Open Web

Tech Platforms are Stopping the Presses

We recommend that those following MOW should watch the debate that was hosted by Open Markets which looks at the current problem of the control over the press by technology platforms.

The debate refers to the central and special role of the press to a democracy. It recognises that constraints can be imposed on press freedom, whether by the state or by private actors. It canvasses non-discrimination to stop access to press being prevented. The debate is among the key players in USA and Canada where Facebook is threatening to take down access to the press.

It is recognised that tech monopolies form the backbone of the modern media. But news media bargaining codes and investigations into payments for content are taking place in many countries world wide – from Australia to Korea and the UK.

The Minister for Canadian Heritage spoke about the huge losses 500 news outlets have close their doors in Canada; the lack of verification online has contributed to false news stories and the serious risk to democracy from the disappearance of good quality fact-based journalism is emphasised. The platforms will not regulate themselves and that mean Government has to do so . The current business model and status quo is not an option. The Canadian legislation has just been passed and is in the process of consultation on fair share for new being used.  

Header image courtesy of Bank Phrom via Unsplash (Licensed for free use under the Unsplash Licence).