Following the terrorist attack in Christchurch last week the Morrison government (and others) is seizing the opportunity to blame social media companies.
Here is Scott Morrison on Twitter:
- The video was viewed fewer than 200 times during the live broadcast. No users reported the video during the live broadcast. Including the views during the live broadcast, the video was viewed about 4000 times in total before being removed from Facebook.
- The first user report on the original video came in 29 minutes after the video started, and 12 minutes after the live broadcast ended.
- Before we were alerted to the video, a user on 8chan posted a link to a copy of the video on a file-sharing site.
- In the first 24 hours, we removed about 1.5 million videos of the attack globally. More than 1.2 million of those videos were blocked at upload, and were therefore prevented from being seen on our services.
Sounds like they did heaps … and worked hard at doing it.
For anyone interested the September 11 footage can be seen here. Many Cats will remember that terrorist attack being broadcast on national television.
Then there is the executive chairman of News Corp Australasia.
Facebook did not permit anyone to do anything. The shooter did not ask permission. He abused a service they offer. Facebook are a victim here too.
Now I’m a huge fan of News Corp but their hypocrisy here is breathtaking. On Monday – yes, the day before yesterday – Chris Mitchell was bragging about how The Australian published a photo of a child holding a severed head on their front page.
But the former Fairfax Media and the ABC criticised this paper for publishing a photo of Sharrouf with one of his children holding a severed head in Syria in August 2014. Their pious tut-tutting was short-lived after papers around the world published the same picture on their front pages the next day.
By Tuesday this sort of thing was unacceptable. Who is piously tut-tutting now?
So here is the story – new platform businesses are disrupting old platform businesses. The traditional media are being disrupted by new digital businesses such as Facebook and Google. News Corp is running off to the regulators:
The ACCC’s inquiry focuses on digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content aggregation platforms that affect competition in media and advertising markets. It found in it its draft report last year that Google and Facebook market dominance had affected traditional publishing companies.
In its submission, News Corp said it supported the ACCC’s recommendations to regulate digital platforms and address the lack of transparency of algorithms, but it would like the regulator to go further by forcing Google to sell its search engine, or retain Google Search and divest the rest of its businesses to a third party.
Opportunism on the part of politicians to be seen to be “doing something” and rent-seeking on the part of incumbents seldom results in good policy – especially when those interests converge.