A remarkable conflict is playing out between the Australian government on the one side, and Google and Facebook on the other. Facing legislation that would force the company to pay news publishers for links that appear on the platform, Facebook instead banned news for all its Australian users. Amid the ensuing firestorm of criticism, the Australian government and Facebook reached a compromise agreement to allow news to return. This conflict in Australia is playing out against the background of a growing movement to impose greater regulations on major tech companies and is likely a preview of other fights to come. On this week’s edition of Lawfare‘s Arbiters of Truth miniseries on disinformation and misinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic speak with Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, the director of the Reuters Institute and a professor of political communication at the University of Oxford, about the fight between Australia and Facebook and the future of media and Big Tech regulation.
Facebook and Google provide financial support to the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit organization devoted to rigorous, independent, in-depth public policy research.