Stop the Federal Government and ACCC from controlling Google Search and Facebook results

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The Australian Government, in concert with our consumer protection body, the ACCC, are moving towards controlling the information we access through Google search and Facebook, in order to protect the interests of Australian news media outlets.  They are calling this the News Media Bargaining Code.

What this essentially means is that the Government is looking to give Australian news media outlets priority position so we see their 'core news content' before anyone else's, controlling what information we see in Google search results and on Facebook.

In Google search for instance, instead of being shown the most relevant search results when we put in a query, we will instead see doctored results that may or may not be the most relevant but which ensure news media outlets are promoted.

This code has been touted as promoting competition but effectively protects an industry over the interest of the public and is in fact Government-controlled media.  It is a manipulative and protectionist agenda that is anti-competition.

It also does not address consumer preference to seek information from sources and our personal choice as to whether we want to consume information from certain news media outlets.

Please sign this petition to let the ACCC and the Australian Government know that you do not support Government-controlled media in this country.

Background

On 20 April 2020, the Australian Government directed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to develop a mandatory code to address what they perceive as unfair power imbalances between Australian news media outlets, and Google and Facebook.

"The development of a code of conduct is part of the Government’s response to the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry final report to promote competition, enhance consumer protection and support a sustainable Australian media landscape in the digital age. 

In its final report the ACCC identified that Facebook and Google have each become unavoidable trading partners for Australian news media businesses in reaching audiences online, resulting in an imbalance in bargaining power. "

Resources

Read the media release from Treasury here: https://ministers.treasury.gov.au/ministers/josh-frydenberg-2018/media-releases/accc-mandatory-code-conduct-govern-commercial

Google's open letter to Australians:
https://about.google/intl/ALL_au/google-in-australia/an-open-letter/

ACCC News Media Bargaining Code project information:
https://www.accc.gov.au/focus-areas/digital-platforms/news-media-bargaining-code

The draft bill can be read here: https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Exposure%20Draft%20Bill%20-%20TREASURY%20LAWS%20AMENDENT%20%28NEWS%20MEDIA%20AND%20DIGITAL%20PLATFORMS%20MANDATORY%20BARGAINING%20CODE%29%20BILL%202020.pdf

The explanatory notes can be read here: https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Exposure%20Draft%20EM%20-%20NEWS%20MEDIA%20AND%20DIGITAL%20PLATFORMS%20MANDATORY%20BARGAINING%20CODE%20BILL%202020.pdf