Published on : 19/02/2021 – 11:48
This Thursday, Facebook decided to block all media posts in Australia. A measure that even affected some official government pages. The social network is in conflict with the government of Canberra which, via a law, wants to charge digital platforms for the press articles they broadcast. One way to support the press, in crisis, while digital giants such as Google and Facebook capture billions thanks to advertising revenue. Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, 35 years old and 8th largest in the world, have decided to engage in the showdown.
Facebook’s decision sparked an uproar in Australia, but whatever. The Californian firm carries out its threats. It is determined to protect its business model based on free content and income from advertising.
By blocking press articles, Facebook and its emblematic boss Mark Zuckerberg are not taking any major financial risk. Media content is only a small part of what is shared on the social network. For the rest, Facebook continues to function normally.
« Without diplomacy, without tact, without warning »
It also shows that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook and sole master on board with his 60% of the votes on the board of directors, can show a certain brutality to defend his interests. ” Her first allegiance, she is first of all towards her creature, her company, “Recalls Julien Le Bot, journalist and author of a book entitled” Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s mind ». « Without diplomacy, without tact, without warning, he implemented a sanction to show his disagreement with what is being played in Australia. It is also a way of setting an example also for the rest of the world in the relationships that social networks can maintain with press editors, »He estimates.
The situation in the country is indeed very scrutinized abroad. The rest of the countries are carefully monitoring changes in legislation before considering adopting similar measures. Since their appearance twenty years ago, web giants like Google or Facebook have been very poorly regulated and today, Facebook has become an omnipresent giant. Even governments are dependent on it.
“A situation of all might”
The blocking decided by the company, for example, affected the Australian security services. Like other media, some official government pages to warn residents of bushfires, cyclones or to inform about the coronavirus pandemic, have also been blocked. Julien Le Bot believes that Mark Zuckerberg knows he is powerful. Enough, to challenge a state. ” He is someone who is not very quick to negotiate and given the firepower of his company, allows himself things that other business leaders would not have allowed themselves. We have a situation of all power of a platform because for years we let it happen and it has become one of the bricks of the functioning of our world. And it’s run by a person who is somewhere convinced that what she does and the way she does business for Facebook is in the best interests of the whole world and when Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t agree, he does. let know. »
Wave of defiance
Yet this decision sparked the anger of the government and the population and its image has deteriorated over the years. The sale of users’ personal data, fake news which abound on the social network, its companies which escape the tax… The lack of morality in the way he leads his group has aroused a wave of mistrust. This is evidenced by the reappearance of the hashtags #DeleteFacebook (Delete Facebook in French) or #BoycottZuckerberg. Ten years ago, however, Mark Zuckerberg was set up as an example and even considered a possible contender for the American presidency.
Whatever. Because Facebook is also Instagram or WhatsApp …. The group remains in a position of strength. And Mark Zuckerberg remains a confident businessman. In 2017 in front of Harvard students he declared ” Let’s do great things, not just for progress but to make sense “. Today to defend his vision he is therefore embarking on a war with those who want to regulate the digital giants. The battle has only begun.