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Aussie Officials Fume At Google’s “Experimental” Blocking Of Several News Media Sites

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Perhaps surprising American liberals, German Chancellor Merkel and Emmanuel Macron chided Twitter for barring President Trump's twitter account, accusing silicon valley stalwart of unduly censoring the leader of the free world.

Well, as it turns out, leaders in Australia are also having their fair share of problems with the American tech giant dictating what can, and can't, be hosted on their platform. Google is presently under fire for removing some local news content from its search results in Australia as part of an "experiment".

However, critics called this a "chilling illustration" of the firm's power.

The incident is the latest in an ongoing spat between Google and the Australian government, which is weighing whether to force Facebook to pay local publishers for sharing their content. On Wednesday, Google said it had been "running a few experiments that will each reach about 1% of Google Search users in Australia."

The Australian Financial Review, the country' top business publication, broke the news on Wednesday.

Google sought to play down the significance of some of these shutdowns, insisting that the company conducts experiments like these every year.

In another statement, Australian publisher Nine Group said "Google is an effective monopoly and by withholding access to such timely, accurate and important information they show clearly how they impact what access Australians have."

"At the same time, Google are now demonstrating how easily they can make Australian news providers who fall out of their favor effectively disappear from the internet – a chilling illustration of their extraordinary market power.

"The digital giants should focus on paying for original content, not blocking it. That's my message to those digital giants," said Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

"We have again introduced legislation that's now before a Senate committee to put in place a world-leading mandatory code to see those digital giants pay traditional news media businesses a fair sum of money for generating original content."

In other words, there will be no more free rides.

 


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