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Author Topic:   What Is Australia's Problem With News in Google and Facebook
PaulK
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Posts: 16860
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 2 of 58 (884455)
02-20-2021 10:32 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Percy
02-20-2021 10:00 AM


The basics are simple.

Facebook and Google make lots of money from advertising.

The newspapers used to make lots of money from advertising, but don’t any more.

The Murdoch organisation is really upset about that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Percy, posted 02-20-2021 10:00 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Percy, posted 02-20-2021 11:18 AM PaulK has responded
 Message 5 by Percy, posted 02-20-2021 12:08 PM PaulK has responded

  
PaulK
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Posts: 16860
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


(1)
Message 4 of 58 (884457)
02-20-2021 11:27 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Percy
02-20-2021 11:18 AM


Facebook IS saying exactly that. They’ve gone rather further in retaliation against the Australian government (and I don’t support that) but that’s the reason Facebook is banning news links and content in Australia.

Google, on the other hand, does need the news media, so they are trying to find a compromise. Searches for news items is a big enough part of Google’s business - not to mention Google News - that it would be painful to give up.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Percy, posted 02-20-2021 11:18 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Percy, posted 02-20-2021 12:22 PM PaulK has responded

  
PaulK
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Posts: 16860
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 6 of 58 (884459)
02-20-2021 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Percy
02-20-2021 12:08 PM


Re: The Washington Post on Facebook
No. Some news organisations choose to post on Facebook, and the rest is all links. Facebook is not engaged in anything shady there. There isn’t any real justification for the proposed law that I can see.

It’s surprising to find Facebook in the right, but it seems to be the case.


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 Message 5 by Percy, posted 02-20-2021 12:08 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
PaulK
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Posts: 16860
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Member Rating: 4.0


Message 9 of 58 (884462)
02-20-2021 12:39 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Percy
02-20-2021 12:22 PM


quote:
I still don't understand how Google providing a link to a news article does anything to the news company but provide a benefit. Google benefits, too. Seems like a win-win situation. I don't understand why Google caved.

I don’t think Google exactly caved - they went to negotiations. But they obviously needed the news media enough that simply banning links was not their preferred option.

quote:
News companies are getting links to their websites for free. I don't understand why they think they should be paid to allow someone to provide them a service for free that benefits them

Because they aren’t making enough. And it’s no secret that newspapers tend to lose money.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Percy, posted 02-20-2021 12:22 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Percy, posted 02-21-2021 12:53 PM PaulK has responded

  
PaulK
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Posts: 16860
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 11 of 58 (884473)
02-21-2021 1:17 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Percy
02-21-2021 12:53 PM


quote:
Unless the news media has a legitimate negotiating position then Google surrendered to political pressures, i.e., caved.

They tried to negotiate a better arrangement than they would likely get if the government got involved. Yes, they’ve made concessions but I don’t see it as a complete surrender.

quote:
News media businesses have a problem not of Google's making, and in fact Google is a net benefit to them, acting as a key resource sending eyeballs to their websites where they'll see ads that the news media gets paid for. Google bears no responsibility for bad news media financials, and in fact makes them better. If the news media thinks things are bad now, they'd be a lot worse with no Google.

Newspaper’s have struggled to make their web presence pay, so it’s not clear how much benefit they get from visits. And it isn’t clear how much Google drives visits. I look at the BBC website much more often than I search for news stories.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Percy, posted 02-21-2021 12:53 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
PaulK
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Posts: 16860
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Member Rating: 4.0


Message 13 of 58 (884476)
02-21-2021 2:00 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by nwr
02-21-2021 1:41 PM


Apple News+ may be the sort of thing you want. Maybe not exactly, but it’s in the ballpark.

But I will note that the preference for subscriptions argues against links being a major benefit to newspapers. To maintain the value of subscriptions necessarily means limiting the amount of free content which will result in some links being blocked for some people. The newspapers generally don’t want to rely on visitors arriving via links.


This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
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Posts: 16860
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 19 of 58 (884497)
02-22-2021 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Percy
02-22-2021 11:04 AM


That is largely a diversion. That the newspaper’s sites have problems doesn’t change the financial situation. It seems that subscriptions pay better than views from links - whether those links are found via search or Facebook postings. (The question of how Google News fits into it is also important.)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Percy, posted 02-22-2021 11:04 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Percy, posted 02-22-2021 6:09 PM PaulK has responded

  
PaulK
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Posts: 16860
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 21 of 58 (884508)
02-22-2021 6:22 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Percy
02-22-2021 6:09 PM


quote:
Agreed, but their inability to build high quality sites argues against any likely success at turning them into destination sites, which is the issue you raised that I was responding to

No, the issue I raised was that newspapers didn’t seem to find adequate benefit from link referrals.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Percy, posted 02-22-2021 6:09 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by AZPaul3, posted 02-22-2021 6:32 PM PaulK has not yet responded
 Message 24 by Percy, posted 02-23-2021 8:57 AM PaulK has responded

  
PaulK
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Posts: 16860
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 26 of 58 (884529)
02-23-2021 9:21 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Percy
02-23-2021 8:57 AM


quote:
The issue you raised that captured most of my interest was where you said the news media wanted their websites to be destination sites, so I quoted you saying that and then responded to it, explaining why I don't think that's in the cards anywhere in the near future.

I didn’t raise that as an issue. As I have already told you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Percy, posted 02-23-2021 8:57 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by Percy, posted 02-24-2021 9:43 AM PaulK has responded

  
PaulK
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Posts: 16860
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 28 of 58 (884551)
02-24-2021 10:27 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Percy
02-24-2021 9:43 AM


Percy, my point was about the finances, as should have been clear from the context.

The first sentence of the short paragraph you refer to:

But I will note that the preference for subscriptions argues against links being a major benefit to newspapers

(Message 13)

I also explained this in Message 19 and briefly again in Message 21

Got it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Percy, posted 02-24-2021 9:43 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Percy, posted 02-24-2021 11:26 AM PaulK has responded

  
PaulK
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Posts: 16860
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 31 of 58 (884556)
02-24-2021 11:49 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by Percy
02-24-2021 11:26 AM


quote:
PaulK, I agreed with your point about finances, as should have been clear when I said, "Agreed."

The issue is not your agreement with the point. The issue is that point IS the point in the sentence you chose to quote.

quote:
I understand but don't agree that there's a "preference for subscriptions" because requiring subscriptions has a mixed record of success.

We are back to the question of context. Indeed it comes back to your statement:

Many news sites plead with visitors to subscribe

That is what I was talking about,

Please don’t assume that I’m talking about every newspaper because it just doesn’t make sense. They are too many and too varied for one-size-fits-all.

quote:
So if ads aren't enough and subscriptions don't work well for too great a proportion of them, then how are they to survive? Obviously they need to find other revenue streams, but again, going after search engines and social media sites because they have money is not a legitimate answer.

It’s not a just answer but it seems to be a popular one. And it is the motivation behind the Australian legal proposals.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Percy, posted 02-24-2021 11:26 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by Percy, posted 02-24-2021 1:25 PM PaulK has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 16860
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 35 of 58 (884563)
02-24-2021 3:10 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Percy
02-24-2021 1:25 PM


quote:
You're making a couple absurd claims. One is that if your overall point was about, in this case, finances, then every single other thing you said must also have been about finances.

Presumably you mean “every other thing in the short paragraph you extracted the quoted sentence from”. But that isn’t absurd. If you mean anything much more, however, it is your claim that is absurd.

quote:
The other claim seems to be that people are not permitted to agree with your overall point while disagreeing with one or more details, that one can only agree with the whole of it or none of it.

I have no idea how you come up with that bizarre nonsense.

My point is that you falsely attributed a claim to me, based on a sentence you took out of context. I don’t think there is anything unreasonable in objecting to that. Especially when you ignore multiple corrections.

quote:
I responded only to the part where you claimed that "The newspapers generally don’t want to rely on visitors arriving via links" because I had a different view on this side issue and thought it deserved comment.

Except that you commented on a claim that I had not made. As I have repeatedly pointed out.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Percy, posted 02-24-2021 1:25 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by Percy, posted 02-24-2021 6:14 PM PaulK has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 16860
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 38 of 58 (884569)
02-24-2021 6:23 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Percy
02-24-2021 6:14 PM


quote:
I still don't see why you think I misinterpreted that sentence from your Message 13, but let me try again, this time by briefly commenting on everything in the message.

Well, it’s because you went off on a completely irrelevant track.

quote:
I disagree. Subscription sites like WaPo and NYT provide full access to search engines because links to their websites are a significant benefit to them.

Neither the Washington Post nor the New York Times provide unfettered access to articles. At least not to Europeans. You have to sign up to see any stories.

I haven’t read a WaPo or NYT story in months because of that.

quote:
I disagree. It doesn't matter how visitors arrive at a news site if it results in eyeballs on ads.

The newspapers don’t seem to share your opinion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Percy, posted 02-24-2021 6:14 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Percy, posted 02-25-2021 10:10 AM PaulK has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 16860
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 42 of 58 (884585)
02-25-2021 3:41 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Percy
02-25-2021 10:10 AM


quote:
It's more that you seem to get some special pleasure out of incessantly pursuing imagined grievance

And yet you are the one who insisted on dragging it on and on.

quote:
You apparently didn't read, or maybe didn't understand, what I wrote. I said that subscription sites like WaPo and NYT provide full access to search engines, not to the Internet generally.

Presumably you mean that they provide sufficient access for the search engines’ web crawlers to find and index the news stories. Which may well fall short of full access. And, of course, the fact that the links provided by the search engines are useless to non-subscribers is a significant limit on access. And one that is especially relevant since it applies to Facebook who are not a search engine, but are a major part of the issue.

However the fact that the links found are useless to people who don’t subscribe reinforces my point. Indeed, it shows that they have a way around the problem of poor search on their sites - one of your objections. On the points where we disagree that access supports my views rather than yours.

quote:
WaPo used to allow ten free articles per month but I think it's down to two now.

Without signing up I get none, not two.

quote:
There are two things that cause people to take on irrational and unsupportable positions: money and power. In this case it's both.

But the position is not clearly irrational or unsupportable. The newspapers do make far less advertising money than Facebook or Google and it has hurt their income. Eyeballs on ads don’t seem to be enough.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Percy, posted 02-25-2021 10:10 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Percy, posted 02-25-2021 4:37 PM PaulK has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 16860
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 44 of 58 (884590)
02-25-2021 5:00 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Percy
02-25-2021 4:37 PM


quote:
I'm not sure which of your points you mean are reinforced by links to paywall sites

The point that newspapers prefer subscriptions to just letting people arrive via links ? Remember that they are reducing the number of “eyeballs on ads” by going subscription-only.

quote:
Actually, that was in response to your claim that news outlets would prefer to be destination sites rather than rely on outside links

That wasn’t my point. So thanks for demonstrating that you are the one who keeps dragging it up unnecessarily again, and again.

quote:
and my only point in this case was that sites with poor search facilities need to improve them if they truly want to become destination sites

Which was completely irrelevant to my actual point - and as we see letting the search engines index the sites helps, too. Not to mention the point I already made that poor search doesn’t stop me from regularly reading the BBC News site - more frequently than I use search engines to find news.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Percy, posted 02-25-2021 4:37 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by Percy, posted 02-27-2021 10:37 AM PaulK has responded

  
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