Google has been accused of spreading ‘misinformation’ by claiming that Australians will be denied free internet searches if tech giants like them are forced to pay for news they use.
Anyone using the search engine is now confronted with a yellow exclamation mark with a link to a so-called ‘open letter to Australians’ from the CEO of the company in Australia, Mel Silva.
Those who click the link will be faced with a warning about the end of free Internet searches and that data will be ‘transferred to major news companies’.
“We need to notify you about new government regulations that will harm the way Australians use Google Search and YouTube,” said Ms Silva’s letter.
Google has been accused of spreading ‘misinformation’ by claiming that Australians will be denied free internet searches if tech giants like them are forced to pay for news they use
Anyone using the search engine will now be faced with a yellow exclamation mark with a link to a so-called ‘open letter to Australians’ from the company’s managing director in Australia, Mel Silva
A bill called the News Media Bargaining Code would force us to provide you with a much worse Google Search and YouTube, could result in your data being transferred to major news companies, and put the free services you use at risk. Australia.’
Google’s CEO in Australia, Mel Silva: ‘We need to notify you about new government regulations that will hurt the way Australians use Google Search and YouTube’
But the Australian consumer watchdog that has proposed making the tech giants pay media organizations for news items shown on their platforms has hit back – accusing Google of not telling the truth.
“The open letter published by Google today contains misinformation,” said Rod Sims, chief of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Last month, the ACCC stated that Google and Facebook would be forced to pay media companies for the right to use their stories or be fined up to $ 10 million for violating a copyright agreement.
In a world first, the competition regulator is proposing a new draft code that instructs the US search engine and social media giants to make fair payment deals with commercial media outlets.
Google hinted that its rankings would eventually favor news outlets that had entered into commercial agreements with them under the ACCC proposal.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accused Google of releasing a letter that ‘contains false information’
“The law would force us to give an unfair advantage to one group of companies – news media companies – over everyone else with a website, YouTube channel, or a small business,” Silva said.
Only news media companies would get information that would help them artificially increase their rankings above everyone else, even if someone else gets a better result.
“The proposed changes aren’t fair and they mean Google and YouTube search results will be worse for you.”
Ms. Silva also claimed that Google should hand over data to media companies.
“You entrust us with your data and it is our job to keep it safe,” she said.
This law requires Google to tell news media companies “how to access” information about your use of our products.
Belinda Barnet, a senior media lecturer at Swinburne University who specializes in social media, pointed out that Google’s parent company Alphabet posted fourth-quarter earnings in excess of $ 45 billion. Revenues were $ 38.3 billion or $ A53 billion
“There is no way of knowing if the transferred data would be protected, or how it could be used by news media companies.”
Mr. Sims strongly contested Google’s open letter, saying it would not be required to ‘charge Australians for using its free services such as Google Search and YouTube unless he chooses to do so’.
“The open letter published by Google today contains inaccurate information about the draft code for news media negotiation rules that the ACCC would like to address,” he said.
Mr Sims said the draft code is designed to address “a significant imbalance in the bargaining power between Australian news media companies and Google and Facebook.”
“A healthy news media sector is essential to a functioning democracy,” he said.
Belinda Barnet, a senior media lecturer at Swinburne University who specializes in social media, pointed out that Google’s parent company Alphabet posted fourth-quarter profits of more than $ 38.3 billion ($ A53 billion).
“Oh, howl a river, Google,” she tweeted.
ACC Chairman Rod Sims strongly contested Google’s open letter, saying it would not be required to “ charge Australians for using its free service like Google Search and YouTube unless it chooses to do so ”
“A trillion dollar company with $ 46 billion in fourth quarter profit is trying to convince YOU that it is somehow dangerous to share a * tiny fraction * of their revenues with Australian media. ‘
Under the ACCC’s draft code, a maximum fine of $ 10 million would be imposed on the multinational companies if Google or Facebook failed to honor a content-sharing deal and were sentenced by federal court.
The digital giants could also be fined the equivalent of three times the commercial benefit they got from illegally sharing the news content, or ten percent of their annual revenues in Australia in the past year.
Under the proposed new settlement, Google and Facebook would be forced into third-party arbitration with media companies if they fail to reach an agreement with them.
An independent arbitrator would make a decision within 45 working days.