From the Department of Predictable Consequences...

… comes the Facebook decision to turn off access to its platform for local news orgs. (And hundreds of innocent bystanders like the weather bureau, a couple of state health departments, a while bunch of arts organisations, unions, a little dairy farm, and my alien sideboob column here at Substack.)

It’s a fascinating power play, which Facebook will win, because they’re the more powerful player and there is no way they are letting Canberra dictate their business model. Their users, for the most part, don’t give a shit about the blocked media outlets, or the government’s discomfort. The only friction for Zuck’s minions will come from the seemingly random cancelling of a couple of hundred, or maybe a couple of thousand other groups and pages.

They’ll probably sort that out over the next couple of weeks.

But Ninefax, Lord Rupert, the ABC, the Graun and all the other indies who recently cut deals with Google will stay blocked. Unless ScoMo caves.

My take?

Big fucking deal. This is the same category of commercial/political decision as banning Trump. It’s entirely Facebook’s choice to make. And I say that as someone who seems to be caught up in the ban and who thinks of Facebook as the world’s biggest criminal organisation and supporter of terrorism.

It’s their platform. They can do what they want.