Cathal Mac Coille: World watches to see who wins in Facebook face-off with Australia

The move to make social media companies pay for news generated by national and international media could have direct implications for Ireland

‘The wider concern is whether politicians in any country have the will or ability to regulate social media platforms like Facebook even as the scale of their disruptive impact becomes clearer.’

After a measure compelling social media companies to pay for news was passed by the lower house of the Australian parliament last Wednesday, Facebook responded quickly. In the early hours of Thursday morning, the company removed all news posts from its Australian platform.

The impact was immediately obvious from a glance at the Facebook page of ABC News. Beside its self-description as “Australia’s most trusted source of local, national and world news” appeared only the ...