Google is engaging in an ‘information war’

Published on January 30, 2021 by

Tech Guide Editor Stephen Fenech says Google is launching an “information war” as it ramps up its news media campaign in the wake of the Australian government’s media bargaining code.

“Every time an Australian does a Google search, this big yellow box appears at the top of their search… you click on that link and it links you to a video from Australian Google Managing Director Mel Silva, he said.

“She explains the situation – how it will affect search – if the bargaining code goes on it its present form. She uses an interesting analogy. She says it’s like recommending coffee shops to friends and then receives the bill for the recommendations.

“What she left out of that analogy is… not only has she made the recommendations but the person she made the recommendations to will now receive ads about coffee, based on age, sex and location.

“The data collected in that search is the currency she didn’t mention.”

The bargaining agreement would force social media giants to pay news media outlets for the use of their content on their platforms.

Mr Fenech said if it was the other way round and media companies were explaining their side of the story in their own terms in a wide-reaching way, like Google is, the public might not agree with that.

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