An Australia With No Google? The Bitter Fight Behind a Drastic Threat
Found this very interesting...SYDNEY, Australia — In a major escalation, Google threatened on Friday to make its search engine unavailable in Australia if the government approved legislation that would force tech companies to pay for journalism shared on their platforms.
Facebook, which appeared with Google at an Australian Senate hearing, reaffirmed a threat of its own, vowing to block users in Australia from posting or sharing links to news if the bill passed.
In both cases, the dire warnings — which one senator called blackmail — revealed the apparent willingness of Facebook and Google to hide or erase reliable sources of information for millions of people at a time when social media platforms are under fire for helping misinformation spread worldwide.
The companies argue that they already help the media industry by sending it traffic, and that the bill would open them up to “unmanageable levels of financial and operational risk.” The response by Google, which controls 95 percent of all queries in Australia in addition to owning YouTube, has grown particularly aggressive: The company recently buried major Australian news sites in search results in what it called an “experiment.”