In this week’s show, we consider Facebook’s response to Australian law that would compel search and social media platforms to pay news organizations for linking to their content. While Google has decided to comply with the law and is doing deals with major companies such as News Corp, Nine, and Seven West Media, Facebook decided to take the other route. Rather than pay for news to appear on its platform, the social media giant blocked Australian users from accessing and sharing news entirely. Hours after Facebook took this drastic action, I spoke with Chris Zappone, Digital Foreign Editor at Australia’s The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, about the news and what it might mean for the future of the relationship between Facebook and journalism, in Australia and in the rest of the world.
Second, we listen in on a panel discussion on free speech in the digital age hosted by betaworks Studios as part of its Betalab: Fix The Internet program, which you can learn more about at betaworks dash studios dot com slash beta lab. The discussion, moderated by Betalab Researcher-in-Residence Yaël Eisenstat, includes David Kaye, a clinical professor of law at the University of California, Irvine and former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, along with Nora Benavidez the director of U.S. Free Expression Programs at Pen America, where she guides a national advocacy agenda on First Amendment and free expression issues.
Justin Hendrix is CEO and Editor of Tech Policy Press, a new nonprofit media venture concerned with the intersection of technology and democracy. Previously, he was Executive Director of NYC Media Lab. He spent over a decade at The Economist in roles including Vice President, Business Development & Innovation. He is an associate research scientist and adjunct professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Opinions expressed here are his own.