No sense of irony at The Australian

The Australian newspaper – a subsidiary of a foreign owned multinational corporation – has been in a dispute with Facebook – a foreign owned multinational corporation – and Google – also a subsidiary of a foreign owned multinational corporation.

The basic story goes like this – media companies like the Australian (but not the ABC, The Conversation, and the Guardian)* are old style platform companies that need to attract paying customers. Until recently those paying customers were advertisers, now they are attempting to pivot to have having consumers who actually pay to read their product. This is an important point – until recently the reader was the product being delivered to the advertiser.

But it turns out that new platform companies are so much better than the old platform companies. Media companies are struggling to survive. Rather than die gracefully, they have chosen to die disgracefully. Our ‘local’ media companies have run to Canberra for protection. Of course, Canberra have delivered protection via the ACCC.

Here is the deal – if these new platforms offer news type services and functions to Australians they will have to pay a tax royalty directly to the legacy media company – but not the ABC or SBS.  Of course this costs the media company nothing and therefore the royalty immediately inflates the media company’s bottom line where it can be taxed by the Australian government. This is simply a digital tax by another name. If this goes through the US government should immediately impose retaliatory tariffs on Australian goods and services or other sanctions upon Australia. That is what they have threatened the EU. Quite rightly so.

We have covered this story at the Cat over the past year or so.

But wait – the Empire strikes back.

Both Facebook and Google have promised to disable the news function on their platform in Australia. I’m so, so looking forward to them doing that. Yes it will be very annoying for me – I use the news search feature on Google quite a lot. But watching the ACCC and the Australian governments’ humiliation it would be a small price to pay. Mind you – I also have little confidence that will actually happen. Standing up to state-sponsored intimidation is not something big business does well.

Google and Facebook should hold out until Australian media are paying them to distribute their news stories.

Anyway – I digress.

This morning The Australian had a hit piece on Facebook.

Facebook infamously began life as a college project by Mark Zuckerberg for juvenile frat boys to rate the attractiveness of their female classmates. More than 15 years later, it’s now a global platform with an estimated 2.7 billion monthly active users. 

“infamously”. Wow. Infamously. The Australian trying to cash in there. Who cares about the users? It has US$841.65 billion in market capitalisation. Not bad for a juvenile frat boy.

It could be argued, however, that Facebook never truly grew up.

It could be – but not by you. News Corp has a market capitalisation of US$8.92 billion.  Now don’t get me wrong – I’m a huge fan of News Corp.

But there’s an ugly side, hiding in plain sight. Facebook is awash with conspiracy theories and downright misinformation, from relatively minor gossip through to dangerous lies about COVID-19.

Oh dear.  Journalists never, ever repeat conspiracy theories and downright misinformation? This is considered so integral to the business of journalism that the Australian government pays $1 billion per year to create an entire media organisation for the very purpose of disseminating conspiracy theories and downright misinformation.

Despite being a company worth nearly $1 trillion with more than 50,000 employees, Facebook has proven time and time again it’s unable to effectively police fake news on its platform. And yet it says it can turn off real news with the flick of a switch.

Ah yes. I’ve seen this lefty talking point all over, ahem, social media in the last few days. It be clear – Facebook and Google can turn you off. Preventing people from talking is difficult. Preventing them linking to a known source is easy.

It says much about Facebook’s values that it would rather shut down news altogether rather than agree to pay a fair price for it.

So said every statist in human history when pleading for special privilege. Boo Hoo. More seriously – Facebook and Google are adding value to the traditional media. They should be paying Facebook and Google, not vice versa.

Well resourced, paywalled publications like The Australian will be fine, given their loyal readership.

Time will tell. I suspect so – but not if you keep serving up crap like this.

But other small, independent outlets will suffer. Those companies, which rely on Facebook and Google clicks to drive digital advertising, will be decimated.

“Hi Alan – just calling to tell you that I’m not worried about myself. But it is the other, the vulnerable who will suffer. I’m doing it for them.” Seriously? This is why the media get into trouble all the time – they think we are stupid.

The US tech giants have been too powerful for some time, throwing their weight around and further dividing society with fake news.

Media company complaining about someone else being too powerful – having greater sway over their former consumers than they did.

Australia is not some irrelevant outlier on this issue, it’s instead an important test bed for how the tech giants should be treated by governments, and more importantly, voters.

This would be an interesting battle – alas I suspect we won’t get to see it. But how many Australians read a newspaper each day? How many Australians use Facebook and Google each day? How many Australians would care if The Australian newspaper stopped publishing? I would but I’m in a very small minority.

*My views on the ABC are well known, but as this is a long post already I’ll save my discussion of how the Conversation and the Guardian are Australian tax avoidance schemes will have to wait for another post.

This entry was posted in Media, Oppressive government, Taking out the trash. Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to No sense of irony at The Australian

  1. stackja

    The Cat is my primary source of reliable information.

  2. Karabar

    The Cat and JoNova are about the only sources that can be relied upon to be true.

  3. tgs

    I have very little sympathy for either side in this stupid spat, however I have been convinced by some of the arguments made on this site by commenters that there could be merit in forcing the big tech social media platforms to choose whether they want to be a ‘common carrier’ or a publisher – as they cynically choose to position themselves as either or depending on the circumstances. This goes against my libertarian principles but I find the argument to be more and more convincing as time goes on.

    Either Facebook, Google, etc need to stop censoring and manipulating information/speech that they politically disagree with (as if they were a common carrier like a telco) or they need to take responsibility for their editorial choices along with the legal liability that implies (like a publisher). They can’t have it both ways.

    Ordinarily you’d hope competitive tension and new market entrants would resolve that but I have less and less faith in that argument given the ridiculous wokeness infesting the entirety of corporate world (I am a millennial in the middle of my career, it is all pervasive and getting worse by the day).

    I don’t love the idea of more regulation but the status quo isn’t working.

  4. C.L.

    Well resourced, paywalled publications like The Australian will be fine, given their loyal readership.

    LOL.
    I recently paid a subscription for the Daily Telegraph solely to read Tim Blair.
    If Tim retires tomorrow, it will never be renewed.

  5. I check the online news (not via Google) each day for a laugh (know thine enemy) to see what new crap they are serving up against every conservative. And I watch Sky News Australia on YouTube. I would never subscribe to the Oz given the crap they now push, as Leftist as every other media group in Australia.

    Let them all sink I say. Google and Facebook would do well to disable all links to any Australian media organisation that is demanding this payment. It won’t go well for the media organisations, just like it didn’t go well for the media organisations in the EU a few years back.

    The ACCC can’t force Google and Facebook to display links to the media and then demand that the media gets payment. Or hasn’t the ACCC thought this through?

  6. Rafe Champion

    We still need The Australian. Perry Williams on energy is good for laughs!
    But seriously, many things that need to be spread about get written in The Australian and we need it as long as that is the case.
    They do sport nationwide as well in case you want to know how the mighty Demons are travelling.

  7. Catcalling Inebriate

    Murdoch is engaging in one of his typical campaigns, which have been successful in avoiding competition law in Australia, broadcasting law in the UK and US and even a tender for defence equipment in the US. The factor Sinclair seems to miss is that News is trying to have cake and eat.
    News and other publishers enable FB and Alphabet links because they want traffic, which they use to justify advertising income. But the aggregators are better and cheaper at audience delivery than publishers are, so they have taken the lion’s share – either directly or by destroying value through much lower pricing.
    News and other publishers realised belatedly that they could not compete with aggregators, and began charging for content. But of course their content is surfaced in aggregators who can make use of “fair use” principles in law to do pretty much what they like.
    News and others could simply cut off the aggregators and charge what the market will accept for content and ads. Unfortunately they have also had no sensible content strategies, unlike the example of Netflix or HBO.
    The good news about digital media is the low production cost and technical flexibility. The bad news is that advertising is very limited without very strong, high value consumers as audience.
    Government is simply propping up failed product strategy.

  8. C.L.

    I have very little sympathy for either side in this stupid spat …

    Same here, really.

    Rafe, Johannes Leak is the only remaining attraction at The Oz.

  9. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Well resourced, paywalled publications like The Australian will be fine, given their loyal readership.

    I ended my subscription to the Oz about 18 months ago when they increasingly refused to publish my comments criticising the shoddiness and dishonesty of so many of their j’isimists.

    Haven’t regretted it for a second. All of the saving have subsequently gone off my mortgage.

  10. Pyrmonter

    Let’s test this.

    The government proposal amounts to a ‘Linkright’ – a fee to be paid for sharing at trivial cost someone else’s work product. How is that different to the copyright we’ve had for 3 centuries; or the patent system that facilitate decentralised, market-driven development of things like Covid vaccines?

    (Not taking a view either way, my views on this aren’t particularly deep-seated)

  11. Sinclair Davidson

    But seriously, many things that need to be spread about get written in The Australian and we need it as long as that is the case.

    Let’s not over react. The Australian has moved significantly left since Rebecca Weisser left.

  12. David Roberts

    The Australian has moved significantly left since Rebecca Weisser left.

  13. Rafe Champion

    No question it has gone left but it still reports a deal of national and international news that is presumably at least partly factual. It is alarming that hardly any young people read newspapers in any form, only one of my four sons for example (The Daily Tele on line) and this means that practically everything that happens in the world is seen through the seriously distorting lens of social media.

  14. T Rex

    Professor Davidson, do you still work for a taxpayer funded institution? Just asking. Something about Pots and Kettles comes to mind.

  15. Bruce of Newcastle

    Facebook is awash with conspiracy theories and downright misinformation, from relatively minor gossip through to dangerous lies about COVID-19.

    So is the ABC.

    Seeing we’re talking about new media, I’ll just pop this fun story in:

    End of BBC licence fee? New director ‘open’ to using Netflix-style subscription (31 Aug)

    THE BBC’s new director-general, Tim Davie, is “open” to using a Netflix-style subscription model to replace the Corporation’s licence fee.

    What a great idea that people who want to watch pay to do so! And people who don’t want to watch don’t have to pay. Maybe someone could suggest this excellent thought to Scott Morrison. Netflix is very popular. I’m sure lots and lots of people would fall over themselves to sign up to an ABC subscription service!

  16. Pyrmonter

    (A reminder that the Australian – and its late cartoonist, Leak – were obsessive promoters and partisans for the Australian Republic malarky of two decades ago. Only one daily was sound. It remains so. Gentlemen, I give you Mr Stutchbury’s AFR https://www.afr.com/)

  17. How is that different to the copyright we’ve had for 3 centuries

    Google links (I don’t use Facebook) don’t show the entire story, they have a snippet at most (mainly the headline) and direct the reader to the news site. If that site is paywalled, you see nothing, know nothing, just like the media.

  18. Pyrmonter

    @ Bruce

    Facebook Videos run the most outrageous marxist tosh produced by Vice etc. Hard to watch with a straight face.

  19. To add to that, the media should be paying Twitter and its users, as well as Facebook and its users, as they frequently take content and display it on their sites, web and TV. How are they getting away with this?

  20. stackja

    Facebook as a news source? ROFL!

  21. stevem

    I suspect both Google and Facebook will follow through with their threats. The result will be a minor drop to their traffic, but will result in a major drop in the traffic to the news media sites. The media sites will scream blue murder and blame Google and Facebook for all the world’s ills that they currently blame on Trump.
    In short order everything will return to normal when the media agree to a $0 access fee.

  22. Iampeter

    Google and Facebook should hold out until Australian media are paying them to distribute their news stories.

    I wouldn’t hold your breath. I think they will end up folding as always.
    Plus you’re posting this on a blog where the majority want tech companies to be forced to host content against their will because of total confusion about how free speech and property rights work.

    This attempted shakedown from old media is pretty tame by comparison.

  23. Rex Anger

    Plus you’re posting this on a blog where the majority want tech companies to be forced to host content against their will because of total confusion about how free speech and property rights work

    This Petey Projection is co-sponsored today by Utter Ideological Confusion (TM)- C’mon man! And John Galt- “I don’t know who this authoritarian cockroach is, and I assure you that he is definitely NOT one of mine. Now get that microphone out of my face!”

    Find them in your copy of The Objectivisttoday!

  24. stevem

    Plus you’re posting this on a blog where the majority want tech companies to be forced to host content against their will because of total confusion about how free speech and property rights work

    It’s very easy to claim Twitter/Facebook are private companies and can do what they want. The problem is that, in the US at least, that’s no longer that case. There the courts have decided that Twitter/Facebook are in some weird middle ground – neither private nor public depending upon how they’re used.

    March 23, 2020 at 12:55 PM EDT
    A federal appeals court in New York on Monday let stand a ruling that prevents President Trump from blocking critical voices from the Twitter account he uses to communicate with the public.

    The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit denied the Trump administration’s request to revisit an earlier holding that Trump violated the First Amendment when he blocked individual Twitter users who were critical of the president or his polices.

    “Excluding people from an otherwise public forum such as this by blocking those who express views critical of a public official is, we concluded, unconstitutional,” wrote Judge Barrington D. Parker.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/trump-cannot-block-critics-on-twitter-federal-court-affirms-in-ruling/2020/03/23/83ac302c-6d0b-11ea-a3ec-70d7479d83f0_story.html

  25. Megan

    Whiny Petey: “Youse blog readers all stupid ‘cos you not real clever like meeeeeeee!”

    Rex dons large boot: *SPLAT!*

    Rest of us: 👍👏🤣

  26. Herodotus

    The BBC was (some minutes ago) pleased to report that Facebook has found a Russian group propagating “influence” pieces to affect left voting readers and tilt them towards Trump, the same group who they allege were doing this same thing in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election!
    Fancy that!
    The Beeb is as left as the ABC, and for the most part does it more cleverly, but that one takes the prize for fakest news today.

  27. Adelagado

    Siinc… I think you are completely and utterly wrong. Google. Facebook, etc are stealing copyrighted material as far as I’m concerned.

    I also think the Govt made a mistake excluding the ABC from the royalty system. They should have kept the ABC on side in this battle. And in the long run, isn’t a more commercially oriented (i.e Conservative) ABC what most Cats have been screaming for?

  28. Dean Gardiner

    There is no such thing as news, it is all about narratives. I do not rely on any legacy media or big tech overlords for propaganda. I still read them though, just to be aware of the narratives they spin.

    I agree that Google and Facebook should be banned from publishing narratives, instead of acting as a neutral platform. There is no way in hell that they will pay other legacy platforms for competing narratives. I do believe they will pick up their bat and ball and simply stop publishing any news on their platforms. It is not about caving in, this is an ideological war about controlling the narrative. There is no amount of money in the world that will sway them from that.

    My only wish is they would do the same with other legacy media dinosaurs like the music publishers. They should ban all copyrighted music on their platform until publishers pay them a fee for marketing their music. As soon as any media company makes a copyright claim then bam, they should be gone.

  29. Megan

    There is no such thing as news, it is all about narratives

    Story beats facts, every single time. In journalism, in education and teaching, in public administration, in politics, And this is exactly how we got to this very ugly point in our history. And why dark Emu is lauded as literary gold rather than the fantasists dross that it is.

    I have no idea what it will take to turn the tide. Maybe when the masses who love the narrative reach rock bottom and there are no more good stories to tell?

  30. Catcalling Inebriate

    Pyrmonter: Stutchbury was actually one of the Republicans at The Australian 20 years ago. He’s only been back at the AFR since 2011. I think you’ll find that it was Switzer and Toohey who made the AFR the only paper to oppose the referendum proposition.

  31. a happy little debunker

    Both the MSM and the social media juggernauts are claiming to be ‘half pregnant’ all of the time.
    Meanwhile – neither admit to being forked, but are effectively claiming material &/or financial support from each other.

    (Remember that Wikileaks claims to be a publisher, yet Julian Assange is under a grand jury indictment for that ‘publishing’ – whilst his co-partners @ The Guardian, New York Times & Der Spiegel all remain untarnished.)

    A pox on all their houses.

  32. Tel

    Oh dear. Journalists never, ever repeat conspiracy theories and downright misinformation? This is considered so integral to the business of journalism that the Australian pays $1 billion per year to create an entire media organisation for the very purpose of disseminating conspiracy theories and downright misinformation.

    On of those irregular nouns that turn up quite a lot in English.

    I have an excellent idea.

    You are a little bit confused.

    They are awash with conspiracy theories and downright misinformation.

  33. Delta

    Both Facebook and Google have promised to disable the news function on their platform in Australia. I’m so, so looking forward to them doing that. Yes it will be very annoying for me – I use the news search feature on Google quite a lot.

    No big deal. If you want to continue using Google for your searches, just use a VPN for say somewhere in the USA and then use the google.com search engine. Of choose another location, say the UK then use google.co.uk search engine.

  34. Tel

    I agree that Google and Facebook should be banned from publishing narratives, instead of acting as a neutral platform.

    They should be made to abide by their own terms of service … since they claim to be neutral, that’s what they should be forced to deliver, or else go out of business for inability to deliver what was promised.

    It’s called the law of contracts … and commerce would not be possible without it.

  35. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    isn’t a more commercially oriented (i.e Conservative) ABC what most Cats have been screaming for?

    Incorrectomundo. In regard to the ALPBC, most Cats have been screaming for this:

    Shut it down.
    Fire them all.
    Salt the earth.
    Nuke from orbit.

  36. Sinclair Davidson

    Tom Switzer – now the executive director of the CIS – did a great job at the AFR. Then he moved to the Australian and saved them from communism. Now that Rebecca has left the Australian they are mean-reverting back to the left.

  37. duncanm

    Let’s not over react. The Australian has moved significantly left since Rebecca Weisser left.

    which is why I subscribe to the Spectator and not the Oz.

  38. Kneel

    “…because of total confusion about how free speech and property rights work.”

    Nope – it’s you who are confused.
    It’s not about free speech – Alphabet et al can say whatever they like.
    It’s not about about property rights – Alphabet et al can certainly decide to whom they wish to offer services.
    It’s about FREE ENTERPRISE – Alphabet et al should be held to the same standard as all others that act the same way.
    If Facebook et al is a “platform”, and therefore gain 2.230 exemptions, then they CANNOT EDIT NOR CHOOSE WHOM TO SERVE.
    If, instead, they wish to do those things (edit, choose who can use it), then they DO NOT GET THE S.230 EXEMPTION.
    No-one is forcing them to pick one over the other, but choose they must.
    Why should these specific people be able to act as a publisher (by editing content, “flagging” content, banning users etc), yet claim an exemption for libel that publishers don’t get?

  39. Adelagado

    Spurgeon Monkfish III
    #3568830, posted on September 2, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    isn’t a more commercially oriented (i.e Conservative) ABC what most Cats have been screaming for?

    Incorrectomundo. In regard to the ALPBC, most Cats have been screaming for this:

    Shut it down.
    Fire them all.
    Salt the earth.
    Nuke from orbit.

    Yeah, in a fair world that would be the outcome. But, for now, a little experience in commercial reality might be a step in that direction. In fact the Gov should have insisted the ABC screw every dollar possible out of Facebook and Google.

  40. Iampeter

    It’s very easy to claim Twitter/Facebook are private companies and can do what they want.

    It’s also the right wing/capitalist position.

    The problem is that, in the US at least, that’s no longer that case. There the courts have decided that Twitter/Facebook are in some weird middle ground – neither private nor public depending upon how they’re used.

    I think you’re trying to suggest that they are “crony” or something, but the story you linked doesn’t do that.
    That case has all sorts of other issues though, largely stemming from the unprecedented/crazy use of things like Twitter from the head of state, which is creating all sorts of legal dilemmas, but has nothing to do with Twitter, other than making them victims of a crazy head of state.
    But in any case, Twitter, Google, et al, having to pay protection money to the state makes them the victims anyway, so as a right winger you’d be arguing against the government overreach, not against Twitter and Google doing what they have to do to survive the regulatory burdens imposed on them.

    Whiny Petey: “Youse blog readers all stupid ‘cos you not real clever like meeeeeeee!”

    Well, those are YOUR words.

    I have no idea…

    You can just stop there.

  41. Iampeter

    I agree that Google and Facebook should be banned from publishing narratives, instead of acting as a neutral platform.

    Then you don’t support things like free speech and property rights.

  42. Rex Anger

    That case has all sorts of other issues though, largely stemming from the unprecedented/crazy use of things like Twitter from the head of state, which is creating all sorts of legal dilemmas, but has nothing to do with Twitter, other than making them victims of a crazy head of state.
    But in any case, Twitter, Google, et al, having to pay protection money to the state makes them the victims anyway, so as a right winger you’d be arguing against the government overreach, not against Twitter and Google doing what they have to do to survive the regulatory burdens imposed on them.

    Lolwut, IamTheRobberBarons’BiggestBitch? I am sure that Alphabet and Facebook can pay for a far better defence than ‘ItZ AlL Tr0mPz fAuLt!’ And how can one be a victim of regulatory overreach when one is de facto writing said regulations, or ‘influencing’ said regulators (pre-Evilbad Orange Man) in such a way as to be favoured by same?

    Just as well you work pro bono, bugman…

    I agree that Google and Facebook should be banned from publishing narratives, instead of acting as a neutral platform.

    Then you don’t support things like free speech and property rights.

    IamTheTruestScotsmanOfThemAll continues to wonder why his incessant logical fallacies are met with hoots, jeering, laughter and thrown haggis, rather than applause.

    It is almost as bad as that time his kilt flew up on a particularly bracing September day at the Highland Games. He’s never like the fact that the locals renamed the village Weewilleekrankie.

    It strikes a little bit too close to home…

  43. Pyrmonter

    @ Catcalling

    Yeah, I remember Stutchbury wasn’t at the Fin in ’99; Toohey was good. But Stutch is still running a good paper. The Aus (which I don’t read so regularly) seems to be unable to work out its position, but insists it has to have one.

  44. Tim Neilson

    Plus you’re posting this on a blog where the majority want tech companies to be forced to host content against their will because of total confusion about how free speech and property rights work.

    Poor old conceited stupid ignorant wrongologist.
    He’s too sub-cretinous to think except in cartoon-like binary dogmatic absolutist generalised labels.
    Which is why he’s unable to understand that the majority don’t want any such thing, they only want the tech co’s to be treated under the same defamation laws (etc.) as everybody else.
    The poor old imbecile can only think “they don’t want the tech co’s to have a special bespoke escape from liability – therefore they want the tech co’s to be forced to host content!”
    Poor old failure. It’s desperately sad.

  45. Tim Neilson

    Just for the record,
    Iamashiteater is the most pretentious conceited stupid ignorant self-beclowner ever to humiliate himself on this site.
    He loves using technical terms from philosophy to make himself look clever, but always misuses them calamitously, thus revealing his utterly hopeless intellectual ineptitude.
    For example on the 27/8/20 “What did Ronny say Josh?” thread he described citing Court decisions as evidence of Australian law as “appeal to authority logical fallacies”.
    Yes, he really is that much of a sad sack risible contemptible pretentious loser and failure. What a turd!

  46. Lee

    Then you don’t support things like free speech and property rights.

    That’s a hoot, coming from you.

  47. John A

    Of course, this costs the media company nothing and therefore the royalty immediately inflates the media company’s bottom line where it can be taxed by the Australian government. This is simply a digital tax by another name.

    Nah, try again, Sinclair. I take it that you mean it becomes taxable income, along with everything else the media company earns after expenses.

    If every government measure that results in an improved bottom line can be called a “digital tax by another name” then doesn’t everything become a “digital tax”? Maybe removing some loading on energy prices (like say the RET subsidies) so that there is a lot less favouring ruinables, and we have more competitive coal-fired generators who can charge less and still survive?

  48. Sinclair Davidson

    … do you still work for a taxpayer funded institution?

    No. Can’t recall ever working for a taxpayer funded institution. But if the Australian newspaper is to be believed I work for the Chinese government.

  49. Sinclair Davidson

    John A – my argument is that the Australian government has introduced a digital tax by stealth. If you don’t think that constitutes a digital tax that’s fine. Be sure to explain that to the Americans.

  50. Megan

    Whiny Pete now demonstrates total ignorance of vocabulary and grammar. Yes, they are definitely my words.

    But YOU, OH MORONIC ONE, are clearly the subject of the sentence.

    And cutting and pasting only part of someone’s sentence, does not an argument make.

    Get a clue or get out, you hopeless loser!

  51. stevem

    They’re certainly proposing extracting cash from Google/Facebook. Not sure it is tax though – It will generate a revenue stream for the media companies, but tax presupposes a profit being made by those media companies and I’m not sure that happens.

  52. Boambee John

    stackja
    #3568530, posted on September 2, 2020 at 9:45 am
    The Cat is my primary source of reliable information.

    Spiced with some totally unreliable clap trap from m0nty, the bin chicken, 1ampmeter and the various socks of Grigory.

  53. Iampeter

    That’s a hoot, coming from you.

    Stuff like this just makes you look even more confused about the conversation no one is forcing you to be engaged in.

    Whiny Pete now demonstrates total ignorance of vocabulary and grammar. Yes, they are definitely my words.

    Good thing this is a site about politics and economics, not vocabulary and grammar.

    And cutting and pasting only part of someone’s sentence, does not an argument make.

    Get a clue or get out, you hopeless loser!

    As opposed to literally, in your own words, having “no idea?”
    As opposed to posting nothing but insults because you’ve been triggered by the fact that you’re out of your depth in these conversations?

    Phew. Thanks for setting me straight.

  54. Ah yes. No one is forcing you to lecture us with rhetorical questions only you know the answer to.

  55. Kneel

    “Then you don’t support things like free speech and property rights.”

    Straw man – it’s not about free speech or property rights..
    It’s about treating entities that act the same the same way at law.

    But, as usual, you pretend you can’t see what demolishes your argument, or claim that “you don’t know what you’re talking about”, or that it “doesn’t matter”, is “irrelevant” etc rather than at least attempt a rebuttal with facts and logic. Why, it’s enough to make one believe you don’t have any facts or logic, just bluster.

  56. Lee

    That’s a hoot, coming from you.

    Stuff like this just makes you look even more confused about the conversation no one is forcing you to be engaged in.

    The man who blathers on about “free speech” and that tech companies can do what they like (even regardless of the law), tells others on this forum they have no right to hold an opinion they do, because they “don’t understand the politics” or “don’t have a political argument.”
    One of us is totally confused, and it’s not me, IamALeftistShill.

  57. Megan

    Wee Whiny Wimp Peter. I don’t insult anyone who can debate and construct an argument. I’ve worked with six year olds smarter than you. They have all been eager and willing to learn. Many posters here have attempted to educate you but your ignorance is deeper than the continental trench and incurable. Insults are the upper level of your comprehension skills.

  58. EllenG

    Sinclair if you think the Oz is on the left then there can be only orcs to your right.

  59. Squirrel

    “News Corp has a market capitalisation of US$8.92 billion.”

    If only Myspace had been shrewder, and more in touch with the punters, in its choice of Page 3 girls…..

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