Open letter to Australians

It is long over-due that the Australian government stops sabotaging the Australian economy. Mel Silva – Managing Director of Google Australia and New Zealand lets them know.

~*~

We need to let you know about new Government regulation that will hurt how Australians use Google Search and YouTube.

A proposed law, the News Media Bargaining Code, would force us to provide you with a dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube, could lead to your data being handed over to big news businesses, and would put the free services you use at risk in Australia.

The way Aussies search every day on Google is at risk from new regulation

You’ve always relied on Google Search and YouTube to show you what’s most relevant and helpful to you. We could no longer guarantee that under this law. The law would force us to give an unfair advantage to one group of businesses – news media businesses – over everyone else who has a website, YouTube channel or small business. News media businesses alone would be given information that would help them artificially inflate their ranking over everyone else, even when someone else provides a better result. We’ve always treated all website owners fairly when it comes to information we share about ranking. The proposed changes are not fair and they mean that Google Search results and YouTube will be worse for you.

Your Search data may be at risk

You trust us with your data and our job is to keep it safe. Under this law, Google has to tell news media businesses “how they can gain access” to data about your use of our products. There’s no way of knowing if any data handed over would be protected, or how it might be used by news media businesses.

Hurting the free services you use

We deeply believe in the importance of news to society. We partner closely with Australian news media businesses — we already pay them millions of dollars and send them billions of free clicks every year. We’ve offered to pay more to license content. But rather than encouraging these types of partnerships, the law is set up to give big media companies special treatment and to encourage them to make enormous and unreasonable demands that would put our free services at risk.

This law wouldn’t just impact the way Google and YouTube work with news media businesses — it would impact all of our Australian users, so we wanted to let you know. We’re going to do everything we possibly can to get this proposal changed so we can protect how Search and YouTube work for you in Australia and continue to build constructive partnerships with news media businesses — not choose one over the other.

You’ll hear more from us in the coming days — stay tuned.

Thank you,
Mel Silva, Managing Director, on behalf of Google Australia

This entry was posted in Free Enterprise, Market Economy, Taxation, Technology & Telco. Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to Open letter to Australians

  1. Walter Plinge says:

    Not persuasive and a great example of special pleading.

    Disclaimer: I pay for 3 x Google Business subscriptions plus additional storage.

  2. Infidel Tiger King says:

    Anything that hurts Google is okay by me.

  3. Frank says:

    Do people still use google for search?

  4. Do people still use google for search?

    What are the alternatives. Beyond Bing and Yahoo.

  5. duncanm says:

    What are the alternatives. Beyond Bing and Yahoo.

    duckduckgo

  6. HT says:

    duncanm
    #3550039, posted on August 17, 2020 at 10:56 am
    What are the alternatives. Beyond Bing and Yahoo.

    duckduckgo

    +1

    And Duck Duck Go respects your privacy.

  7. Tim Neilson says:

    You may dislike Google, but that doesn’t mean that government and the MSM aren’t trying to award themselves a propaganda platform.
    Has anyone looked at this supposed new “Code”? If it’s promoted by government and the MSM there’s got to be a good chance that it is flabbergastingly vile, even if Google is collateral damage.

  8. mundi says:

    You shouldn’t use google.

    The way this is worded is rather crazy…. every news media business *must* participate.

    This seems to be too strong arm google into an approach where they can’t just drop certain organisations, but have to drop all Australians news completely if they don’t agree.

    Personally I hope google just drop everything from Australia, it will get people on to better search platforms.

  9. Genghis says:

    Hypocritical hogwash. There so called free news is being generated by others. If you reduce Google News then perhaps people will go to proper news like ‘Guardian Australia’ or the Age (Pravada on the Yarra).

  10. John Brumble says:

    I generally agree that Google shouldn’t have to pay news outlets for those snippets of content, but that Open Letter is just flat out dishonest on a number of levels.

  11. MatrixTransform says:

    What are the alternatives. Beyond Bing and Yahoo.

    Brave browser

    … and Google can suffocate in their own moral vacuum

  12. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Google abandoned their motto “don’t be evil” for the obvious reason.
    If Trump wins in November they are going to be eviscerated.
    Which they deserve given their ideological persecution of anyone not lefty.

  13. wal1957 says:

    You’ve always relied on Google Search and YouTube to show you what’s most relevant and helpful to you.

    Yeah…Nah!
    Typical PR speak.

  14. stackja says:

    Google Search results unreliable?

  15. OldOzzie says:

    After Andrew Bolt and Piers Akerman disappeared from Google Chrome before a number of conservative occurrences overseas disappearing (they then came back)

    I have moved all my browsers to https://duckduckgo.com/. – search engine

    Google get Knotted

  16. Tom says:

    I notice you didn’t give Google a “guest post”, Sinclair. Do I take it, therefore, that you are endorsing the Google monopoly, along with the self-serving disinformational gibberish Google outlined above?

  17. mh says:

    #freemillieweaver

  18. Sinclair Davidson says:

    I was going to – but I don’t have her permission to reproduce the open letter.

    But “Yes” – I completely and utterly endorse corporations sticking it to government and politicians. This anti-business sentiment in Canberra is a luxury that we cannot afford.

  19. Bob in Castlemaine says:

    Obviously Google search’s resources are immense but its ideologically and politically motivated manipulation of search results diminishes its usefulness. I find myself considering the likelihood of this manipulation before deciding to sometimes use duckduckgo instead.

  20. mh says:

    I completely and utterly endorse corporations sticking it to government and politicians

    Dragonfly *cough*

  21. Infidel Tiger King says:

    In a righteous world neither the MSM or Google would exist.

  22. bemused says:

    Do people still use google for search?

    I’ve tried DDG numerous times and compared the results to Google, chalk and cheese and always in Google’s favour when it comes to what I’m after. DDG is just an aggregator and doesn’t often provide what I consider relevant results.

    All Google has to do is not list any media results and problem solved. I understand that this happened in the EU and the media very quickly changed their minds as their page clicks dropped dramatically. The same with YouTube. In both cases, overseas media shouldn’t be affected.

    And no, I’m not a big fan of how Google and YouTube works, but I’m even less of a fan of our media.

  23. Rex Anger says:

    It’s almost a situation like the battles in Poland in 1939, with Germany and the USSR advancing on Warsaw.

    2 awful sides seeking to carve up a third party. Can you honestly back either one? Or do you support the evacuation of everyone you can, assist those who want to remain and Resist, then make plans for the defeat of both?

    I like moral dilemmas as much as Indiana Jones likes big men flourishing equally big swords at him…

  24. H B Bear says:

    Google is not your friend.

  25. woolfe says:

    I see we have “I believe in free speech but….” from some. No when there is a but you are one of the anti fre speech brigade

  26. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    I completely and utterly endorse corporations sticking it to government and politicians.

    That would be good in theory except that Google is plugged into the Leftist political establishment.
    So all you are doing Sinc is supporting Pravda and Izvestia.

  27. flyingduk says:

    A proposed law, the News Media Bargaining Code, would force us to provide you with a dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube

    you mean worse even than your shadow banning and unsubscribing, or worse still total deplatforming of the ‘conservative’ commentators I like to watch on Youtube, my crypto channels, information supporting the use of HCQ in COVID? You mean even worse than that???

  28. Chris M says:

    Tough one…. on the one hand yes Google should pay, on the other hand anything that hastens the demise of the fake news media is to be encouraged. But then Google are both.

  29. BM says:

    To borrow a phrase, it sounds like “baddies vs baddies” to me.

    Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is just another enemy.

  30. Struth says:

    They are both our enemies.
    They both want to own our minds, and in the end the globalised socialist spin will be the same from both sides.
    It’s just who gets a cut.

  31. Angus Black says:

    No one has to use google for anything. All it’s products are readily substitutable

  32. Walter Plinge says:

    Duckduckgo…pathetic. By way of experiment I searched for “so he walked on from day to day, studiously striving to look a man, but knowing within his breast that he was a god”, Duck: out for a duck. Not even close. Not on the first page. Google: first item is correct. I’ll stick with the strength, thanks.

  33. Rebel with cause says:

    By way of experiment I searched for “so he walked on from day to day…

    Put some quotes around it (because it is a quote) and DuckDuckGo finds it just fine.

    You do sometimes have to put a tiny bit more work into DuckDuckGo to get the right search. That’s one of the trade offs – Google captures all your data and harvests it, including for use in improving the accuracy of its search engine.

  34. Entropy says:

    Walter, Google knew you had just looked at that quote so you could type it into the search engine. DDG had to realise you were doing a quote.

  35. Entropy says:

    I would like an explanation of what the new regulations are actually doing, as well as their actual purpose. I don’t trust either the government or google in this instance.

  36. Catcalling Inebriate says:

    Amusing battle. Rupert Murdoch versus Google+FB. Should be amusing. Of course, if News didn’t want their content to promote traffic at Google for them, they could shut it off. Others have, actually. But they won’t. And they will bully Australian politicians into giving them some lolly.

  37. Peter Gallagher says:

    Good grief these comments are full of mood-affiliated crap! Who cares whether you ‘like’ Google? Get older yourselves!

    No Google is NOT a monopolist (just look at all the recommendations to use other search services). No it it not your ‘friend’; but no corporation is (even if you’re a shareholder).

    Both of those concerns are beside the point. This is YET ANOTHER ham-fisted, overbearing, under-transparent, anti-enterprise, socialist wrecking ball. Just as stupid and anti-consumer as EVERY OTHER attempt by the Australian government — of which there have been many over the decades, none successful — to ‘fix’ the media and its ownership and share of attention by means of regulation and quotas.

    Why doesn’t our so-called “Liberal” government want market incentives, competition and innovation to win?? Why do they think they’re better at determining what we want than WE are?? Whom do they think they are ‘protecting’?? And WHY (why-the-hell) would you want a government to ‘protect’ your information choices?? Are they beholden to certain print media??

    I strongly share Sinclair’s dismay (and disgust?) with this unbidden interference in consumer services and media.

  38. John A says:

    Genghis #3550046, posted on August 17, 2020, at 11:01 am

    Hypocritical hogwash. Their so-called free news is being generated by others. If you reduce Google News then perhaps people will go to proper news like ‘Guardian Australia’ or the Age (Pravada on the Yarra).

    a) Google monetised news aggregation, built the most extensive search engine the world has seen (based on a massive accumulation of data), then started selling us to its customers
    therefore
    b) it’s a battle of the advertisers.

    The newshounds want to be in front of the rest of the sources in order to preserve their position as the fourth estate, and they have seized the opportunity (seeing that the international techies are on the nose just now) to push their case.

    I would suggest that all MSM news sources have forfeited their previous privileged status, just as much as Google, FB, Wikipedia and Twitter. They are all as improper as each other. The only solution is to follow individual journalists themselves when they demonstrate adherence to the previous high standards.

    So, for reasons different from Sinc, I agree with Google’s pushback, even though I use DuckDuckGo wherever I can.

    In other areas, it’s harder to be free of Google. For instance, I try to use street-directory.com.au (Ausway/Melway) for maps, but it is near-impossible to go past Google for navigation, So that’s all I use it for.

  39. JC says:

    Got her. Good

    Mr V’landys, the chief executive of Racing NSW and Australian Rugby League Commission chairman, is suing the ABC and journalist Caro Meldrum-Hanna for defamation in the Federal Court over the segment which aired on 7.30 last year.

    And the scumbags are fighting tooth and nail to keep internal correspondence out of reach.

    Secret correspondence between senior ABC 7.30 staff surrounding a contentious exposé into cruelty against former racehorses will be released to NSW racing boss Peter V’landys after a judge rejected the broadcaster’s bid to keep the crucial documents under lock and key.

    Judge told their ABC to Fuck right off and hand over the emails.

    In a major victory for Mr V’landys, Federal Court Justice Michael Wigney on Monday ordered the ABC to hand over internal correspondence between journalists who were involved in the “production and publication” of the confronting exposé, ‘The Final Race’.

    That Meldrum thing, because it is a thing, is a real piece of work.

  40. JC says:

    Whoops . Rong Fred.

  41. JC says:

    Nice post reminding people, Peter G.

  42. Squirrel says:

    Even in a world of free money, I’m truly dazzled by the ability of the FANGs to make squillions, but for all of that they seem to be fairly clueless about my tastes and interests – judging by the adverts they aim at me – and the Australian media and governments are far more clueless, so I’m really not too worried about what any of them might do with my “data”.

  43. mh says:

    Millie Weaver’s Shadowgate documentary deleted by Facebook and YouTube

    https://reclaimthenet.org/millie-weaver-shadowgate-censored-facebook-youtube/

  44. mh says:

    Google have removed – or attempted to – every upload of Shadow Gate on YouTube.

    Shadow Gate being the latest expose of the Deep State and Communist John Brennan.

  45. kae says:

    😂🤣😁

  46. Howard Hill says:

    You plebs can’t have any talking heads unless they’re our talking heads.

    — .gov.au

  47. Lizzi55 says:

    Google’s monopoly on search and user data allows them to influence election results, this has been scientifically proven in published research by academic Robert Epstein, see his testimony here to the US congress:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rNvgl38TLvI

  48. Jannie says:

    I am with the Bear. Google is not your friend.

  49. NoFixedAddress says:

    Sinclair Davidson
    #3550066, posted on August 17, 2020 at 11:23 am

    I was going to – but I don’t have her permission to reproduce the open letter.

    But “Yes” – I completely and utterly endorse corporations sticking it to government and politicians. This anti-business sentiment in Canberra is a luxury that we cannot afford.</blockquote>
    Totally agree with your sentiment Sinclair and I wonder how this can be happening when Parliament is not sitting.

    But we are not talking Google nor YouTube but Alphabet Inc. and The Australian Public Service Government ™

    This is a fight between corporations.

  50. NoFixedAddress says:

    Sinclair Davidson
    #3550066, posted on August 17, 2020 at 11:23 am

    I was going to – but I don’t have her permission to reproduce the open letter.

    But “Yes” – I completely and utterly endorse corporations sticking it to government and politicians. This anti-business sentiment in Canberra is a luxury that we cannot afford.

    Totally agree with your sentiment Sinclair and I wonder how this can be happening when Parliament is not sitting.

    But we are not talking Google nor YouTube but Alphabet Inc. and The Australian Public Service Government ™

    This is a fight between corporations.

  51. bemused says:

    Talks about privacy, DDG vs Google and other things.

    I think privacy went out the window long ago. Merely the fact that you access the internet is already passing on information to all and sundry. Even if you use Linux, you aren’t immune, you have to go through a service provider and cannot avoid gathering of information about what you do on the internet.

  52. Iampeter says:

    Good grief these comments are full of mood-affiliated crap! Who cares whether you ‘like’ Google? Get older yourselves!

    No Google is NOT a monopolist (just look at all the recommendations to use other search services). No it it not your ‘friend’; but no corporation is (even if you’re a shareholder).

    Welcome to the Cat.
    It’s basically very confused Bernie Bro’s, spouting the most tired leftist talking points, like about “monopolies,” who somehow think they are fighting “the left.”

  53. Howard Hill says:

    Even if you use Linux, you aren’t immune, you have to go through a service provider and cannot avoid gathering of information about what you do on the internet.

    Rubbish!

    There are ways and Linux is the only way if you’re serious. Everything else is already compromised before you start.

  54. Howard Hill says:

    mh
    #3550453, posted on August 17, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    See how long this one lasts

    Haha! That didn’t take long.

    you can find it here:
    https://banned.video/watch?id=5f37fcc2df77c4044ee2eb03

  55. yarpos says:

    Its hard to beleive we are expected to read this with a straight face. The lack of self awareness at Google is amazing at times. They live in their own bubble and are a malevolent force in the world today.

  56. yarpos says:

    Bemused, if you were serious about your personal data/security at the consumer IT level then Linux would be the first building block. If you dont make that first choice then (just my opinion) you are pissing into the wind.

    These days there are user friendly versions of Linux that are very windows like. My wife (very non IT) started using a Linux Mint PC of mine with zero coaching, her only comment was “looked a little diffeent, but works much the same”

    But sadly its a windows world, so we just have to suck it up.

  57. Kneel says:

    “Bemused, if you were serious about your personal data/security at the consumer IT level then Linux would be the first building block.”

    Just find (or build) a system without systemd – that thing is the worst thing RH ever did.
    They replaced a short, simple, stable and effective init system with a bloated, complex and unstable init system that hooks into everything, ignores operations by root, writes a binary log file, and makes windows look reasonably stable.
    LFS (Linux From Scratch) will let you build a SysV style init system with proper log files.

  58. Kneel says:

    Oh – and run it on an Android TV box.

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