Facebook Demonstrates It Is More Powerful Than a Single Country

February 23, 2021

I read “Facebook to Reverse News Ban on Australian Sites, Government to Make Amendments to Media Bargaining Code.” It’s official. Google paid up. Facebook stood up and flexed its biceps. The Australian government swatted at the flies in Canberra, gurgled a Fosters, and rolled over. The write up states:

Facebook will walk back its block on Australian users sharing news on its site after the government agreed to make amendments to the proposed media bargaining laws that would force major tech giants to pay news outlets for their content.

The after party will rationalize what happened. But from rural Kentucky, it certainly seems as if Facebook is now able to operate as a nation state. Facebook can impose its will upon a government. Facebook can do what it darn well pleases, thank you very much.

The write-up has a great quote attributed to Josh Frydenberg, the Australian government treasurer:

Facebook is now going to engage good faith negotiations with the commercial players.

Are there historical parallels? Sure, how about Caesar and the river thing?

Turning point and benchmark.

Stephen E Arnold, February 23, 2021


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