Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison fired back at Google for threatening to get rid of its search engine in the country.
“We don’t respond to threats,” Morrison said Friday, according to ABC News.
“Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia. That’s done in our parliament. It’s done by our government. And that’s how things work here in Australia.”
The Australian government is considering a proposal called the News Media Bargaining Code, Gizmodo reported.
This code would require companies, such as Google and Big Tech companion Facebook, to pay in order to link to the content of many media organizations.
A major move like this would give more revenue to media outlets rather than large technology companies.
It would also make it more difficult for people to find news using Google and Facebook, as the large companies would be less likely to pay news outlets for content.
The Morrison Government is introducing a mandatory bargaining code to help create a level playing field in Australia’s online advertising market.
We want to see news media businesses fairly paid for creating original journalistic content. pic.twitter.com/f5M6tdi8eP
— Josh Frydenberg (@JoshFrydenberg) December 9, 2020
Morrison and other conservative figures in the Australian government have vocally opposed technology monopolies, especially after the permanent Twitter suspension of former United States President Donald Trump.
“I would say to the owners of Twitter, if you’re going to take down the comments of who is still the American President you need to think also about the photo, the doctored image, which shows a soldier, supposedly an Australian digger with a child in his arms, about to do harm to that child,” former acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack said earlier this month, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
McCormack was referencing a fake image posted to Twitter that suggested Australian troops murdered civilians in Afghanistan.
It is understandable that world leaders would want to keep these large companies in check, as they do not want their own political views to be censored online.
The rigid News Media Bargaining Code some Australian leaders want would not only benefit media companies, but it would also reduce the power and influence Google has in the country.
Mel Silva, the managing director for Google Australia, criticized the proposal as detrimental to how the internet functions.
“The new law means Google would have to pay certain news companies to show you links to their sites. … Paying for links breaks the way search engines work, and it undermines how the web works, too,” she said in a video posted to Twitter.
Mel Silva, Managing Director for Google Australia, explains why there is a workable news code that doesn’t break Google Search. Learn more about what the News Media Bargaining Code means for you at https://t.co/X4UoySQPLw pic.twitter.com/9UjtaPW0zZ
— googledownunder (@googledownunder) January 22, 2021
The battle between Australian leaders and Google makes it clear that the debate over “Big Tech” monopolies is a global affair that is bound to have major implications for how the people get their information.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.