How do Google and Facebook threaten the Free Press?

From France to Australia to the US state of Maryland, the free press is waging a battle for survival against Facebook and Google. Besides being gushing firehoses of COVID and election disinformation and QAnon conspiracies, another of Google and Facebook’s dangerous impacts is undermining the financial stability of media outlets all over the world.

Where is the Biden administration and European Commission in this fight? A lot is at stake, yet so far they have been quiet as church mice.

How do Google and Facebook threaten the Free Press? These two companies alone suck up an astounding 60% of all online advertising in the world (outside China). With Amazon taking another 9 percent, that leaves a mere 30% of global digital ad revenue to be split among thousands of media outlets, many of them local publications. With digital online advertising now comprising over half of all ad spendng (and projected to grow further), that has greatly contributed to underfunded and failing news industries in country after country, including in Europe and the US.

Australia’s situation is typical. Its competition commission found that, for every $100 spent by online advertisers in Australia, $47 goes to Google and $24 to Facebook (71%), even as traditional advertising has declined. Various studies have found that the majority of people who access their news online don’t go to the original news source, instead

— source | Steven Hill | Mar 4, 2021

Nullius in verba

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