When the ACCC announced they were holding an enquiry into forcing Google and Facebook to pay media companies I made submissions supporting it but on further reflection, it really is a “Murdoch Tax” the government have introduced to keep Rupert Murdoch happy and help try to save Murdoch’s News Corp which is in big trouble financially. (Click here to read my submission to the ACCC)

The old media such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Kerry Stokes’ Seven West Media have already had their hands out for government grants totalling around $100 million already during the COVID19 crisis and the shakedown of Facebook and Google could be the ultimate prize.

Why not have foreign companies pay their fair share of tax instead?

There is no benefit for the public in the shakedown of Google and Facebook and the public would be better off if the government focused on making foreign companies like Google and Facebook pay their fair share of tax which they currently don’t. But that wouldn’t suit Rupert Murdoch as News Corp is also a foreign-owned company that has paid no tax in recent years and Murdoch would prefer that Google’s and Facebook’s money went into his pocket, not the taxpayer’s pocket.

If Murdoch’s shakedown of Google and Facebook gets over the line, then the Scott Morrison’s government will want payback above and beyond the support they are already getting from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp papers and Sky News with biased reporting in their favour. Which means the new “Murdoch Tax” will undermine democracy even more than what Murdoch has done to date.

Australian media is in the process of going through its biggest shake-up in history and an example of that is Seven West Media don’t want to pay for the cricket anymore which would have been unthinkable a few years ago. A major reason is that Seven West Media are almost bankrupt the same as News Corp and that’s why they have their hands out so much trying to survive but they don’t deserve help with the lies and propaganda they publish and broadcast. 

Australian democracy and the public would be far better off having Seven West Media, News Corp and other struggling old media companies going bankrupt then having Google and Facebook propping them up. 

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30 replies »

  1. I wouldn’t expect anything else from the Murdoch Corporation Nor the Morrison Government, what
    this country has to wake up to is the ongoing manipulation activities of both Murdoch and Morrison Government. The people of Australia need to wake up and remind themselves of these issues at the next Australian Federal Election. Morrison and Murdoch are out for one thing “looking after”
    after their mates and turning their backs on everyday Australians who pay or have paid taxes for years to keep Government in their jobs. Colonial Days have not passed.

  2. In one respect, who cares? Avoid fakebook, fake google, and fake main stream media. Let them all die (un)happily together. (But yes, I agree that it is a huge attempted shakedown.)

    Seriously, and with all due respect, if you still use those “services” to find your news about the world then you are an utter fool.

    • Well said Concerned Ozzie, often wondered how anyone could bring themself to digest any of the propaganda dispersed by Murdoch and now Ninemedia, neither organisation now employ credible journalists.. Journalism in Australia is all but deceased.

  3. he who would love to be King, but feels he has reached Kingly status, megalomaniac Murdoch is a disgrace to Australia and humanity, one huge fault with Democracy, seems to have our ruling Party begging at his feet and words, dont we have wonderful education to guide us to think this is accptable dictatorship, what is going to save Australia ??? we have become the dumbest Western Country in the World

    • The documentary currently being shown on ABC TV about the Murdoch empire shows clearly, with evidence- how he swayed public opinion in the UK and helped the Conservative party win government in the 90s! Also shows the criminal spying on private citizens which was then blamed on loyal employees. None of the Murdochs paid for their misdeeds!😡

    • No Alan, as I believe the USA has won that title very recently. Australia does not need Facebook nor Google. The sooner our local companies are compensated for their work, the more beneficial it is for our own country. The Gov and ACCC need to stand strong against BigTech as this will inevitably change a major amount of issues worldwide, being the mass censorship, misinformation and disinformation, media propaganda through BigTech agencies (specifically targeted at individual groups). There are plenty of other search engines and social media sites through alt-tech.

      We cannot be a country that allows these BigTech companies to dictate to us. We do not need them. They have grown so huge now, that the BigTech egos “think” we “need” them. However, this is not the case, as you are beginning to see happen around the world with their latest attacks and censorship worldwide on free speech. Never think that these companies are on our side as they are not.

      I just want to be clear though, I literally cannot stand ScoMo or Murdoch. However, at this time, they are our only hope at getting rid of this hold that BigTech has over us, once and for all.

  4. Thank you, you have a way of cutting to the chase with this nonsense. When explained simply it looks very much like a shakedown.

  5. Pretty spot on. Murdoch should have been declared an agent of foreign influence years ago and the Sydney Morning Costello is now not much better. I’ve cancelled my monthly subs to then after the Covid reporting garbage.

  6. The PM seems to be doing it tough along with people who work for a living to pay his wages and lifelong benefits………not.

  7. Interesting article. We have multiple problems related to our existence. Corruption, climate change, environmental vandalism, corporate tax evasion etc. While everyday people allow this to continue nothing will change. I’m a big believer in people power and if enough people stand up and demand integrity from our politicians then things will change. It starts with a commonwealth integrity commission.

    • Ordinary people vote, canvass against the lnp, march and sign petitions.. short of an actual revolt what else do you suggest?

  8. There were 76 submissions made to the ACCC Inquiry into the Digital Platform –

    Getty Images made a submission and it responded to one of the questions this way –

    3.28 How has the Australian advertising expenditure changed over time? In particular, how have digital platforms impacted the advertising revenue of media companies, especially those involved in the supply of news and journalistic content, and how have media markets responded?

    “Digital platforms have fragmented the audience for news content with a corresponding effect on how advertising money is allocated by companies. Media buyer, NunnMedia, told the Future of Public Interest Journalism Inquiry, “As a media buyer who is briefed to reach as many relevant people as possible on behalf of your client, you follow the audience. If the way to them is through disaggregation –most commonly referred to as Google and Facebook –then that’s where you go…It’s fragmented the way that money is being spent. What that means in practical terms is the amount of money going to those who produce content has diminished as a share….”12

    Fairfax Media doesn’t mind Google, but not so Facebook –

    “….As a result, fewer opportunities have emerged to date to work with Facebook to support the viability of our journalism or appropriately recognise the value professionally-created content brings to Facebook’s business model. In fact, Facebook commonly suggest to publishers that they invest resourcing in Facebook-related products (e.g. Instant Articles, Facebook-native video, Live video) with an unclear path to commercialisation. Moreover, publishers who choose not to participate often see a subsequent loss of traffic. For example, following the release of Instant Articles newsfeed began to prioritise articles in that format over links to publishers’ owned and operated channels.”

    Intellectual property has a value and a creator should be compensated if a digital platform operator uses it to make its business model profitable by drawing in advertisers. China is the biggest thief of intellectual property but we only think of it as China stealing others’ ideas to make copycat products. We complain about China’s stealing and want the Government to act. But there is more to intellectual property than copycat products. Facebook and Google exploit the intellectual property of journalistic articles created by the likes of News Ltd. Is that fair or not?

    • We pay royalties to the music industry. We don’t complain about that. Maybe we should look upon this proposed legislation as paying a royalty to the News Ltd and the like for use of their journalistic articles by Facebook, Google and whatever digital platforms that use them without having an agreement in place with the content maker..

      • News Corp publishes propaganda so why pay for it? And Google and Facebook promote News Corp so why should they pay News Corp? It should be the other way around.

      • “We pay royalties to the music industry…”
        If you knew, or had worked in the music industry, you’d know how corrupt to the core this sector is.

        As it is, the ‘rights collections societys’ (i.e: RIAA, APRA) claim to represent people they don’t, collect licenses\royalties for people they don’t represent – and thus those people never get paid.
        RIAA\APRA only represent the big labels. If your a self producing & self-signed artist, when you perform at a public event APRA will demand a license be paid for from the event producers – as they claim they represent you. But of course they don’t, so they keep the money.

      • Rap music promotes violence and sexual mistreatment of women. So why pay a royalty to hear that rubbish? People want to listen to it. and do.

        Do we want journalists to have jobs or not.? That is the crux of the matter.

      • @Enough of the lies Yes, we do want [quality] journalists to have jobs. Trouble is, the old media companies have decimated their good journalist numbers in favour of junior hacks who write click-bait propaganda as demanded by their bosses. THAT is the crux of the matter.

  9. So if these media companies take money for there content then that content is proven to be deliberately false and misleading then these media companies such as Murdoch’s are then they should be made liable and accountable for legal challenges?
    There is more corruption in this government than ever before in the history of Australia!!

  10. You suggested on your submission that remuneration (payment from Google\Facebook) should be based upon clicks & views – brilliant!! your advocating for news content which is based upon click-bait, and have argued this is more ‘valuable’… you just know the tabloids would love this.

    Secondly, the entire proposal is nothing more than anti-google & anti-facebook positioning. Why is it that Apple News (only available on Apple devices) don’t have to pay? What about Yahoo News or Bing News… or all the other news aggregators?

    Otherwise – why is it that “news” organizations should be paid for having traffic directed to their websites, while every other business type doesn’t get paid and have to figure out how to ‘monetize’ the traffic to their site?
    As it is, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing, Apple all direct traffic to your website for free (no cost to you) . If you’d prefer they didn’t do this, then just put a “noindex” meta tag on the site & utilize og tags to direct them elsewhere.

    • You say “your advocating for news content which is based upon click-bait, and have argued this is more ‘valuable’… you just know the tabloids would love this”. If they love it then why haven’t they put that is their submissions.

      As I said in the article “When the ACCC announced they were holding an enquiry into forcing Google and Facebook to pay media companies I made submissions supporting it but on further reflection, it really is a “Murdoch Tax”” So my position is not important and I don’t qualify anyhow based on the draft legislation.

      Facebook sends no traffic to my website, Facebook users do. The amount of traffic I receive from Yahoo, Bing, Apple is virtually nothing.

  11. My money is on the internet companies. They already have more power and authority than ScoMo’s curry kitchen cabinet. They also have better brains and more money. The oligarch masters of Trump, Morrison an Boris hate the net and would love to castrate it but we shall see.

  12. “The Greens have offered to support a controversial plan to force Google and Facebook to pay Australian news organisations for content, but only if the ABC and SBS are covered by the industry code.”

    “Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has previously said the public broadcasters have been excluded from the code as they have “secure government funding”, and that they would benefit from proposed minimum standards on issues not related to payments.”

    Now The Greens move makes the debate interesting.

  13. After digesting all the information and now writing a simple comment, the Australian media require payment from Google and Facebook for the regular news posted within their programmes.
    Complete news stories are not available on either of those sites unless a fee is paid, because I am one of many people refuse to pay a fee for content of which the majority is of no interest, fictional, lies, and assumptions.

  14. The problem here is the prospect of the money ending up in Murdoch’s pocket. His tactics and outlets are among the worst of the worst.

    However G&FB are siphoning up all the advertising revenue, leaving little left to pay for quality content – wherever the hell that is these days.

    I am not philosophically opposed to the profiteers paying to keep food on the table of professional journalists, if only we could keep Rupert’s slimy mitts off of it.

    Despite being sure that a NewsCorp/ScoMo deal would be the worst imaginable, and having no clue as to how a fair one might work, I still can’t see my way clear to sticking up for G&FB here when they are making billions from conspiracy theories and similar garbage while less and less money goes towards actual journalism.

    I agree that this deal would undoubtedly just end up giving Murdoch more power, and unless he is going to pay tax on it in Aus (fat chance) our government has no business supporting it, but I don’t see a black and white answer to the larger question.

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